Critical Web Hosting Features Healthcare Providers Need
In this day and age, healthcare providers must have a website for their medical practice. Your medical practice website is how you publish information about you, the conditions you treat, and your practice and it is the best way for patients and future patients to easily communicate with you online.
From locating the nearest doctors and healthcare providers to scheduling appointments and paying bills online, Patients are increasingly turning to the internet to find and interact with their healthcare providers.
Whether you’re setting up a brand new website or looking to improve your existing site—you will need to pick a website hosting provider. Let’s talk about some best practices for web hosting and choosing where to host your website.
Personally Managing Your Website Hosting is Counterproductive
The simple fact is, every website (medical or not) requires two things to function: a domain and website hosting. On the surface, particularly if you are already running a lot of technology in your practice, it may appear to make sense to manage your own hosting. After all, it is just space on a server, right? It seems cheaper when compared to some of the fees encountered when searching for a website provider.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot more to keeping a site running than just finding space on a server. Software updates, setting up and resetting access credentials, maintaining the server to ensure optimal performance and other site management tasks and hurdles can be difficult to keep up with if your focus is on running your medical practice. Furthermore, web hosting is a different animal than running practice management and productivity software; equipment that works well at one won’t necessarily do well with the other. Bring in an expert to handle your hosting.
Professional Hosting Providers Guarantee Efficiency
From offering HIP (Health Information Privacy) compliant appointment requests and allowing online bill pay for patients to providing simple ways for you to make easy edits to your site, a professional medical website hosting provider can be a huge help in managing your website. But with so many options available in today’s market, which hosting provider should you choose for your healthcare site?
There are many popular hosting providers offering basic website hosting, medical website design agencies who offer hosting, and medical-specific hosting providers; the features offered and pricing can be very similar and the number of choices can be overwhelming. If you’re starting a web design project or just looking for a new host, here’s a guide to choosing a web hosting provider for your medical website.
Critical Web Hosting Features Healthcare Providers Need
While HIP-compliant hosting is not always necessary for all healthcare sites, you shouldn’t jump on board with the cheapest bare bones web hosting option you can find either. In general, if you are collecting or storing any sort of protected health information (PHI) that falls under HIP, you should be using a HIP-compliant provider to store that data.
In many cases, the best option will be to use a HIP-compliant service, like a cloud-based EHR system or compliant medical data storage provider, to handle your PHI and host your website with a non-compliant web host using SSL. This tactic offers you the best of both worlds—you get compliant handling of your PHI and you can still host your site with a conventional hosting provider.
Since HIP-compliance for your website isn’t a necessity, let’s jump into the 5 must-have features that all web hosts should have.
- Important Features required by Your Site
The most important element of any web host is that their offerings match up with what you need for your web site. Whether you need multiple gigabytes of storage space for a massive media library, a specific software package, or something else, you need to know the host you select offers the right combination of resources and features your site needs to function. You don’t want to sign on for a year or more of hosting only to find out your host isn’t going to work for your site, because they don’t support a critical software package or offer enough space to store all your media.
- Rapid Loading Speeds
People are impatient; they don’t like to wait on websites to load. Sometimes a slow loading site is just poorly designed and coded, but often well-optimized sites can be slow to load due to performance issues with the web host’s server. Typically this is a factor with the cheapest hosting plans, which share a single server across many different accounts. In this situation, if one site is seeing a ton of traffic or heavily using server resources, all the other sites on the server can start to slow down as a result. When you’re selecting a hosting provider, take care to ensure they can offer the highest levels of performance for your site. Not only will future users of your site enjoy the better performance, it can help improve your search engine optimization.
- High Levels of Security and Auditing Capabilities
Even when HIP-compliance isn’t required, you want to know your website is secure. You don’t want to invest the time and money into building your new web site only to find out that it was compromised and blacklisted by Google. Ask your potential host about the security measures they have implemented as well as any auditing and logging capabilities they offer. In the event that something does happen, audits and logs provide essential insights into what went wrong so you and your hosting provider can quickly solve the problem.
- SSL Encryption
With the recent push by Google and others to boost internet security by increasing the number of sites using SSL encryption (i.e., HTTPS), supporting SSL encryption is a necessity. Some hosting packages or hosts may not support SSL certificates at all and should be avoided. While you can buy SSL certificates, it’s hard to beat an included SSL certificate. It will depend entirely on the host in question, but you may find that you actually save money by springing for a more expensive hosting plan that includes SSL encryption compared to going for the less expensive hosting package and buying an SSL certificate separately.
Professional Web Hosting Providers We Recommend
With WordPress powering more than 25% of the internet and the ease and flexibility of working with the open source software, there is a really good chance your site will be based on WordPress. This is great news, because there are some great hosting options available for WordPress sites or any kind of website your establishment opt for.
Unlike shared hosting packages , www.upperlink.ng offers a fully-managed platform for hosting WordPress starting at only a minimized price on a monthly or annual subscription. Using this kind of hosting maximizes the performance, enhances the security, and reduces the complexity of managing your WordPress website.
Upperlink takes care of the speed, security, support, updates, backups, redundancy and scalability of your healthcare website with our optimized hosting platform allowing you to focus on serving your patients. We also offer SSL encryption with every package—all you have to do is click a few buttons and you’re set! Visit www.upperlink.ng today and transform your healthcare website for improved performance and seamless healthcare operations.