Swiss, Please: My Privacy-Friendly Website Tech Stack

It’s not easy for me to choose my business TechStack.  I can’t choose until I know if the technology meets my criteria.  I explained in this article that as a privacy consultant in Switzerland, I’m picky about how my data is handled.

How to build a website hosted entirely in Switzerland and privacy-friendly

I have the following criteria:

  • Data is hosted in Switzerland or Europe.
  • GDPR compliant and GDPR aware.
  • Transparent and open about data handling.

Additionally, I’m just really concerned with user experience and customer service.  So here are my completely independent recommendations based on reading privacy policies, checking the service, and comparing the fees.  

Webhosting:  www.hostpoint.ch

I chose www.hostpoint.ch and have been thrilled with their fantastic customer service.  I’ve probably called them or emailed them about 10 times in the past few months; I’ve never been put on hold, and they have always had a solution.  

Other options for web hosting in Switzerland are https://www.alphosting.ch, https://www.hostarea.ch and https://www.hoststar.ch 

Web Content Management System (CMS): WordPress, hosted on hostpoint.ch

The WordPress installation (database, files, etc)  is completely local to my hosted server, so I can be sure my data is hosted locally.  Furthermore, I find WordPress quite usable. It’s been around for 2 decades, is well-supported and updated, and has tons of plugins.  WordPress comes with a Privacy Policy template, which will likely not be sufficient for GDPR compliance.  

As a long-time WordPress user and someone who wants a lot of control and flexibility on my site, I did not really look into WordPress alternatives.  

Templating Software: Thrive Themes

This is a WordPress plugin, so it is hosted on my server.  ThriveThemes largely gives me a way to style my website and provides tons of templates aimed at course creation.  Here is ThriveTheme’s GDPR compliance information. 

This combination has allowed me to create a well-rounded website.  I’ve been able to include information about my consulting services, a blog of privacy articles, and digital courses.    My total costs are $500-700/year. 

There are options that offer all of the above (hosting, CMS, and templates) in one service.  Examples are Squarespace (about $25/month) and Kajabi (about $200/month), but they are not hosted in Switzerland, so I didn’t try them.

About the author 

Rebecca

Dr. Rebecca Balebako is a certified privacy professional (CIPP/E, CIPT, Fellow of Information Privacy) who helped multiple organizations improve their privacy through research, analysis, and engineering. 

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