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Website Security Tips

Overview

Today, more than 25% of the world’s websites are created in WordPress, largely because of its ease of use and robust content management system (CMS) which simplifies the process of making simple site updates such as the posting of blog content. With the rise in popularity of the WordPress platform, there has also been a corresponding rise in the sophistication of the methods used by hackers as they try to gain access to WordPress based websites to steal data or simply to cause damage. Website managers and clients alike need to act proactively in order to limit the damage that can result if a hacker should gain access to a website.

Websites built on the WordPress platform have many component parts, most of which are continuously being updated by their developers. These updates may be to improve functionality; mitigate vulnerabilities or to fix discovered bugs or other problems. It is always good practice to keep your website software updated to ensure it continues to operate safely and securely. Like all WordPress sites, your website will become exposed to greater risk over time if components are not updated or replaced as they become vulnerable, discontinued, unsupported or even incompatible with other parts of the website.

Good Site Practices

Here are a few tips that can help you avoid potential problems and help you be better prepared for any potential site failure.

  • Use a minimal number of Plugins to manage your website
  • Remove Unused Plugins and Themes
  • Keep all Plugins and Themes up to date
  • Minimize the number of Users
  • Upgrade Passwords to 12 to 16 characters/numerals/symbols
  • Limit Login attempts
  • Backup your website often
  • Backup your website before installing major software updates
  • Store your backups offsite, on a remote server
  • Secure your site with SSL

Develop a Crisis Response (Disaster Recovery) Plan

Disaster can strike at any time. The best defense to protect your business is to be adequately prepared for rapid recovery with minimal loss of data and with minimal down time.

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Effective Website Tips

People often reach out to us for advice on creating their first website and we try to provide information that is helpful but not overly complex. Creating your first website can be a lot of fun but it can also be frustrating if you don’t have any idea on where to start.

Before jumping in to the design of your first website, there are several items that should be considered.

  1. What is the objective of your new website?

    The answer to this question will ensure help to the development supports your site goals or objectives. Your objectives may be to provide information or otherwise educate you audience. It may be to collect contact information for later marketing efforts. It may be to entertain. There are many objectives a website owner may have and a key to success is identifying your objective or goal esarly in the process.

  2. Who is your target audience?

    If your business provides services to a local client base the development will differ somewhat from that of a business selling products online to a global marketplace.

  3. Will you be changing or updating the content often?

    There are numerous formats for creating websites and this will help determine whether the a static site or a Content Management System (CMS) is beneficial.

  4. Have you any content ready for the website?

    One of the most time consuming parts of developing a website is the creation of the actual content. While most clients are optimistic in their assessment of the time needed to assemble the assets (images, text, etc.), most often underestimate the complexity of the task. We try to allow more time up front in our development schedule for this part of the project to help avoid potential costly delays.

  5. Have you budgeted the expense for the website?

    It always helps to know up front what the budget is for development. This provides guidance on the scope and scale of the project. For example, if sufficient funds are available in the budget, a professional, on-location photo or video shoot may be considered. If not, we can arrange for good stock images or video footage at a reduced cost.

  6. When would you like the website to go live?

    Clients will sometimes have a hard deadline for the launch of their new website to coincide with a major event such as a trade show, a product launch or a golf tournament or another event with a set date. The development schedule is based on our client needs and our ability to meet the deadline. If we are unable to meet the deadline, we will not accept the project.

Password Security Tips

Over the past year, we have seen a marked increase in the number of hacking attempts on sites we host for clients. We use a minimum of 12 digits (and sometimes more) in all passwords and these digits include numbers, symbols and both upper and lowercase characters. The longer and more complicated the password string, the greater the resources required by hackers in their attempts to decode (hack) your password and the less likely they will be able to gain access to your password protected information.

The security of your data should be “top of mind” when creating passwords for your websites, emails, hosting, banking, membership, shopping or for any other online access. Below is a graphic with some useful tips. To learn more about utilizing strong passwords, or to use the Secure Random Password Generator on our site, please visit our website page  “Password Security Tips” or contact us via email today.