We all work to keep our homes secure and maintained. We lock our doors and might even have a home security system – or a dog with a noisy bark. If someone breaks a window, we replace the glass. We never expect that our homes, once built, will continue meeting our needs without active efforts to keep them secure and maintained.
But have you ever thought of your website in the same way? You should – it’s your company’s home on the Internet! Your brand lives there. Your loyal customers depend on it, and it’s usually the first place potential customers spend time getting to know you. Just as you’d never neglect the security and maintenance of your own home, it’s important to have a similar plan in place for your website.
Website Security: Who wants access to your site and why?
You may think only sites that process credit cards or provide access to financial information would be of interest to hackers. Think again: hackers have a variety of motives for trying to gain unauthorized access to your website, and even busting into the most basic site can serve their purposes. These include:
– Sending spam emails from your hosting server
– Avoiding filters to host malicious content
– Stealing your website data, such as emails and names
– Redirecting traffic to another malicious or spam website (spam-vertising)
– Attacking other websites
– Exploiting personal or private information
Constant monitoring and the expertise to act when a threat is detected – in general, that’s the best plan. If you’ve worked with a professional to develop your site, you should already have initial protections like a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate. At King Media, most of our website clients take advantage of the daily spam, malware and blacklist monitoring we offer. We’re ferocious security guards, constantly protecting the integrity of our clients’ websites.
Website Maintenance: What goes wrong and why?
You’ve probably installed app updates on your smart phone. Sometimes these updates fix a bug, shore up security, add a new feature or improve your user experience. So think of your website platform like an app: especially if you built your site on an open source platform like WordPress, it makes sense that web development tools would have regular updates, too!
Just like your phone, neglecting to install those updates ultimately has a negative effect on performance and security. On a WordPress site, for example, developers add functionality to your site by installing plugins. A plugin could be behind your homepage’s rotating slideshow. Fail to update that plugin and your slideshow stops working. Maybe that’s not a big deal on the surface, but it gives site visitors the impression that you don’t pay attention to the details! And you definitely have a problem if your e-commerce plugins or other essential tools stop working, because now your customers can’t accomplish their goals on your site – and you lose potential sales or conversions.
And here’s another tip: poorly maintained websites are vulnerable to security threats. Those hackers we’re trying to keep out are regularly searching for vulnerabilities and trying to poke their way into websites. That’s another reason why King Media provides a comprehensive website maintenance package that regularly updates the content management system framework, plugins, widgets and theme/template files for our clients’ websites.
Let’s say something really bad happens and your site goes down. Everything’s corrupted, so to get your site back online, you’ll have to use backup site files. How old are they? If they’re from your original site build and it’s been a few months (or years…), you’ve probably changed some content in the meantime. You’ll have to re-do all that work, because your site will be brought back to life in its original form. Our team performs regular site backups to preserve the most recent, clean version of our clients’ website files and databases so we can efficiently restore a website if necessary.
What should you do next?
If you don’t have a plan for web security and maintenance, let’s make that happen. You can contact us for a complimentary consultation, and we’ll make recommendations based on your specific needs. Don’t leave your doors unlocked or your windows broken – we can help protect your company’s online home!