A website isn’t a “set it and forget it” one-time deal – it’s a living, breathing part of your business that requires attention on a regular basis. Keeping your website secure, functional and current with web trends and best practices is simple and cheap when thought of on a weekly basis. Postponing or neglecting site updates can have dangerous effects on your website…and your budget. Stick to these three areas to pass your website with a clean bill of health.

Keep Your Website Safe and Secure

With all of the security breaches and hacks making headlines, site security is becoming more important than ever. Hackers are using automated malware attacks, threatening your website’s integrity on a daily basis. One of the top reasons websites get hacked is because of the vulnerability in the platform on which their website is built. It is vital to be using the current version to have full access to the security patches, bug fixes and new features. Staying ahead of the curve is key to surviving hackathons.

Protect Your Website From:

  • Spam emails from your server
  • Spam pages
  • Website deleted or altered
  • Data stolen
  • Upload of virus, malware, adware

Source

Platform

There are plenty of Content Managements Systems on which to build a website, but here at hay-Wire, we primarily use WordPress. WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world, secure and is used by nearly 75 million websites. Using a well-known (and constantly updated) CMS brings the peace of mind of knowing developers are working day-in and day-out to keep the platform as safe and secure as possible.

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Related Reading: Has Your Website Been Hacked? You Are Not Alone

How to do this? With WordPress, it’s very easy to determine what version you are using and if it is the current version. Log into your website dashboard and in the bottom right-hand corner, your version will be listed. Visit WordPress.org to learn the most up-to-date version.

screenshot of wordpress dashboard

Plugins

A benefit to using WordPress is the access to free and premium plugins to the site. These tools allow you to customize your website in any way you see fit (there are so many plugins!) Just like WordPress, new versions of these come out every so often, and should be updated as well. Outdated plugins can be a cause of malware attacks and security breaches. Not to mention the headache you get when your favorite website feature breaks all because apathetic updates caused plugin incompatibility.

Hosts

Cost should not be your only factor when choosing where your website is hosted. Quality hosts can save you money in the long run by keeping your website secure, running weekly or daily backups, implementing SSL certificates, maintaining a fast load time and (very underrated) a reliable customer service function. In the market? We use Flywheel and will alway recommend this first to any new website we are building.

Passwords

Always choose a secure password or passphrase with a mix of numbers, letters and special characters. This is especially important for all users with administrator level of permissions to the site. We use LastPass here at hay-Wire to store and generate all of our passwords.

Keep Your Website Functional

Keeping your platforms and plugins up to date will ensure optimal functionality. The majority of websites that have ‘stopped working’ are caused by an incompatibility between versions of plugins or the CMS itself. By updating your website, you will have access to newer versions of plugins meaning bug fixes, better security and increased functionality. Code gets better and better every week. And considering how often I submit a support request to a plugin developer, I am guessing they are constantly updating their code. Nothing leads to a worse user experience than a broken link, a button that doesn’t submit or a never-loading page.

5 Website Development Tools Our Web Team Loves

Keep Your Website Current

Website trends and best practices are seemingly changing every month. One that isn’t going away anytime soon? A mobile-friendly website. Mobile users are surpassing desktop users minute by minute, and your website must be adaptable. Surprisingly, adding mobile functionality doesn’t always mean a complete web overhaul. Adding simple framework in the form of css classes can easily stack content blocks on smaller screens.

How Healthy is Your Website?

Hours of stress and tears can be obliterated by simply maintaining a website on a weekly basis. Don’t let the dark side of the internet bring you down with it. We are here to help! Our Ongoing WordPress Maintenance packages give you the peace of mind your website will always be running at 100% health.

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