As the new year begins, it’s a good time to review some important information for WordPress website owners. Updating and back-ups are important keys to keeping your website safe and preventing costly downtime.
Minimize Hacking Options
Outdated versions of WordPress and plugins are a leading source of hacked websites. WordPress developers are constantly updating site files. As long as you keep your WordPress version and plugins up-to-date, you can minimize the chances that your site will be hacked and flagged on Google as carrying malware.
Turn off Auto Updates
We recommend disabling the WordPress auto update feature and manually updating your WordPress website frequently for two reasons.
- It was recently revealed that the WordPress auto-updater could be used to send malware to your Web site.
- Updates are known to infrequently break WordPress Web sites due to incompatibility between versions and plugins. A manual update allows us to check the site during the update process and roll-back any trouble spots.
Move Your Default Login Page
Hackers like to use a brute-force attack against WordPress Websites. Since all WordPress sites use the same administration panel, the hackers know what page to hit. They’ll program a robot to send random logins until they’ve discovered the login combination. The default login screen can be changed to a custom url to make it more difficult for the hackers to attempt to login.
Full Backup of Files and Database
When’s the last time you had a full backup of all the website files and images created? If you don’t remember, now is the best time to create that backup. Hiccups with web hosts happen. Files are lost.
If your website doesn’t have it already, we also recommend adding a WordPress database plugin and scheduling a weekly email backup of the database. With a full site backup of files and a recent database backup, we can rebuild your Website. Without them, we would have to start over.
Extra Line of Defense: Wordfence
If your website doesn’t have it already, Wordfence is a good first line of defense against hacking. Wordfence will monitor your files and email the administrator when those files don’t match the official versions. It’s a must have plugin for any WordPress website.
Consider taking some steps this month to ensure your site is healthy. If the thought of updating your WordPress website is too overwhelming, give us a call at Hoyden Creative Group and we would be happy to help.
Your website is quite possibly the one and only salesperson that a potential client will ever meet. Visitors will make quick decisions about whether your business is legitimate, professional and better than your competitors. Your website can be easy to work with, or difficult to like.
Today, more than ever before, your website is a valuable investment in the future of your business. Get it wrong, and it will be like the employee that takes extra long lunches, takes too many personal days, has no social skills, forgets to brush his teeth, and dresses like a slacker teenage boy. He or she will just take up space, cost you money and make you frustrated. But, if you get it right, your website can increase leads and sales, and help your business grow.
Today, more than ever before, your website is a valuable investment in the future of your business.
Think of Your Website As You Would an Employee
Will potential customers judge a book by its cover?
A professional appearance makes a great first impression, and instantly tells people “We have our act together, and we are a company you can trust.” Attractive and professional website design makes a great impression, and instantaneously builds trust.
Why is that important? Because there are a hundred companies out there selling what you sell, and a visitor will happily move on if they feel like they can’t trust you or that you are not professional.
Is your message relevant to the audience you want to attract?
We know you have special terminology and you like to show it off. The problem is, when you are trying to sell someone on a service or product they have to quickly and easily understand what it is that you offer. If you use a lot of technical jargon you will make your client feel stupid and they will speedily and happily say no to you.
A simple rule we like to use is: If a 12 year old or your Grandma can’t understand it then it needs to be simplified. The words you choose are vitally important to the success of your website. They tell people about you, can make people love you and can generate more interest, leads, and sales for your business.
Is customer service important?
No one likes a jerk or someone who is difficult to get along with. Yet, most businesses don’t put any thought into how their website is interacting with visitors. They just want this fancy thing and that foo-foo thing without thinking, “Hey, what would our ideal client like to see? What’s most important to them? How can we make their life easier, better, and more awesome?”
If your website is difficult to use, hard to navigate, uses language that is too technical, and puts no effort into customer happiness it would be better to take it down. It is hurting your image and losing potential sales.
Is it an important investment?
You would probably happily send your salesperson to a week long conference where he or she could learn valuable things about selling, marketing, and customer service. If you would be willing to invest in a human employee’s knowledge and expertise why wouldn’t that apply to your website?
Google makes the rules now, and if you aren’t willing to invest in your website to make it stronger, better and more awesome, you are going to get left behind. In this day and age you cannot afford to have a website that is old, outdated, has terrible design and content, and just plain stinks.
Why does it Matter?
Investing in a website that has great design, writing, and user friendliness will make your visitors feel confident that you are a reputable business and better than your competitors.
When people feel like this they will come back. They will become loyal. They will help your business succeed.
When you stop seeing your website as an expense, and start seeing it as an investment you will start to understand its importance to your business. Don’t get left behind because there are many companies out there that will be happy to take your clients.
If your website is old, tired, or just plain bad it’s time to fire it!