My Web Maintenance

May 2023

What factors influence the speed of a website, and how can the security of a website be ensured?

Security is an essential factor that you need to consider when running a website. Security should be essential in running a small or a large website. As it has become easier to create websites through content management systems (CMS), the use of websites has increased dramatically. However, managing the security of the website is in your hands.

Protecting the website means taking measures to ward off bugs, hackers, and many other online threats. However, this is not the case, as most people need to make the slightest effort to ensure the security of their websites. Therefore, there is a threat that your data could be compromised. As a result, the website might crash or get blocked.

Does the speed of your website affect your interaction with potential online customers? The average Internet user loses interest and leaves a website if it takes longer than two seconds to load. Moreover, most search engines like Google use this speed to determine the SERP ranking of your website. That shows how important it is to optimize the speed of your website.

A faster-loading website keeps visitors engaged and has a better ranking, which means more organic traffic. That, in turn, leads to a better conversion rate and, therefore, an increase in sales.

To learn how to optimize your website, you need to understand the different factors that determine the speed of your website. In this overview, we will mention the most important factors to consider to make your website more reliable.

What are the factors that affect the speed of your website?

1. Your server/hosting

46,700+ Cloud Server Illustrations, Royalty-Free Vector Graphics & Clip Art  - iStock | Server, Cloud computing, Cloud storage

The foundation of your website has a direct impact on the loading speed. For example, if the web hosting company you choose needs more server resources, your website will take longer to load.

It is common for beginners to choose shared hosting for their small websites; this is the cost-effective choice, but there are better choices. The shared hosting platform these websites use can get overloaded, translating into longer loading times. For this reason, large platforms like Facebook prefer private servers or VPS, giving them more control over server resources.

Also, these big websites prefer dedicated hosting, where they are the only website hosted on the server. This way, they have complete control over the server resources.
When choosing the ideal web hosting company, choosing one with an uptime of over 99.5% is crucial. These companies have reliable and fast servers, which results in shorter loading times for your website visitors.

Another option is the Content Delivery Network, CDN. A CDN is an ideal choice for traffic that flows from different locations. The advantage of this network is that it retrieves the website content from the server closest to the visitor accessing the page, which results in a shorter loading time.

It is advisable to determine the server size before choosing the ideal host. The disadvantage of choosing the wrong web hosting company is that your website will remain sluggish despite all the improvements and efforts to increase its systems.
Therefore, when searching for the right provider for your website, inquire about load balancing and private fibers to distinguish suitable providers from those that slow down your website.

There is no ideal web hosting company for all websites; therefore, choose one that meets the requirements of your website. For example, if you have an extensive database on your website, a cloud-based server might be the best option as it offers faster loading speeds.

2. Plugins

50+ Plugin Hybrid Illustrations, Royalty-Free Vector Graphics & Clip Art -  iStock

Plugins are advantageous web features allowing you to add functionality to your website with minimal effort. These features are compelling, and sometimes you can get carried away with overusing them.
If you have fewer plugins, your website may slow down. Each plugin has different functions to perform a specific task. They vary, and you’ll find that the ones that perform more database queries require more resources, which leads to longer loading times. The result is a negative user experience that hurts your marketing campaign.

There are several ways to determine the impact of these plugins on the website load time. For example, if you use Google Chrome, right-click your web page and select the “Inspect” option. With these features, you can see how long your browser loads the required files.
The number of plugins you utilize on your website will determine their speed, and there is no exact number or limit you should follow. However, the trick is to use well-coded plugins that reduce the files you need to load to a minimum.

In addition to various plugins, widgets can also affect the speed of your website. It is tempting to use attractive widgets on your website to make the pages enjoyable. However, control these features because the more you have, the more time your website will take to load the required files.

3. File type and size

535,000+ File Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock | File  icon, Computer files, Bottleneck concept

That is the most common factor affecting your website’s loading time: the larger the files on your pages are, the more time your website will need to retrieve and present them to your visitors.

4. Page caching

20+ Caching Illustrations, Royalty-Free Vector Graphics & Clip Art - iStock  | Technology caching

It is common to find computer caching plugins to provide a better user experience. In page caching, your computer stores the information about a particular page even after you leave the website. That makes it easier to load the content the next time you visit. Besides, the user saves time by creating a “photocopy” instead of rebuilding the page from scratch.

These caching plugins are essential features to integrate into your website to optimize its speed. Several options are available, such as WP Total Cache, which is compatible with almost all websites. Even though these caching plugins reduce website loading time, you should remember that changes or adjustments will only be visible when visitors clear their cache.

5. Traffic volume

Traffic volume Stock Photos, Royalty Free Traffic volume Images |  Depositphotos

Internet speeds slow down when traffic increases, increasing your website’s time to load. Almost all websites have a set bandwidth, the recommended amount of data that can be transferred in a certain period, usually a month.

A high traffic volume on your website is a good sign, as it guarantees increased engagement and sales. The problem, however, is that your website will take more time to load images, videos, and other files if your web host can’t handle these numbers. That can be incredibly frustrating if you have larger files on your pages.

The effects of increased traffic can have serious consequences, such as shutting down your site entirely until the next period or until you decide to upgrade your plan. That will reduce your momentum, and you will see a decrease in your reach, engagement, and sales.

The dream of all e-commerce businesses is to have high traffic, which indicates that customers engage well with the products. As a marketer, you must keep these numbers high and ensure higher conversion rates. However, please consider your availability and adjust it accordingly to avoid slower website speeds.

6. Internet connection

1,200+ Slow Internet Connection Illustrations, Royalty-Free Vector Graphics  & Clip Art - iStock | Fast internet connection, Bad internet connection

The type of internet connection you use affects the loading time of your website. For example, if you are still using a 3G network or other dial-up connections, your website will take longer to load, no matter how well you optimize it.

There are different internet connections that you should consider when choosing the ideal connection for your website. First, there is DSL, which offers a faster connection than dial-up. However, DSL is slower than a cable connection which is better than a fiber optic cable.
These are some of the internet connections that you should consider. For starters, you can use the DSL and cable connections to satisfy all your website needs, resulting in faster loading speeds.

7. Browser

57,800+ Browser Illustrations, Royalty-Free Vector Graphics & Clip Art -  iStock | Browser window, Computer browser, Browser icon

Another prominent factor affecting your website’s speed is the type of browser used to load the content. Older browser versions need help loading specific codes. If this is the case, you will find that they take a lot of time to load because they are incompatible.
Therefore, it is best to use a browser that allows caching pages. Besides, these new browser versions are updated regularly, and it is best always to use the latest option to have a more personalized and faster experience.

8. Number of redirects

210+ Url Redirection Illustrations, Royalty-Free Vector Graphics & Clip Art  - iStock

Most web designers use redirects to make their websites accessible at multiple URLs. These redirects are necessary to increase traffic to your website, but you need to use them responsibly.

Unnecessary redirects on your website affect its speed as they take longer to load. Therefore, you can use various tools like redirect mapper tools to identify and analyze the existing redirects and remove the unnecessary ones.

9. Malware

710+ Malicious Email Illustrations, Royalty-Free Vector Graphics & Clip Art  - iStock | Phishing, Ransomware protection, Ransomware attack

The malware puts a heavy load on your server. That slows down the website speed and, in extreme cases, causes the website to crash. Therefore, it is advisable to download plugins and themes from trusted sources to prevent malware from entering. Also, malware scanners are available to help you detect these bugs so that you can take action if any are found.

10. Coding standards

7,100+ Women Coding Illustrations, Royalty-Free Vector Graphics & Clip Art  - iStock | Women coding computer, Black women coding

Most new web developers must correct the mistake of writing vast blocks of code meant to execute smaller functions. Unfortunately, such large blocks of code result in slower site speed. That can get worse if these codes do not follow the proper format.
Therefore, bringing in an experienced developer to help you write effective code and choose the best themes is better.

How to ensure the security of your website

1. Install SSL and HTTPS

The SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate encrypts the data transferred between the website and the visitors. Depending on the type of data being processed on the website, different levels of SSL should be used for different websites. A website with an SSL certificate has a padlock in the address bar.
If you are transacting through the website, it is asking for login credentials, or it is used to transfer files, an SSL certificate is essential. That will protect the data from being accessed by third parties during transmission.

How to install SSL:

  • Choose a website builder that offers SSL.
  • Choose a hoster that offers SSL.
  • Install the SSL

Most hosting providers offer free SSL, but you can purchase an advanced SSL if you need a higher level of security.
HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) prevents interruptions and interception of content while it is being transferred. It provides security when using the Internet. HTTPS is essential for the website because:

  • Increases the ranking of the website in the search engines
  • helps to gain the trust of customers
  • supports the protection of sensitive data

2. Use anti-malware software

With anti-malware software, your website will stay protected, and you will not have to worry. There are different types of anti-malware software. Some of them are free, and for others, you have to pay. The anti-malware software provides the following services, among others:

  • Malware detection and removal.
  • Web scans.
  • PCI compliance.
  • DDoS protection.
  • Vulnerability patching.
  • Web application firewall.

A good website hosting provider or builder should ensure your website’s highest security. Most providers offer free anti-malware software. When choosing a hosting provider, look for the following features: free SSL, protection against hacker attacks, DDoS protection, SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol), regular security upgrades, and automatic backups.

3. Choose a strong password

A strong password is essential for the security of your website. However, most people create one password for all their websites, programs, or databases. That makes your website vulnerable to hackers if any website passwords are exposed. Therefore, change passwords frequently and do not share them with third parties.
Use uppercase, lowercase, memorable characters, and numbers to create a strong password.

Choose sufficiently long passwords (between 12 and 14 digits). Do not use personal information as passwords (date of birth, ID card number, etc.) because this is the information that hackers will try to guess to log in to your website.
If you are a CMS manager or business owner, ensure employees change their passwords regularly. But again, only authorized personnel should have these passwords.

4. Keep the website up to date

You should always ensure that your website’s software is current. Outdated website software is prone to glitches, bugs, and hacking. If you use a hosting provider, updating the software is entirely in their hands.

Ensuring your website plugins are updated regularly will increase the website’s security. When choosing plugins, make sure you choose high-quality ones from trusted developers. Bad plugins may contain malicious code or bugs that can affect your website.

5. Back up the website

Backing up your website is one of the best options to keep your website safe. That will ensure that you can restore your website after a security breach. Never store the backup copies on site. Also, ensure the backup and your website are not on the same server.
There are several methods to back up your website:

  • Using the WordPress plugin: If you use WordPress, you can install your preferred plugin and manage your backup settings.
  • Using backup services: there are several backup services, such as Code Guard, that you pay for and then use to back up your data.
  •  Using a website provider with backup built into their plan – most hosters offer built-in backup software or provide it as an add-on module.

When choosing a reliable backup plan, some of the things you should look for include the following.

  • Automated backups: if you forget to back up, you may pay the price of information loss in case of website corruption. However, you can avoid this by automating the backup process. This way, you can avoid human errors that would have resulted from forgetting to back up your data.
  • Offsite backups: if you back up your data to an offsite location, it will be protected from hackers. Use hard drives to perform these backups. In the event of a hardware failure, the data is safe.
  • Regular backups: you should perform regular backups to ensure you can use an updated backup version of the website.
  • Redundant backup means your web data is stored in multiple locations, not just one.

6. Use a web application firewall

WAF (Web Application Firewall) reads all the data that passes through it, protecting your website. It acts as a gateway for incoming traffic, blocking hacking attempts. WAFs are mostly cloud-based and are plug-and-play services.
WAFs filter unwanted traffic, such as malicious bots and spammers. That helps to increase the security of your website.

7. Tighten network security

If multiple employees are accessing your website, the website must be secure. You should ensure employees do not leave an open path to the website server.
There are several ways to tighten network security. These include:

  • Ensuring that employee passwords are changed every three months.
  •  Allowing the computer login period to expire after a period of inactivity.
  • Ensuring that all devices that access the network are scanned for viruses whenever they are plugged in.

These measures will improve your network’s security and increase your employees’ safety.

8. Record administrative privileges and user access

You can grant administrative rights to employees who access the website server. That may cause them not to use the website as carefully as expected, overlook specific security measures, or make a mistake

That is because they care more about the task they are doing than the security of the website. Unfortunately, this can lead to a significant security breach.
When giving your employees access to the site, you must find out if they understand site security and what to look for to avoid a security breach. You should also find out what experience they have with using CMS.

Educate your CMS users about the need for software updates and passwords. Consistent training on security measures is essential.
It would be best to track who is accessing your CMS and their administrative privileges. Ensure you update this regularly to regulate who has access to the CMS. That will help prevent security breaches.

9. Manually accepting comments on the site

Comments on your site are proof that people have visited your site. Comments ensure that you connect with people, and they can also give you constructive feedback. To ensure that posts on your site get more attention, use Cinema8 to add more actions to your video content.

However, not all comments are good; some contain trolls, bots, fake accounts, or spam links. These can pose a security threat to your website. To prevent this, you need to change the website settings to approve the comments before they appear on the website manually. That will allow you to filter and delete the spam.
You can also reduce these dangerous links by:

  • Ask website visitors to register so that they can post comments.
  • Using plugins and anti-spam software.

The above tactics will ensure your comment section is safe for you and your visitors. The most important thing is high-quality protection against malicious malware and individuals.

10. Change the default settings of your CMS

Most website attacks are automated, and the bots depend on the website’s default settings. You can prevent most of these attacks by changing the default settings immediately after selecting your CMS.

CMS settings include permissions, user visibility, and comment control. You can change file permissions to restrict who and what they can do with a file. Permissions include reading, writing, or executing. Customizing user settings (owner, group, and public) and their permissions can also help reduce attack vulnerability.

11. Know the configuration files of your web server

The configuration files of your web server are located in the web root directory. They allow you to set the server’s rules, including options to improve the site’s security. Different servers use different types of files. You should know which one you are using. These include:

  • web. Config used by Microsoft IIS servers.
  • nginx. conf, which is used by Nginx servers
  • .htaccess file, which is used by Apache web servers.

If you need to know which web server you are using, you can run a website scanner to check the website. It checks for viruses, known malware, website errors, blocklisting status, and more.

12. Do not help hackers

That sounds so obvious. How can you help hackers and protect your website from them simultaneously? Most people unknowingly fall victim to scammers and hackers by giving away crucial personal information.

Research has shown that 92.4% of malware is spread via email. That makes it the most common method of attack. Ensure your website is safe by watching for suspicious emails, calls, or texts asking for personal information.
To ensure that your website is not open to unwanted visitors, you should avoid some simple things:

  • Avoid open or public Internet connections.
  • Do not click on suspicious links in your email; delete them. That is especially important if it is a professional email with a link to your website.
  • Trust only verified professionals to fix your website in case of a malfunction. That is because most hackers pose as technicians to access your website.

Even though this seems so familiar, you should be very careful. First, however, you should remember that almost 95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error.

Conclusion

Research has shown that the number of hacking attacks has increased significantly. That is why security maintenance is so essential. You need to protect your customers’ data as well as your own. Making sure that data falls into the right hands should be a priority.

As we’ve seen, website security is a simple process requiring little capital or technical expertise. Of course, no method can guarantee the maximum security of your website, but incorporating the above methods will increase the security of your website. That, in turn, will reduce your website’s vulnerability to attack.

If you own a website, you should review and apply the above tips to ensure your website is secure. To start building your website, you should choose a good web host or builder and follow the security guidelines mentioned above.

Frequently asked questions

Q1: What steps can I take to ensure the security of my website?

A1: You can take several steps to ensure your website’s security. First, choose a reliable web hosting provider with a good reputation and up-to-date security measures. Watch out for suspicious emails or calls asking for personal information, research the web server’s configuration files, and trust only verified professionals to fix malfunctions. Also, use strong passwords that are changed regularly, use two-factor authentication if possible, disable directory browsing and file listing, and adjust your CMS settings.

Q2: What types of files are used for web server configuration?

A2: Different file types are used for different servers. These include the web. Config for Microsoft IIS servers, nginx. Conf for Nginx servers and .htaccess for Apache web servers. If you need to know which server you are using, you can run a website scanner to check the website and determine what type of file it uses.

Q3: How can I make sure my website is running at optimal speed?

A3: You can take several steps to ensure that your website is running at optimal speed. First, ensure your site has sufficient hosting resources and that the server’s software and security patches are current. Also, utilize a content delivery network (CDN) to reduce latency and bandwidth, optimize your images for faster loading, minify HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files, and use caching to store frequently requested data. Finally, regularly check your website logs for potential issues that could cause slowdowns.

We Fix, Host, & Maintain WordPress Websites

At mywebmaintenance.com we provide instant WordPress technical support. We also provide bespoke web hosting & expert management for thousands of WordPress websites. Use us for quick one-time fixes, or partner with us for ongoing WordPress website maintenance. Follow us on Facebook to find out where we are next.

What factors influence the speed of a website, and how can the security of a website be ensured? Read More »

Don’t Get Left Behind: The Benefits of Regular Website Maintenance for Your Business

Maintaining a website is essential because there is a new update every other day. The website is the initial digital place where you interact with your customers. It’s essential that every brand, big or small, looks for website maintenance services to stay current with navigation, page design, relevant content, optimized keywords, and internal linking. Different companies offer website maintenance services, and website maintenance costs vary! It depends on how diverse the website is and how you plan your future strategies. Some brands start with redesigning their brand website, while others use the website maintenance services of good companies and use their monthly website maintenance packages. After reading this blog, you will have a clear answer about what website maintenance involves and how long it takes. Every individual needs to work carefully, focus on the basics first and then proceed with updates.

What is internet site maintenance, and how long does it last?

As the name suggests, website maintenance is a continuous process of optimizing website performance. That includes updating the website design, fixing bugs and other crashes, optimizing the website speed, and other critical fixes. A website is not just about developing, designing, and deploying it on a server. Post-development maintenance and updating are essential for the practice to ensure continuous traffic growth and security. Moreover, regular maintenance plays an essential role in improving Google rankings and strengthening the SEO of the website. Given the market’s competitive nature, a well-maintained and up-to-date website is essential for both larger and smaller businesses. Websites that need to be maintained are riddled with errors that will most likely alienate their users. On the other hand, the overall health of a website is like your health: if you don’t check it regularly, it becomes vulnerable to potential damage, such as cyberattacks and malware. Keep in mind that Google takes hundreds of websites offline every day due to malware. Therefore, a well-maintained website is crucial for smooth operation. The answer to the question of how long it takes to maintain a website is quite simple! It depends entirely on the updates you make to your website. Sometimes it takes as little as half an hour, but other times it can take three to four days. The best way is to place the message “Website is being maintained” and inform your audience about the duration of the website maintenance. This way, your visitors will understand the maintenance time and stay on the website, which will have a negative impact.

Why you should prioritize the maintenance of your website?

Continually maintaining your website is critical to achieving your overall business goals. Whether your website is newly launched or recently redesigned, there is always room for improvement. Maintaining your website will prevent reputation-damaging mistakes from being noticed and cause you to lose customers or potential customers if they have a negative experience with the site. Four reasons why you should make regular website maintenance a business priority:

Branding

Your digital presence is essential to your business and contributes to your brand’s overall image. A well-functioning, user-friendly website is the first impression a potential customer will have of your business. A poorly maintained website with broken links, outdated information, and content that doesn’t meet your brand’s guidelines will likely send your customers back to search engine results pages and your competitors.

Better SEO

Every business wants to rank at the top of Google. Factors like broken links, poor navigability, or flimsy content can negatively impact your page ranking. Fortunately, well-maintained websites have an added advantage regarding search engine rankings. If you quickly identify and fix SEO blockers, search engines won’t penalize your website.

Eliminate conversion blockers

A good user experience on your website helps you avoid losing customers but can also help convert potential customers and generate valuable revenue or sales. Something as trivial and easy to overlook as a single incorrect contact form or an unlisted phone number on a crucial page can cost you business. Regular maintenance ensures that your website always meets visitors’ expectations.

Eliminate security vulnerabilities

A regularly maintained website is a more secure website. Website maintenance goes a long way in preventing malicious attacks on your website through security vulnerabilities such as outdated scripts, unprotected plugins, or missing CMS patches and security versions. Avoid your business being targeted by hackers and making headlines for the wrong reasons by regularly checking your website’s security vulnerabilities.

How Do Websites Get Hacked?

Up Before we go into detail about how to prevent your website from obtaining hacked, we should probably discuss what a hacked website looks like. While there is no set idea of what a hacked website looks like, there are patterns. And we should tell you now that if your website has been hacked, you will not doubt it, since something will certainly be very wrong. Here are some typical ways hacking presents itself:

Ransomware

The hacker threatens to publish your data and block access to your website unless a ransom is paid.

Gibberish Hack

You will discover many automatically created pages filled with keywords and gibberish to make them rank on Google for keywords. When people click on them, they are rerouted to a questionable website.

Keywords Disguised As A Hack

As above, but a bit more sophisticated at first glance, these pages look like the ones on your website because only the written content has been changed.

Japanese Keywords Hack

Creates random Japanese pages full of affiliate links to stores selling fake goods.

Malicious Code/Viruses

If a malicious code or a virus is infiltrated into your website, your website may stop working, or you will not be able to access it. It is also possible that all of your hardware may be impacted.

Denial Of Service (DoS)

Hackers make use of bots to overload a website with requests and crash the server it resides.

Phishing

Scammers contact your customers pretending to be with your company and use your branding in hopes of obtaining personal details.

FROM THE EXPERT

We asked Krys Lambiase, elderly product marketing manager at Endurance International Group (EIG), the parent company of web hosting giant Bluehost HostGator, to share his insights on website security with our readers and us. In this guide, you’ll find quotes and tips from Krys but first, he reveals the most significant security risks for new internet sites

Outdated Software Application

Website owners require to stay on top of updates for WordPress and other CMS plugins and anything else that needs an update. In addition to taking care of bugs or glitchessoftware application updates usually include security enhancements or patches. Hackers are constantly looking for ways to capitalize on software vulnerabilities. Today, many cyberattacks are automated. Criminals use bots to scan vulnerable websites. So whether you are not up to date on software, it’s simple for hackers to determine your website prior you can do anything about it.” Now that you know what a hacked website looks like check out these seven ways to prevent your website from becoming one

Install SSL

Setup SSL by buying a simple Secure Sockets Layer certificate is an essential first step.
  • Use anti-malware software applications to scan for and prevent malicious attacks.
  • Make your passwords unbreakable – 123456 is not enough!
  • Maintain your website up to date – using outdated software is like leaving your back door open.

Move up

One of the easiest things to protect your website, yourself, and your users are installing a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. You may not know it, but you encounter SSL all the time when you surf the Internet. It is the reason for the “s” in “HTTPS” and the padlock in the address bar. Great to know what SSL means for Secure Sockets Layer. You set up an SSL certificate on your website that encrypts the data (such as login credentials) between your website and visitors. There are different levels of SSL – e-commerce sites that process payment data, for example, should use a more advanced version. Want to learn more? Learn more about what an SSL certificate is in our guide. SSL encrypts the information that is transferred between your website and your site visitors. Google currently warns visitors when they visit a website without SSL and even “discriminates” against these websites in its search results. SSL security is essential when accepting payments through your website, asking for credentials, or transferring files. Without it, the information is unprotected and unsafe for hackers. Krys Lambiase highlights the importance of SSL for website security – especially in online stores. “An SSL certificate is required on condition that you run an eCommerce store or collect visitor data such as emails on your website. This is where the importance of SSL becomes apparent. SSL certificates not only improve search engine optimization but also prove that all the data your visitors send to your website is transmitted over an encrypted channel, so hackers can’t view the data during transmission. You do not require to be intimate with the technical details of SSL security, so don’t worry if you don’t know how it works. The most important thing is that you know your website needs SSL and how to set it up. There are several ways to install SSL. We recommend the following three ways in particular:

Choose A High-Quality Website Builder That Includes SSL For Free

Install a simple Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate yourself. Choose a hosting provider that offers SSL for free in all packages (if you build your site with a content management system like WordPress.org). If you desire a much higher level of security, you will have to pay for an advanced SSL certificate. These differ in price and can be purchased from hosting providers or domain registrars. Unless you run a large online store or handle large amounts of sensitive data, the accessible version of SSL is probably sufficient. For more details on how to get an SSL certificate for your website, check out our dedicated guide. In just easy steps, we’ll guide you through the entire process! Hacker attacks are the most common cause of data breaches on the Internet, accounting for 61.9% of lost data. Greater than 8 billion records have been lost due to hacker attacks.

Use Anti-Malware Software

The good news is that anti-malware software does the hard work for you, so you don’t have to worry about the technical stuff. There are quite a few different anti-malware programs available. This means that you can tailor your security to the needs of your website and your budget. The security services offered include:
  • Web scanning
  • Malware detection and removal
  • Firewall for web applications
  • Vulnerability patching
  • DDoS protection
  • PCI compliance
If you don’t know what any of this means, that’s not a problem – that’s what anti-malware software is for! SiteLock is a world leader in website security and a popular anti-malware software often included in hosting plans. A good website creator or hosting provider should take care of your website security for you.
  • Free SSL
  • Hack protection
  • Automatic backups
  • DDoS protection
These are the security basics for your website and the features you should look out for when choosing a hosting provider. Regardless of whether your provider has built-in tools or offers additional free tools will provide you with welcome extra security. Great website security begins with a good web host, as explained:Webhosting is the foundation of your website. They help you obtain online and often provide additional tools for your website to create a website with the look and feel you want. Quality website hosting providers have protocols to protect WordPress and other content management systems they host, such as automatic security patches and updates. It’s the hosting provider’s responsibility to maintain their servers and perform the necessary security monitoring.

Make Your Passwords Unbreakable

Secure Website Templates Passwords go to the top. They’re so familiar to us that we sometimes forget how important they are. It’s easy to overlook the fact that your password is often all that stands between a hacker and your personal information. Passwords are an essential step and one of the easiest things you can change to increase the security of your website. Spend just 20 minutes today strengthening your passwords, and you’ll be on your way to a more secure website. Of small businesses surveyed said their company had been affected by an attack that misused employee passwords. The typical cost of each attack was just over $380 thousand! A survey conducted by the UK’s National Cyber Security Center analyzed the most commonly used passwords of accounts that have been attacked around the world. A list of the ten most frequently hacked passwords was then compiled if you use any one of the following passwords, you should change them (and change them now)!
  • qwerty
  • Password
  • abc123
  • password1
Instead of using easy-to-guess phrases, here’s what you should do instead:
  • Combine three random, unrelated, but memorable phrases.
  • Use a randomly generated sequence of characters.
  • Don’t use recurring passwords – use a password manager to manage all passwords.
  • Make your password long.
  • Never utilize personal information in your password – that’s the first thing hackers will try!
There is a seemingly endless list of password tips, and you should combine some of these tactics to create uncrackable passwords. Once you have your new bulletproof passwords, be careful with them – don’t share them, even with friends, and change them regularly (about once a quarter).

Keep Your Website Up To Date

To the top, We are not talking about posting the latest gossip or keeping your visitors up to date on your latest product. This is about the imp of keeping your website software up to date. If you are using a website contractor, you don’t have to worry about this because most builders will handle software application updates and security issues for you. However, if you’re using a platform like WordPress, you’ll need to stay up-to-date and make updates as needed. You need to perform updates for your core WordPress software and any plugins you have installed. If you don’t, everything can become outdated and vulnerable to bugs, glitches, and, worst of all, hackers with malicious code. Fortunately is that you can automatically set these updates in your dashboard but it’s still worth keeping an eye on it and making sure everything is running smoothly. If your website is outdated, it can have dire security consequences. So it can’t hurt to keep an eye on updates.

Website Maintenance Checklist

Websites today are never truly “finished” – they need constant maintenance to perform at their best. Many different elements contribute to the performance of a website, but some of the most important ones that need to be constantly monitored to present an excellent website are:

1. keep your CMS, scripts, plugins, and other CMS add-ons up to date

Outdated security patches and software are hackers’ best friends. To maintain a secure website, you must always use the latest version of your CMS. That will ensure that the latest security patches, plugins, and scripts are installed on your website promptly and prevent your website from becoming an easy target for cyber attacks.

2. Fix broken links

One of the biggest obstacles to a positive customer experience is a broken link – especially on an entry page. Broken link finders spot dead ends on your site and help you fix them before visitors notice. Broken links disrupt the user journey and can negatively impact your SEO ranking, so it’s essential to identify them as soon as possible.

3. Eliminate links to unsafe domains

Linking to unsafe domains makes your website look untrustworthy, hurting your brand’s reputation. To ensure your visitors’ safety – and your own – you should track down unsafe domains and delete them from your website. That will prevent your visitors from being exposed to phishing, malware, or other unwanted software.

4. Improve your readability

Users read web content differently than printed content and will quickly leave your website if the content is too dense. For a visitor to engage and convert, your website must speak a language they can relate to. Readability checks can help you identify complex text to understand, reducing the risk of bounces.

5. Banish spelling errors

Typos and grammatical errors reflect poorly on your business and can cause your bounce rate to skyrocket. Spotting and correcting spelling errors will ensure that your website (and brand) always look professional and credible.

6. Make full backups of your website

It’s wise to be prepared for the worst-case scenario – losing your entire website and rebuilding it from scratch. Regular backups of code (CSS, themes, plugins, JavaScript, and other files) and content (media files, text, etc.) reduce the risk of data loss due to domain issues, cyberattacks, natural disasters, or accidental content deletion. Backing up all files can be done manually or by an automated service. For larger websites, frequent backups are essential, while smaller websites can back up their content monthly.

7. Refresh your content

Your website should always be dynamic. Outdated content reflects poorly on your business and leads to a negative user experience. Website maintenance detects outdated or irrelevant content so it can be easily replaced or refreshed with pertinent, up-to-date information that meets visitors’ expectations. In addition, search engines prefer fresh content: The more often you update your content, the better your rankings will be.

8. Check for SEO obstacles

Every page of your website should be indexable by search engines and comply with SEO guidelines. Regular website maintenance will ensure that your new and old pages align with ever-evolving organic search best practices and algorithm changes and are increasing search results.

9. Speed up your website

A fast website is a must. Most visitors abandon a website after just a few seconds of loading time. Moreover, page loading speed is essential for search engine ranking – Google directs traffic to websites that offer a fast mobile browsing experience. If your website needs to be faster, it will affect your bottom line. Meet your visitors’ expectations by ensuring your site is interactive within five seconds. Use a performance monitoring tool to monitor and track your progress toward this goal.

Website maintenance services – a detailed analysis

One of the biggest threats to websites that are poorly maintained is security. Malware on a website can cause irreparable damage, and in the worst cases, such websites can even be taken offline. However, not only is your website at risk, but a malware-infested website also poses a potential danger to visitors. A website maintenance company checks the website and suggests appropriate changes and updates. Whether it’s a simple or complex website, you must take a hard look at the complexities involved and develop website maintenance plans that are beneficial for websites. Here is a short list of tasks to include in your website maintenance services for a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly cycle.

1. Website maintenance to be done weekly

A website maintenance company should ideally complete the following tasks in a week:
  • Check that all pages on your website are loading smoothly and without errors. Fix any problems that may arise.
  • Back up your website data to ensure you have saved your previous version of the website in case there are any significant issues.
  • Update the core of your website and software. Also, update plugins to take advantage of the latest features and security protocols.
  • Delete spam comments from your website’s pages and blogs. You can use spam tools for this purpose.
  • Check if all the forms on your websites are working correctly and without any problems, especially after updating the forms.
  • Check if there are links on the pages of your website that need to be fixed. If so, remove them or redirect traffic to up-to-date pages.
  • Scan the pages of your website for 404 errors. Fix these errors or redirect them.
  • Update your existing content or write blog posts to increase traffic to your site and engage your audience.

2. Monthly website maintenance

A website maintenance company should ideally cover the following tasks in a month:
  • Check the loading speed of your website pages. Look for things that are slowing them down.
  • Your website can generate tons of cached data. Removing this data can significantly improve the overall speed of your website.
  • Run a security scan on your website to locate any potential security threats. If you find anything unusual, take action immediately.
  • Analyze the previous month’s statistics on your website.
  • The more content you publish on your website, the better it is for increasing traffic.
  • Therefore, check if there are blog posts that you can update.

3. Website maintenance is to be done quarterly

A website maintenance company should do the following tasks every quarter:
  • Carefully review the structure and design of your website to see if there is anything you can improve.
  • If the site’s design and structure need too much work, consider revamping your site.
  • Test all the forms, CTAs (calls-to-action), and popups on your website. Ensure that these customer-facing elements are responsive and don’t crash during the interaction.
  • Check that you can update all graphics and images on your website.
  • Try to optimize images and videos on your website to improve loading speeds.
  • Test your website on all devices and popular browsers to see if everything displays as designed.
  • Improve your search engine optimization and check if the meta titles and descriptions are still as effective. If not, update them.
  • Take a look at your advertising and marketing campaigns. Make necessary improvements and updates.
  • Thoroughly review your workload. That will help you figure out if there are processes you can automate.
  • Check the state of your backup by restoring the previous version of your website.

4. website maintenance to be performed annually

A website maintenance company should perform the following tasks annually:
  • Update all references on your website pages to the current year.
  • Check each page of your website for grammatical problems, irrelevance, or typos. If there are problems, fix them.
  • Make sure your website’s domain name has been renewed.
  • If any website design updates are due, have them done.
  • Check the active email addresses to see if there is an excess of unnecessary data that could be deleted.
  • Please review the most popular blog articles on your site and update them with new and fresh content.

A website maintenance plan is a never-ending process

As new tools are introduced daily to make website development more convenient, more and more websites are being created. Even though creating websites with many pages has become more accessible, keeping each page in a pristine condition is still difficult. You must pay attention to regular website maintenance and updates to protect your website. As mentioned earlier, regular website maintenance is an integral part of your business that grows independently. Therefore, you must take care of your website maintenance.

Why is regular maintenance necessary for your website?

Startups with new websites usually have an excess of things to take care of and work on. With so much to do, website maintenance, an important task, should be addressed. That has several disadvantages. Here are some reasons why maintaining a healthy and active website is essential for your business.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO services allow users to be ranked via the SERPs. The reason brands and businesses create websites in the first place is to attract more potential customers and viewers. You will lose your audience if your website is not regularly updated with fresh content. That is because Google ranks the websites with the most relevant and up-to-date content in its search results. Even worse, if your website’s content is not updated for an extended period, there is a risk that Google will remove your website from the index altogether. Therefore, it is essential to regularly update your website with fresh content, keywords, and news to strengthen your SEO and drive more visitors.

Maintaining customer attraction

Retaining customers is just as important as driving traffic to your website. If the existing audience can’t find what they’re looking for on your website, i.e., up-to-date information and news, there’s a good chance they’ll migrate to other websites to satisfy their needs. To maintain your site’s appeal, keep your site’s content free of typos and grammatical errors and update it regularly with the latest information.

Security from cyber attacks and malware

Security from malware and cyberattacks is the most important reason why regular maintenance of your website should be your priority. Web server security is fundamental because hackers always look for a way to invade privacy. If your website is vulnerable to security threats, you are putting your website at risk and putting valuable customer data at risk that could be used for unethical purposes. Especially websites built on platforms like WordPress are at a higher risk of security threats. It is essential to update WordPress plugins regularly as they are the main reason WordPress websites attract hackers. Google takes down hundreds of websites daily due to malware infections, and you certainly don’t want yours to be one of them. Therefore, you must maintain and update your website regularly to protect it from security threats.

The corporate image of your brand

Saas websites are one of the most widespread trends that allow users to get money from the audience organically. Creating websites with well-designed structures and user interfaces has become easier than ever, so people’s expectations of professional websites from professional brands have increased. If your website doesn’t offer a professional look and feel, you’re technically scaring away your potential customers. Besides, no one likes a website full of bugs, errors, and slow loading times. Customers usually look for Saas’s websites to generate revenue for the brand. On the other hand, if your website loads faster and has no errors, you will likely retain most of your potential customers and attract more audience. Therefore, regular website maintenance has a significant impact on your business image.

Keeping up with the latest design and technology trends

If you maintain your website regularly, you’ll likely be an early adopter of the latest technology trends for your website. These trends can help the backend of your website run more smoothly. If you update it regularly, you can also take advantage of the latest features available with the updates. On the other hand, optimize the design of your website to make it look sleek. The better designed your website is, the more likely you are to convince your audience that you are the first choice.

Your peace of mind

Website maintenance can make the difference between success and failure for your business. A website that needs to catch up on maintenance can severely damage your brand reputation or, even worse, cost you a lot of money to get it back up to snuff. In contrast, an up-to-date, well-functioning website without bugs and errors can be valuable. It will compensate you with a higher ROI and peace of mind.

Advantages of outsourcing website maintenance services

Now that you know how much it would cost to maintain a website, you should do it yourself. Even though you can handle these tasks yourself, the process is time-consuming and requires professional expertise. Here are some benefits of outsourcing your website maintenance services.
  1. As mentioned earlier, website maintenance requires professional expertise. Hiring an agency means that qualified professionals will be working on your websites.
  2. Since the professionals will be responsible for the maintenance of your website, you will be able to use your time for your business.
  3. The maintenance package you choose will be based on the needs of your website. You only pay for the services you utilize, which makes this option very cost-effective.

How to determine if you should buy maintenance packages for your website

To determine if you require a website maintenance package, focus on the following critical elements.
  • Complexity or size of the website
  • The goal of the website
  • Amount of customized content
  • Scalability and growth potential of the business
  • The expertise of business owners in website maintenance
  • Relevance to the competition
  • The time you can spend on maintenance
Your website is an online partner for your business. Therefore, it should help you succeed in your industry. You should invest time and effort in maintaining the website. If you need the expertise, consider hiring an agency to maintain and update your website. Contact mywebmaintenance.com if you need a new website or want to upgrade your present one. Aside from website design and construction, we can also assist you with custom web development services, and even more.
We Fix, Host, & Maintain WordPress Websites
At mywebmaintenance.com we provide instant WordPress technical support. We also provide bespoke web hosting & expert management for thousands of WordPress websites. Use us for quick one-time fixes, or partner with us for ongoing WordPress website maintenance. Follow us on Facebook to find out where we are next.

Don’t Get Left Behind: The Benefits of Regular Website Maintenance for Your Business Read More »