Whilst, when done properly websites seem simple and easy to use, under the hood, there is a mess of machinery working hard to make sure everything runs smoothly. Just like a car, your website will need a little work sometimes. Additionally, if you wait for complete engine failure, a simple fix can end up costing thousands!
So what is it that you need to maintain?
If you have a website that has a number of plugins or your software is simply outdated then your website is at the greatest risk. The longer a piece of software is around, the more time malicious individuals have to learn about it and how to compromise it. Hence, each time an issue is found it is shortly resolved with an update. When you are a few updates behind, your site is almost certainly no longer secure and should you be targeted will be easy to break into. In fact, 86% of hacked WordPress websites contained outdated plugins or themes.
What if you don't have sensitive information on your website?
Hackers target websites for numerous reasons, one, of course, is to collect sensitive information. Other reasons may be a competitor wanting to cause your website to crash, or hackers wanting to install scam software on your site. Hence, your site crashing will inevitably result in customers being unable to purchase your product or service, whilst scams are simply a bad look and your website will be penalised by search engines when scams are detected as a part of your website.
You might not know if your site is infected with malware.
Whilst, most of the time malware can be quite simple, even the simplest forms have measures to protect it from being identified by site owners. For example, with a single line of code, a scammer can ensure that malware is never presented to someone on a network where the admin of a site has been logged in. Hence, you could load your site a thousand times and never see the malicious message appear.
How can you maintain your website?
The first and simplest step you can take is to ensure that all your plugins are up to date. This should be done individually to test that the update of the plugin is compatible with your website. This will ensure that not only you have the latest (faster/most effective) version of a plugin, but that you also have the added security that comes with each update.
Make sure all your broken pages redirect to the relevant page. This is another issue that can negatively impact your business. When customers browse your site and are met with an error 404 page doesn't exist, they are likely to stop browsing your website. Hence, ensure that when you remove a page you redirect that page to the most relevant page that does exist, and if you have any links on your site to that page, remove them.
Test browser compatibility. Ensuring your website is compatible with the latest versions of all browsers is also vital. No matter what browser your user chooses they need to be able to view your site. If your site is particularly old, it will also be worth checking if your website is mobile compatible given that mobile accounts for around half of internet traffic worldwide today.
How you can be proactive.
- Make sure you are regularly changing your passwords.
- Ensure every link on your website is working.
- Ensure you are cautious when sharing your administrator details.
- Regularly test that your contact forms are working.
- Check file sizes and types to ensure they are up to date and appropriate.
- Check your website across different devices.
- Check your website across common browsers.
If you follow these points, you will identify issues with your site more effectively and hence, ensure that your website is always a pleasure to use.
If you need help with your website feel free to reach out to our skilled team through our contact form.