Keeping your website properly secured is a difficult task, but an important one for small business owners! A properly secured and properly hosted website will ensure that your data is protected, your customers’ contact information is secure, and that your Search Engine Optimization is top-notch. No one wants to trust a sketchy website with their most important information and investing in impenetrable cybersecurity will increase the confidence of both your customers and Google in your online presence.
Still, you may know that you need cybersecurity for your website, but you also probably have questions about how to implement it. You’re too busy trying to grow your business to master cybersecurity; you need a trusted partner to guide you through something as difficult as cybersecurity.
Our web designers and web developers sat down and put together the following guide to help you through the web security process. Please note that these recommendations are high-level and applicable to most clients, but your situation may be unique. For a custom-built cybersecurity analysis, reach out to our web development team for some insight.
Read On To Learn More About Keeping Your Website Secure
Website Security Tip 1: Use HTTPS
You may be asking, “What even is HTTPS?” That’s a valid question and an important one to answer if you’re looking to secure your site. To answer it, we need to define HTTP, the precursor of HTTPS.
HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. It’s a system that allows for the transfer of data from a web server to a browser to allow users to interface with the website in question. Essentially, HTTP allows data to flow across the internet and serve pages. In contrast, HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. HTTP data is not encrypted, which means it can be stolen. HTTPS, however, uses an SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate to establish secure connections for the transfer of data. It all can get very technical; just know that you should absolutely use HTTPS for secure website building.
Website Security Tip 2: Invest In A Quality Content Management System (CMS)
A content management system (CMS) is a platform that lets you manage, host, and display your content, which is often stored and displayed on a website. In layman’s terms, a CMS is a foundation upon which multiple brands can build their websites off of and then modify, publish, and distribute their web content.
Since content management systems are such an integral part of the heart of websites, the quality of the system used is one of the most important parts of your web security. A website is only as good as its underlying components and the best cybersecurity measures won’t do anything if the CMS you chose just isn’t up to par.
The good news is that there are multiple great content management systems to utilize for your website. Which one is the best one for cybersecurity? That’s not an easy answer. There are multiple components that go into choosing a CMS and different web designers and web design agencies will have different opinions. At JSL Marketing & Web Design, we choose WordPress, the largest content management system in the world, but that is not the only answer to this question. The most important aspect, however, is that the agency in question can tell you their content management system of record and why they have chosen that platform.
Website Security Tip 3: Add Secure Plugins
There is a myriad of security plugins that can be added to any website to enhance the cybersecurity of the site. These plugins are an added layer of defense on top of the basic and functional cybersecurity offered by some of the other methods listed here. Depending on your unique situation, you might have additional cybersecurity needs and these plugins are a great way to tailor your web security to you.
Some of the more common security plugins include…
- WP Scan
- iThemes Security
- WordFence Security
- Google Authenticator
These are a few of the most common security plugins, but talk to our web development team for a specific use case you have and we’ll try to recommend the perfect plug-in for your unique situation!
Website Security Tip 4: Regularly Backup Your Site
Despite your best efforts, things will go wrong. Hence why it’s so critical to backup your website. An unexpected crash is always stressful, but the ability to reload a recently backed-up version of the site will alleviate a lot of that stress, plus avoid any lost revenue. At a minimum, you want to backup up your site once a week, but biweekly or even daily is better. At JSL Marketing & Web Design, we regularly back up our sites on a daily cadence to ensure that our client sites are properly logged and recorded.
Website Security Tip 5: Train Your Staff On Best Cybersecurity Practices
The above website hosting questions are all well-and-good, but there is still one large and glaring weakness in your cybersecurity: your staff. Ignorance of phishing scams and the reuse of simplistic passwords will weaken the security measures taken above. To counteract this, we recommend having regular training with your staff on your basic web security practices. The cadence needed will vary tremendously with the size of your business and your needs, but once a year is the absolute minimum we would recommend.
Secure Your Website With JSL Marketing & Web Design
While everything listed here is helpful, the best way to protect your website is to incorporate the most up-to-date cybersecurity defenses into your site during your build. The additional layering of web security after the launch of a site will improve security, but designing your new site with web security in mind from the beginning of the site build usually is better. At JSL Marketing & Web Design, we build all of our sites with proven security measures to protect our clients and their information.
- Secure & Reliable Web-Hosting
- WordPress Content Management System
- HTTPS & SSL
- Daily Web Backups
- WordFence Security Plugin To Monitor Site Changes & Aggressive Login Attempts
- Custom Plugin Compatible Templates
- The Latest Coding Standards
- Third-Party Integrations
Your website’s security is important. Entrust that task to a seasoned web agency with proven security credentials to protect your client’s data.