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How WordPress web development specialists protect websites from hackers

Are you’re in the market for a WordPress web development specialist? Well, before you select a website designer for your website, it’s a sensible idea to ask them about cyber crimes and specifically, how they will protect your website from being hacked.

Is cyber crime really a threat to small business websites?

Cyber crime is a growing industry, affecting small business websites just as much as large multi-national sites. It has even been estimated that by 2021, we will have spent $1 trillion USD globally on cyber security. Hackers send our malicious programming code (scripts) which scour the internet for sites with security vulnerabilities, and automatically hack them. This means small business websites are often some of the most vulnerable since they don’t have the website budget that larger organisations do.

The last thing you want is to have your new website hacked, all because the WordPress web development team you hired didn’t have a specific plan to protect your website from threats. The best web design firms will recognise this problem and openly discuss how they will protect your site from opportunistic hacking.

Look beyond website aesthetics

While it pays to find the best web agency for your new website based on how their folio of websites look and function, you also need to find one that has a plan to prevent your site from being hacked.

At GO Creative, we have a sensible and practical plan that we put in place for all of our websites, aimed at minimising the probability that hackers can compromise the website. The following are some of the steps we can put in place to prevent your website from being hacked:

  • Configure your hosting account and install the highest level security plugins.
  • Lock down specific files from being accessed or edited by unauthorised visitors.
  • Automatically block visitors who access the website too frequently to be considered legitimate users.
  • Set up monitoring software to receive notifications about suspicious activity on the website.
  • Set up third party security tools to block attacks on the fly.
  • Ensure that only very strong usernames and passwords are used on all accounts.
  • Enable two-factor authentication (e.g. receive a code on your phone to be able to log in).
  • In extreme cases we can block specific addresses of computers or networks which look suspicious.

There is much more that a good WordPress web development team can do to protect your website, and we’ll discuss these with you during the design stage of your new website.

If you’re looking for a website designer who can not only give you a high-quality website focused on high conversions, but also treats cyber security as a priority, call us on 07 3333 2932 or get an instant quote online.

Free SSL certificates now available for all web hosting clients

Great news! Apart from our professional web design services, if you’re hosting your website with GO Creative, you can now make use of a FREE website security certificate (known as SSL).

What is SSL?

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a technology which encrypts data being sent to/from your website, such as when a customer enters their credit card details, or completes an online form with sensitive information. It can also help to increase online sales through improved website visitor confidence/trust, and improve your ranking in search engines such as Google.

Secure websites are identified in your browser address bar, usually by a green padlock, the word “Secure”, or seeing “HTTPS” at the start of the website address.

What if I already have an SSL certificate?

Some websites, such as many online stores, legally require an SSL certificate. If you already have an SSL certificate installed on your website, you’ll likely be paying an annual renewal fee to us, or another SSL vendor. It’s important to note that you should continue to use this paid SSL certificate, because it includes a warranty to protect your business.

The warranty cover for paid SSL certificates ranges from $250,000 through to millions of dollars. Free SSL certificates have no warranty, so if you do legally require an SSL certificate, you should continue with the paid option to ensure your business is covered.

If you’re considering switching from a paid to free certificate, please contact us first to ensure you’re meeting your legal obligations.

What do I need to do now?

As part of our web design services in Brisbane, the free certificate is automatically enabled for all of our web hosting plans, and renews automatically every few months. However, your website needs to be configured to make use of it. This is best left to your web developer, as it’s not as simple as just changing a setting or two.

We can adjust all of your website settings for a one time fee of $165 per WordPress website (fees vary for other platforms). Please contact us if you’d like us to handle this for you or to learn more about our web design services.

What is SSL and can my Australian web hosting company help me?

If you need a a security certificate (“SSL”) for your website or app, most Australian web hosting companies should be able to provide this. However, let’s take a look at SSL first, so you can decide if you need a certificate for your website.

SSL stands for “Secure Sockets Layer” and is the current security technology used to connect your customer’s browser with your web server. They are essential for any website that collects personal data from customers and are vital for websites that use payment gateways (i.e. membership sites, ecommerce sites, and finance application forms).

Essentially, an SSL certificate changes the http:// at the beginning of your URL to https://. Your Australian web hosting company can sell you an SSL certificate and quite often they will activate it for you on your website as well.

Advantages of an SSL certificate for your business

If you don’t collect sensitive information via your website, then you don’t necessarily need an SSL certificate. Although there are rumours that Google will start to use these in their ranking algorithms next year, and some believe that this is already the case. In one way it makes sense to have an SSL certificate, even if you don’t collect sensitive information, because it lends you credibility and proves that your website is legitimate. It proves that you are who you say you are, because you have to go through a process to verify your identity before you can use an SSL certificate on your website.

Disadvantages of an SSL certificate for your business

When your web hosting company has activated your SSL certificate, if this is a brand new website with a new domain name, then you can go ahead and create your website as usual.

The problem is with existing sites, because you now have two websites – one that starts with http:// and one with https://. This is where you need an Australian web hosting company that also offers web development skills, because you have to remap your old website to the new website or else all of the backlinks and rankings belong to your old site. Your https:// website is a brand new website with no rankings in Google at all.

Want to get set up with SSL?

To register an SSL certificate at affordable prices, or for help redesigning and remapping your old website to the new URL, visit our instant quote page.

 

 

 

How we secure and backup our client’s websites

The number one concern of our clients is keeping their websites safely secure and backed up. That’s why we have a long list of actions that we take to ensure that every website we develop or host for our clients, is rock solid and protected against hackers.

Of course, there is always one hacker who can get around any security protocol and that’s why we provide a first rate backup service. When your site is backed up properly, we can have your site up and running again in no time.

The problem is that so many business owners don’t backup their websites and have no recourse when their site is hacked. Many will lose their entire site and have to start over again from scratch, losing money and clients in the process.

So how do we secure your website?

  1. Daily and weekly server backups: With regular backups at the server level your website can be up and running again very quickly.
  2. Security plugins installed in websites: These stop hackers at the front gate of your website and prevent hackers gaining forced entry into your website.
  3. Server antivirus, antispam and other security features: Stopping these problems at the server level gives your site added protection from both spammers and viruses and prevents damage to the integrity of your website.
  4. Unique and secure passwords on hosting accounts: We create passwords that are very difficult to hack even with the malicious software that is so prevalent today.
  5. Real-time monitoring that notify us when errors occur: If anything potentially damaging does happen on your site, we are aware the instant it occurs and can immediately prevent or minimise potential problems.
  6. Regular software and security updates: We provide a regular maintenance service and on-the-spot fixes of newly discovered potential security breaches.
  7. Automatic website software upgrades: Not all websites require this service, as many do not use software applications on their website.
  8. Installation of SSL security certificates: These are required by online stores and any site that processes sensitive information, to ensure that customer’s details are kept secure.
  9. Office 365 password updates: If you use this software, we make sure that email passwords are periodically changed and updated for additional security.
  10. Training for clients: We provide user training and advice on security protocols and best practices.
  11. Capital IT Solutions: We work with our IT partner, Capital IT Solutions to install on-site hardware and software security solutions to keep your website safe and secure.

For more information on secure website design in Brisbane, as well as our hosting and backup services, call GO Creative on (07) 3333 2932 or request a free quote online.

How to reduce risk in online sales

When clients ask us how they can increase their online sales, we tell them the number one priority is to make customers feel safe when entering their details online. Not feeling that their contact details or banking information is kept secure by a website and can be stolen by hackers, is the main reason many people do not shop online.

So here are a few strategies that will reassure your customers and help them feel more confident about ordering online.

Display your contact details prominently on your website

Customers feel safe when they can see your contacts details on your web pages. So to reassure your customers that you are a real business, at the very least, include your business address and phone number in the sidebar or footer.

Invest in SSL and SET protocols

It is vital that you invest in an SSL certificate and display this prominently on your web pages. This certificate encrypts data and protects the integrity of data in emails, web browsers, internet faxes and instant messaging. SET on the other hand, is vital if you accept online payments, because it secures online financial transactions, not just private information.

Displaying your SSL and SET logos and letting customers know that their banking details and private information is safe and secure will reduce their apprehension about shopping on your website.

Make it easy at checkout

Display all of the different payment methods you accept (including PayPal is a sensible move) and have a streamlined and user-friendly checkout process. This means that users can check their purchases before finalising the sale and that there are no hidden costs that pop up when they checkout. Also, free shipping is a big winner if you want to increase your online sales.

With these simple changes, you will reduce the customer’s perceived risk in online shopping and increase the return on your investment.

For information on SSL certificates for your website request a free quote online.