Help keep your website secure and ready to service your customers by following these three steps. These are just a few basic measures we should keep in mind because it’s easy to become complacent.
Following these steps doesn’t guarantee there will never be any problems, but can significantly reduce the likelihood things going wrong. The last tip is a free, yet often neglected way to identify problems
For WordPress websites especially, plugins have been a game changer. Whatever functionality you needed for your website design, you could achieve without diving into your site’s code by installing a simple plugin. Because of that, plugins and WordPress itself became really popular.
Unfortunately, plugins can be a weak link in your armour. Often times, a theme will automatically update itself whenever a major update comes along. You may not want to update a plugin immediately and instead wait a short while to ensure the new version isn’t a dud.
This can lead to serious issues if not monitored closely. If your plugins aren’t kept up-to-date, hackers can use them to make changes to your website such as adding malicious code or making it crash.
There have even been plugins designed to improve the SEO of its creator by adding links from your website to their website. That’s not hacking a site, but if a developer were to use their plugin as a back door to allow them to add any random links they wanted, that definitely would not be cool.
If you want to keep your website secure, update your plugins manually or set them to automatically update if the option is available and you’re confident it won’t break your site.
If you’re running WordPress, you might have a theme that’s been hacked because it isn’t kept up-to-date. Even worse, a theme that was created for the purpose of taking over your website.
Make sure you’re a genuine version of your theme and that all extra files or plugins it requires and installs to work have been updated.
Check Hosting Files
Though there are many great website hosts out there, sometimes they can be vulnerable to attack. One reason may be they’re running an old version of php. Running and old version of php can be a problem for websites running CMS like WordPress, Magento etc. Often, the server starts off on the most up-to-date version of php, but they don’t update it for you automatically. This is fair enough as changing php version can cause things to break. It’s up to you to make sure your server is running the most up-to-date version of php that your website and associated applications can handle to improve security.
Often with a WordPress website, you might find extra files on the server that shouldn’t be there. There could be code injected into some of the files WordPress needs to run securely. If you take a look at those files from time-to-time, it can be easier to keep your website secure because you may be able to spot anything suspicious before it becomes a real problem for you.
If your site isn’t running WordPress, the advice remains almost the same. Keep an eye out for seemingly random folders on your server.
Google Search Console
This free tool is Google’s own SEO health check-up tool for your website. If you aren’t using it already, start today. Google Search Console (GSC) is a great SEO tool. Why? Because it tells you exactly what Google thinks is wrong with your website, pointing you in the right direction to fix it.
Specifically to help keep your website secure, GSC will alert you if anything has gone wrong. Look at GSC’s reports on the pages you have indexed on Google and you should see about the same number of pages you have on your website. If it’s a lot more, there could be an indexing issue, or you might have a more serious problem. Click into the report and take a look at the pages listed.
If the pages include titles you don’t recognise, especially for blue pills, steroids, drugs, or gambling terms, you’re in trouble. By looking at the pages that have been created, you’ll be able to understand how they’ve targeted your website and possibly where to start looking for a solution on your own website.
On the other hand, with WordPress, you might get a bunch of pages on your domain like this: “/?s=” and then a load of dodgy terms. After checking your hosting files as suggested above, if you don’t find any files that shouldn’t be there, you might be a victim of a failed hack attempt. It might also be a seriously negative SEO campaign to ruin your reputation and rankings in search.
Not strictly a proactive measure, GSC is still super useful and you should connect it to your site right away.
Hire a Web Producer to take care of all those tasks by taking advantage of our cost effective website management solution that frees up your time to concentrate on actually running your business. More Than Venice will always be on had to fix issues that arise while you carry on with your day.