Is Your Website Secure? Should it be?

Anyone who has used a secure shopping cart since 1995 has used a secure connection. I built my first shopping cart in 1996 and at that time we would only secure the actual order so that the “sensitive” payment information was encrypted.

The big move in the last 2 years especially is to transition the entire web to the https protocol so that all websites are fully secure.

Google started saying last year that they will eventually give secure sites prominence in search results. This includes labeling sites that have not made the move as “non secured” in the search results which would very likely give a potential site visitor pause.

For that reason alone now is definitely the time to secure your site. There are other benefits but the main driver to do this now is the possibility that you will become invisible in search engines if you don’t.

If you need a host that is capable in this area while offering stellar support along the way, I highly recommend Site Ground.

If you are looking for someone to manage the hosting for you, click here for a little about my offering in that area.

 

Web Site Hosting for Dummies

You’ve reserved your domain name. Your concept is well thought-out, you’re ready to share something!

You know that someone can help you to design a site that delivers the function and results you’ve envisioned, but you may not be clear on what the hosting part involves.

In it’s simplest terms- you’ve reserved your domain name at a registrar, you’ve designed your site per your vision, now it’s time to share it with the world. That’s when you need a web host which is a computer that is specifically configured to house and display websites.

There are many players in the web hosting space and a wide range of pricing options offered by them. You don’t have to pay a lot to have good hosting for a simple, single-themed site.

Be careful though. In that myriad of web hosting providers are some bad players and going with one of them could make it impossible for your new business model to get any traction. Hosting is that big of a deal.

I started providing hosting through third party vendors in the mid 90’s and have seen many come and go. That process gave me a good feel for what is really critical in a web host, and why the best one is not always the most expensive one.

You can save yourself both a lot of time and 60% off for a full year of trusted hosting at Site Ground by clicking any hosting link at this site.

Fast, flexible, secure, and reasonable, with excellent support.

 

Do small business websites get hacked?

I talk to small business people all the time and am still a little surprised at how often I hear some version of, “I’m sure no one would be interested in hacking into my small business website, all I do is….”

I get that you are immersed in your business everyday and how you could easily evolve to that position.

While prior to 2016 small businesses were not typically targeted to experience cyber crime, there was a fundamental change in that year.

If you have a website, you are a target for cyber crime.

You may think the service you offer wouldn’t be of much interest to a hacker, and you might be right, but your information is obviously valuable to you, and they know that.

Ransom attacks on small businesses have been on the increase since 2016.

Simple server “probes” are on the increase and have happened to every client that I host. In that case, we’ve blocked them, so there was no damage done.

Having a security team who stays on top of this for you at the web server level is one big reason to go with a trusted third party website host.

So if you used to think like the opening line in this article, now you know differently. Security for your little website is indeed a big deal.

Get 60% off for an entire year of hosting at SiteGround by clicking here .

Is there really a difference between web hosts?

With prices for web hosting ranging from zero to a whole lot more, depending on your needs, it’s okay to ask if there is really a difference between these hosting providers.

It can be hard to tell when you type your site name into a browser and it pulls up fine. Do you really need to care where your site is hosted? Isn’t that just an invisible commodity? Why would you pay one provider $50/month and another $2/month?

When your site is designed poorly, you can probably tell even if you don’t have a flair for design. It’s hard to navigate, it looks unbalanced, maybe it’s just plain ugly. It’s not very intuitive. It doesn’t have a call to action, etc. etc.

When you are hosted cheaply on an over worked server, you may not notice it, but google will. And many of your site visitors will. And the worst part, many would-be site visitors will never see your site and never have the chance to be engaged by it because of the way you are hosted. It’s that important.

Shared hosting, where your site is one of many on a shared server, is fine as long as it is managed appropriately. Site “uptime” and “load speed” are both critical. Check the stats for those when you are evaluating hosting providers. Read the reviews. Not just the top few but several pages of them.

Accessible customer support is key. Make sure your host has it. Caching technology to increase your sites load speed is key. Make sure your host has that too.

If you want a third party marketing person to host your site for you while providing support for the site as well, click here for my offering in that area.

If you want a host that you can trust and work with directly, click here for 60% off for an entire year of hosting at Site Ground.

 

Middle-Market Business Web Hosting Dilemma

It’s an easy choice for the typical one or two person business to opt to go with a third party website host.

That’s not the case for most middle market businesses, especially those with an IT staff and an investment in some infrastructure. There may be an urge to use the resources at hand to handle hosting your own website and that may work fine for some offices, but it’s usually a mistake with hidden costs.

Lets look at the obvious issue first. A web server is a machine that is attached to an open internet line, all the time, in an effort to make the sites it hosts as available as possible. While there are ways to secure that and separate your other parts of the business from being accessed, hackers sometimes find workarounds- it’s one of the things they tend to be really good at. Web servers are a point of interest for everyone from the curiosity seeker to the seasoned, old-school coder with an agenda.

A good website host puts a great deal of effort into security measures, starting with good fundamentals. If you host a site on your own server, you’ll want a person who is intimately familiar with security issues, preferably on your staff.

The second issue relates to the development team, who is it comprised of, and who gives the final sign offs at various stages? You will need your marketing people and your tech people to be in communication as the site is planned and takes shape.

The hidden cost associated with doing this in house is in lost business when the site doesn’t engage it’s audience in a way that generates revenue.  You may not see the revenue going elsewhere, but someone will be getting it.

The worst part is that the site can appear fine while it is a revenue  sieve.

As you know if you’ve read a few of my posts, I’m a fan of Site Ground Web hosting. I’ve wasted years on bad hosts in the past. Don’t do that.

Just give SiteGround a whirl. They’ll take good care of you.

 

When Web Hosting Goes Bad

I’ll tell you exactly who the culprit was towards the end of the story.

I had experienced 5 consecutive years of unparalleled service and very good site hosting performance with this provider with just one exception. That one service glitch had happened in the last year and while it lasted a little less than a day, that’s too long for a business with a website.

So I was looking elsewhere once again for good, reliable, hosting providers, who didn’t charge an arm and a leg, and who provided cutting edge WordPress support.

Timing on the possible server migration kept me at that operations center for one final year. I committed to one last annual contract and that week, the company stopped responding to basic tech “trouble tickets”.
For over 5 years, this company had always replied rapidly (within minutes) to these tickets, now that I was on the much more expensive machine, there seemed to be no reply at all.

My heart sank as important technical issues regarding my clients email accounts could not be quickly resolved. Some simple site updates had to wait.

It took a couple weeks for me to get my first responses, which were all versions of, “We’re very sorry we just switched to this new contact system. Thank you for your patience.”

During that month, I discovered that “chat” was now the best way to get somebody, although they were often unwilling or unable to help.

I also learned that i was basically on my own with this server and that I should start migrating sites off to a new environment as soon as possible.

Site downtime increased before I was able to move everybody. Customer service was a shadow of itself just a year earlier. It was a painful 3 months of pretty much continuous site migration work. My own was the last to go.

But the new home, Site Ground, was offering stellar support in the form of 1 free site migration with each new hosting account, and invaluable answers to WordPress transfer and setup questions.

What a relief to be moved completely away from that former Site5 machine and into the Site Ground network operations center in Chicago.

Get 60% off hosting at SiteGround for an entire year by clicking here.

WordPress Hosting Resources at SiteGround

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Expert WordPress Hosting at SiteGround

SiteGround provides superior WordPress hosting focused on speed, security and customer service. They take care of WordPress sites security with unique server-level customizations, WP auto-updates, and daily backups. They make them faster by regularly upgrading their hardware, offering free CDN with Railgun and developing their SuperCacher that speeds sites up to 100 times! And last but certainly not least, they provide real WordPress help 24/7! Learn more about SiteGround WordPress hosting