3 Ways to keep your website working

internet2Imagine you have had a great new website developed. What can you do to ensure it stays up and running, is not compromised/hacked and continues to keep showing up in Google and other search engines?

Here are 3 simple tips:

1. Keep software and components/plugins up to date

Your website most likely runs on some software, perhaps Joomla, WordPress or something similar. This software is only secure if it is kept up to date. You’ll find keeping your website software up to date fairly simple these days. Simply login to the administration section and update any components that are out of date.

This will possibly reduce the likelihood of your website being compromised by 95% or more.

2. Enable SSL/HTTPS

We have written about this before, but some of our valued clients are still not sure how important it is. Unless your website is running via SSL/HTTPS (green padlock in the browser when you visit) you are at risk of being penalised by search engines. Read more about this here: Do you SSL/HTTPS? You should. Find out why

3. Host with XYZulu Web Hosting

At XYZulu Web Hosting we run up to date server software and even allow you to choose, for example, the version of php you want to run. See more on this here: Does your web host offer multiple versions of php?

The server that hosts your website needs to be kept up to date. Failure to do this could be similar to rarely updating your own computer software which will greatly increase the risk of having information stolen, or worse still, your computer being hijacked and used to attack others.

Don’t take the risk

While you may not give internet and website security the highest priority, taking these 3 simple steps will GREATLY reduce the risk of your website being compromised and/or losing credibility with your own customers.

We are here to help and are ready to answer your questions related to website security, please leave your comments below.

Not another update

Apple store updateYou open up your phone/tablet/computer in the morning and notice the familiar “update available” notification. Should you just put off the update to another time? Or do you worry that if you update, it may create other issues for you? Read on for the important things you should consider.

The short answer is YES, you should update asap. However, more explanation is needed due to the myths about updates floating around.

Why are updates even released?

Most updates are going to address one of two things. 1. Add new features, or 2. Patch a security issue. While you may not be that excited about new features (oh no, something else to learn), security updates are something you should be interested in. Believe me, each day I see multiple websites and users having their accounts and data compromised due to not installing security updates. Please, install your app updates asap.

What about this notion that updates slow down your computer, phone etc?

While it’s true that some updates may introduce other issues (new problems), usually they have been tested prior to release and are likely to actually provide far more benefits to you (security especially) than the risks of not installing them. As a general rule, provided you keep up with updates, you should be less likely to encounter issues such as this. Again, it’s still much more risky not installing an update.

Further to this. Both app/program developers as well as the system software vendors like Apple, Microsoft, Google and many others will not continue to support all devices indefinitely. This means that in around 3 or 4 years your device will stop receiving updates. Until this happens, you should continue to update your device.

A balanced suggestion

As a suggestion if you are reluctant or worried about updates, especially system updates, why not just wait a few days (for system updates) to see if any major issues are reported. Even if they are, usually within 24hrs a replacement update would be pushed out.

.. and finally

Provided you have a backup system in place (subject for another blog post sometime) you need not be “scared” about updates, even system updates. If the worst does happen (and it hardly ever does) you’ll be able to roll back your computer/phone to a time before the update and then install it, or the next one again.