I don’t understand why people intentionally hurt other people. I watch the news and simply shake my head at the culture of terror and harm. It’s not something I like to dwell on.
Yet the nature of my work forces me to daily consider protection for my clients. Like many web companies, we love WordPress for is ease of use and great search engine optimization. Unfortunately, so do hackers. A couple of weeks ago, a new virus began moving through the web specifically targetting WordPress websites.
In an effort to provide the highest level of service to you, our great partners, we are now including improved security procedures and functions to every new website. This includes:
- Changing the default User ID from “admin”
- Installation of Password Encryption – This will encrypt the password dynamically each time you login. You will not be able to use your browser to save your login information. We apologize for the inconvenience but it’s a small matter compared to having your website hacked, yes?
- Installation of Login Lockdown – This function will lock down any brute force attacks that occur by locking down the admin area after 5 failed login attempts. The admin area will remain locked for 1 hour for the offending IP address. If for any reason you do get locked out and need in quickly, contact us and we’ll attempt to reset the password or wait the designated hour.
- Installation of back end security software – This software is installed to protect key files that are targeted by hackers.
Yes, it’s extra work but I don’t want you or me to wake up to a website hack. WordPress is a great website solution but requires perpetual vigilance to keep secure.
As a website owner, please be sure to install any updates available as these usually pertain to security. I also recommend you make regular backups of your site so if the unseemly event happens, you’ll be able to restore your website based on the most recent backup.
We’ve all heard it before but it’s true: a picture is worth 1,000 words. While search engines can’t read pictures (that’s an article for another day), your site visitors can be magnetized by them. Or not. Bad pictures have just as many words attached as good pictures.
Here are some low-cost photo resources you may find helpful:
- Flickr. These may or may not be free to use. Be sure to abide by the Creative Commons licensing for the photo you have selected.
- FreeStockPhoto. Not the prettiest website but if you’re not too picky, you may find just what you’re looking for. Just be sure to give credit and abide by the licensing.
- Dreamstime. You’ll buy credits to apply to photo purchases. Depending on the photo and number of credits you have, some photos can cost as low as $ 0.20. Crazy, but true.
- iStockphoto. Like Dreamstime, you’ll need to buy credits to apply to photo purchases. iStockphoto has been around longer so has a bigger selection and their prices are a bit higher, but still extremely reasonable.
Have you ever been to a website that had so much information on it you were lost before you could even get started? I’ve yet to hear a user say “I love cluttered websites”. However, website owners often feel that if they don’t put everything important on the home page, they will lose opportunity. And when I say feel, I mean driven. And when I say driven, I mean obsessed. And when I say obsessed, I mean maniacal. Get the picture? Now you tell me, how many maniacal people make healthy decisions for good communication?
If you’re a website owner, slow down and focus. Pick ONE thing–yes, I said ONE–that you want your site visitor to do as a result of coming to your site. Then drive 80% of your content messaging with that goal in mind. Make it easy for your visitor to do that ONE thing.
That leaves you with 20% of your messaging to address other website goals. It may be hard to believe but you’ll actually get more results by limiting your message.
Think of it this way. You walk into a room with a wall lined with shelves filled with shiny balls. Hidden somewhere in those shelves is the ball that will bring you the most sales. What is the likelihood that people will find the ball easily or perhaps at all? You’ve given them too many shiny balls to chase.
Now, walk into the room again. This time you see the wall lined with shelves but only 3 shiny balls are there, and one of those balls is really huge and has sparkles. Which ball will get the most attention?
Thanks to VideoHive for the photo. They’re a great low-cost resource for stock footage.
You are all excited about your new website, right? You’ll get new customers or members and sit back drinking lemonade as you watch your numbers go up, up, up.
That actually may have been true — fifteen years ago. Today, there are millions of websites out there and more coming every day (like yours). The more people use the internet, the easier it is for them to find information but the harder it is for them to find you. And once they find you, what do you offer that helps you stand out from the million others?
Here are some important strategies you can use to get results:
- You will need to have multiple ways of getting people to your website. Use online resources, print, web-only offers, social media, and promotions that drive people to your website.
- Let your message be crystal clear. Don’t make your site visitor work to figure out who you are and what you do.
- Drop the ego. It’s not about you — it’s about the people coming to your website. They aren’t nearly as interested in hearing how many awards you’ve won or how your sales are increasing. They come to your website with one burning question: how are you going to help them?
- Keep your content up-to-date. If you have outdated content on your site, you will be sending the wrong message. If you are a sole proprietor or have a small volunteer staff, it can feel hard to find time to update your site but dated content tells your site visitor you aren’t really there. Think of it like money being taken out of your bank account each time someone leaves your site because it’s dusty and ignored. If you are ignoring your website, so will they.