Part 3 Of 3: Website Maintenance

Keeping your website updated is important but time consuming. Unlike the old days, website development is not a “one and done” deal. Websites, like alarm panels, need software updates to continue running smoothly, and error free.

Even if you’re not using the website to generate leads, you still need to consider software updates, website hosting, and finally…website maintenance. Updates to plugins and themes usually require manual updates once you’ve logged into your website dashboard. If you own multiple websites, running updates is even more time-consuming because you have to log in to each site. Running updates is often an overlooked task. Updates need to be performed as soon as updates are released, but you may not get notified when newer versions are released.

Your website maintenance impacts your website’s security. As mentioned in a previous article, keeping your website site updated – particularly with WordPress – has a big impact on the security of your site.

Running the latest version of WordPress core, as well as your plugins and themes, means your site is not at risk of known security vulnerabilities.

What You Can Do

The DIY approach: Learn the basics of updating your website on your own. Obviously, this is a time consuming task but it can be done. Once or twice per month, login to your website admin panel and check for new core or plugin software updates and apply them (after taking a backup of course!) Turn on any email notifications in your website dashboard to alert you of critical software patches that need to be applied right away. Hopefully, this doesn’t happen during an important installation.

Hire a CIO: A very expensive option and usually cost prohibitive  for smaller operations, when you consider salary and other compensation.

Hire a trusted web agency: By far the most cost effective for small and large operations. Most web firms will charge a flat monthly fee for website updates, backups and installing security protocols. Hourly fees run anywhere from $50/hr to $125/hr on the high end. Most web agencies fall somewhere in the middle. When you consider the time lost from your business for performing these tasks yourself, and the high cost of hiring an IT person – the choice to hire a web firm becomes obvious.

So Where Would You Find Such A Reliable, Trusted Web Firm?

Website developers can be found everywhere in your local community. Even though they are local, most web developers will not come to your office, and prefer to do business over email and the phone – especially for as-needed, small projects. Don’t take this personally – it’s like doing a truck roll to change a smoke detector.

If regular, in-person office visits are important to you then try to find a web developer from your local chamber of commerce. Look for an individual or small firm with good references, who will take the time to understand your security business, and can even possibly help you with adding new pages to the website as your business grows and products change. As always, if you have questions or need help, feel free to get in touch with Ignite RMR: (877) 655-3779 or Contact Us via our web form.

Part 2 Of 3: Website Security

Last week, we talked about the importance of regularly backing up your website so that you don’t lose it in the case of a hack, or server failure.  In this second article of a 3 part series, we explore what makes small business websites – even security websites –  so vulnerable to attack, and what you can do about it.

The Problem With Website Security…

Small business websites (particularly WordPress) have increasingly become a target for hackers and bots because vulnerabilities can be easily exploited. There is nothing inherently wrong with WordPress. Like the Windows OS, it is the most widely used CMS (content management system) in the world.

Windows OS releases hundreds of security of updates every month and if you don’t apply them automatically or at least often manually, your PC will end up getting infected. It works the same way with your website.

Common types of attacks include:

▪ Brute Force Attacks (hackers or programs rapidly hitting your login screen with random passwords and usernames in an attempt to login)
▪ SQL Injection (SQLi)
▪ Cross Site Scripting (XSS)
▪ Cross-site Request Forgery (CSRF)
▪ File Inclusion Vulnerabilities (LFI and FRI)
▪ Directory Traversal

If all of that is gibberish to you, don’t worry. Your website’s vulnerability can be minimized, but you must implement security best practices.

You Can Drastically Improve Your Website Security With These Tips:

▪ Choose a quality web hosting company. Pro tip: big brand names don’t necessarily mean better. As an alarm company – we know you get this! Do some research, ask for recommendations or partner with a reputable security marketing companywho can provide this service.
▪ Set proper permissions for each user.
▪ Use only quality and trusted software plugins that are updated regularly.
▪ Remove weak logins and enforce strong passwords.
▪ Enable two-factor authentication when practical.
▪ Keep the core software, plugins and themes updated to latest versions at all times.

Website Security Also Depends On Your Website Backup Strategy.

A crucial part of website security is having a solid backup strategy. If your website gets hacked or infected with malware, you need to be able to restore your site to a version before it was compromised.

Website Security Depends On Regular Maintenance.

Keeping the website core software updated, as well as your plugins and themes, is an important part of keeping your site safe. Why? The website core software team and authors of plugins and themes often push fixes to security vulnerabilities in new version releases, so running the latest version of anything installed on your site is extremely important.

At Ignite RMR, we take the security of our client websites extremely seriously. Our development team provides daily and weekly backups, software updates, and employs the best security software to keep your website running smooth, day in and day out. If you need help developing a new website, or just need some friendly advice, contact us today. We’re dedicated to the security industry and are here to help!

Part 1 Of 3: Website Backups

Your security company website is important and a strategy for protecting your online work is critical. That’s where backups, security & maintenance come in. By being proactive in each area, you can rest easy knowing your security website won’t be lost forever in the event of a server crash, a security breach or user error. Backups, security & maintenance work together to create a three pronged solution for keeping your alarm website safe and running smoothly. In this 3 part series, we’ll cover these areas in detail: Website backups, security, and maintenance. 

The Problem With Most Website Backups

Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal are free and awesome, but they don’t do backups for you. So, it’s on you, the website owner, to make sure your site is backed up. The server that runs your site is just like your computer’s hard drive—if it crashes without a backup, your files will be unrecoverable and lost forever.

Backups need to happen frequently to capture the latest version of your site. Intervals between backups depend on how often you make changes and add new content to your site, and should run frequently enough to minimize any data loss.

Backups made through your host are frequently unreliable and may be difficult to access. Many hosts offer backup features with your hosting plan, but you may not have any control over how often backups run or be able to download your backup files. Also, if you need to restore your site from a backup, you’ll have to wait on hosting support to help complete the process, which could mean hours or days of downtime.

Backups need to be stored safely off-site, in a different location than the server running your site. An important component of a backup strategy is off-site storage of your backup files. If your backups are stored on the same server as your site, you’ll lose your backups along with your site if your server fails or if your site gets compromised.

A backup must include your website database and all the files in your installation. If you’re running a backup plugin, make sure the plugin can handle backing up your current version of the CMS, all the files in your media library, and your theme and plugin files. A database backup doesn’t cover these critical files.

A backup solution also needs to include the ability to restore. What good is a backup if you can’t do anything with it? A backup solution must include the ability to quickly and easily restore your files with little downtime.

Can You Or Your Website Agency Get Your Website Back Up In Minutes In The Event Of An Emergency?

Ignite RMR is a leading provider of digital marketing solutions for Dealers, Integrators, Alarm Companies & Tech Providers nationwide. Our hosted website clients include the SDM 100 as well as local & regional security companies. Our services include  daily and on demand backups of our client websites. Contact us today for a complimentary digital marketing consultation.