There are many things to consider about building a website. Once it’s built it’s not over. You have a shiny new website, but if you’re not careful it can become a nightmare. How secure your site is depends on the choices you’ve made before, during and after it’s built and published.
1. Choose the Right Platform
There are many different types of website builders, content management systems (CMS), and platforms on which you can build your website. Choose one that is popular, used by most people in your niche, and that has a lot of security options. A good choice is self-hosted WordPress.
2. Pick the Right Web Host
Another issue that often comes into play is the web host. This is where your files will be stored. How safe and secure their servers are is very important. If there are holes so that hackers and scammers can enter into your site, it can ruin your entire business reputation. Choose carefully.
3. Design It Right from the Start
Take the time to understand about security issues before you even start to design your website. What you name the database, the passwords you choose, and the navigation choices all matter.
4. Add a WAF to Your Site
This is known as a web application firewall and can be added to your site to help protect it from a lot of problems. WordPress has numerous plugins that you can use for this added bit of security.
5. Add SSL to Your Site
In order to have a secure sockets layer you’ll need to purchase this from your website hosting service. The SSL ensures that any data passed through webservers and browsers are private. This is essential if you’re going to have a shopping cart on your website or have anyone register for anything.
6. Follow the Recommendations of W3C
The World Wide Web Consortium is an organization that sets standards for websites on an international basis. If you follow their suggestions, your site will be built better than if you don’t, and it will also be more accessible and secure for all.
7. Keep the Site Script Updated Continuously
Any system you install will need to be updated on a regular basis. Usually if you use a system like WordPress, this can be conducted automatically or you can see it in the dashboard. Updating is just a few clicks and keeps your website very secure due to filling in holes that hackers might get into.
8. Use Strong Passwords
Anytime you need a password for email, databases, and getting into a site of any sort, always make it a hard password to crack. The rule of thumb is about 10 figures long, with numbers, symbols, and letters in both upper and lower case that are not easy to guess by a human or a machine. You can use a password generator, for example from LastPass.com.
9. Change the Database Table Prefix
When you install any website files, the database is often given a standard prefix. But you can easily change this prefix in order to make it more random so hackers can’t easily get into your website. For example, WordPress websites put the wp prefix in front of the database, which makes it easy for hackers to figure out.
10. Delete the Installation Folder
In some cases this folder is deleted for you, or you get a prompt to delete it. It’s important that you do delete it because it has all the information for your site within it, and it can be a major security risk to leave it.
11. Find Security Plugins That Work
With most builders there are security apps or plugins that will help make your site even safer and more secure. WordPress has many free and premium plugins that will help you keep your site secure.
12. Always Back It Up
If all else fails, keep more than one secure and regular back-up of your website so that if anything goes wrong you can easily get it back up again as good as new. It’s often a good idea to think of a backup as something you know you are going to need at some point in time so always ensure you have a suitable copy… a word of warning if your hosting company offers a backup service, do make sure you actually access the backup should the hosting company go down and be unavailable.
13. Keep Informed
As a website owner it’s important to keep informed about new technology and threats that may come to affect your business. Alternatively, choose a website developer/designer that you trust and let them handle it all.
Nothing is more important than the security of your website. Your website is your storefront on the net. In some cases it’s your only business place and needs to be protected as much as you can. If you don’t, you’ll risk your site, your customers, and your entire business.