As a business owner, it’s important to keep your information and your customer’s information safe. After all, just one small incident could end up costing you valuable time and money. And with reports of large companies being hacked regularly, security is, or should be, on every business owners’ mind.

Unfortunately, there are many ways a virus or malware could find its way onto your website. It can be overwhelming, especially if you’re not familiar with web security. We’ve put together a list of our best tips for website security. For the purpose of this article, we are assuming you are using WordPress, the most popular and fastest growing content management system, as your web hosting platform.

Complete All Updates and Patches

Content Management Systems like WordPress are powerful, yet easy to use. WordPress runs 32% of the entire Internet, including sites such as TED, USA Today, CNN,, TechCrunch, New York Post and more. This makes sites running WordPress, and other content management systems, very popular targets for hackers.

With so many developers creating so many different themes and plugins, it’s likely that a few of them will have security weaknesses. Hackers search out those weaknesses and exploit them to gain access to your website. Thankfully, updates and patches usually contain fixes for known security issues. Updating regularly ensures that your website is protected as well as it can be.

Install Website Security Tools

There are numerous options when it comes to security tools for WordPress, and many of them are completely free. When choosing one, look for an option that regularly scans your entire site for malware, viruses, and trojans and notifies you if there are any issues.

Install a Web Application Firewall

A web application firewall is a server plugin or filter that applies a set of rules to HTTP traffic. These rules help prevent common attacks such as cross-site scripting and SQL injection. In plain terms, a firewall stops viruses from entering your site, eliminating the need for damage control further down the road.

Limit File Uploads

Allowing users to upload files directly to your website can be fun, but it’s a huge security risk. Any file upload, regardless of size, can contain script or code that may infect your website. In order to reduce risk, you should limit the types of files that can be uploaded and regularly scan shared files for malware.

Use PCI Compliance

If you accept digital payment, you must adhere to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), or PCI for short. This set of security standards helps ensure that you and your customers are protected from cyber attacks by providing basic security provisions for your website. If you don’t comply, you may even be prosecuted on the federal level.

Use Strong Passwords

This one should be a given, yet we regularly work with customers that still use simple passwords like “ABC123” or “password.” Hackers are quite adept at figuring those out. A good policy is to always include a variety of numbers, letters and special characters, and then change your password often. At least once every 90 days is recommended.

Keep Everything Backed Up

Last, but certainly not least, backup everything you do. Having a recent backup of your website can save you a world of trouble in the event that something happens. If the worst-case scenario does occur, and your website becomes unusable, you can use a backup to get it up and running quickly again.


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Google factors page speed into its indexing algorithm and the time it takes your website to load can have a significant impact in your search engine ranking results. Ranking better in search engines means more traffic and more conversions for your business. In addition to better search engine optimization, a fast website is better for user experience. It is clear that making your site as fast as possible is important.

How much of an impact does a few seconds have on your site’s performance and search engine placement? Let’s take a look at some recent research. According to Google, the average time it takes for a mobile landing page to load is now more than 22 seconds. The average visitor decides if they want to stay for your page to load within 3 seconds. See an issue there? And while page speed is very important for search engine optimization, it is even more important for customer experience and conversion rate.

Research shows that the chance of a bounce (a visitor leaving your site) increases 32% when the page load time goes from 1 second to just 3 seconds, and a bounce rate of 90% if your site takes 5 seconds to load. If your site takes 10 seconds to load, the chance of your visitor leaving increases to over 120%! Those numbers are alarming and prove that page load time is extremely important for increasing engagement and conversions.

Search engines view better performance as a sign of a healthy website that pleases visitors and they reward faster loading sites with higher search engine rankings.

There are a few simple things you can do to speed up your site and increase search engine visibility. Work on improving your page load speed by eliminating overbearing sliders and videos of possible, optimizing images, compressing code, and loading fewer scripts and external links. You should also leverage browser caching and enable gzip compression. In addition to all of this, it is important to host your site on a fast server that is configured to serve up websites quickly.

If you are struggling with improving your page load speed, getting better search engine placement and improving your website’s conversion rate, let us know. We’ll be glad to help.


Want more tips and how-to articles to help take your business marketing to the next level? Please subscribe to get future editions of our newsletter, “The Edge.” Stuff you need to know, delivered once a month. No SPAM, no bull, unsubscribe at any time. Sign up at