As the new year approaches it’s a good time to start making plans for the months ahead. As a website owner, there are lots of positive things you can do throughout the year to improve your site and making new year’s resolutions is a good way to keep your mind focused on what you want to achieve. To help, here are some of the resolutions we think are worth considering.
1. Clean out the clutter
Just like homes and offices, websites, too, get filled with clutter that slows them down, uses precious storage space and stops them from performing as well. It’s a good idea to start the year with a backend clean out. You can get off to a good start by deleting all those old plugins and themes that you no longer use. This will help speed up your site and reduce the number of vulnerabilities you have. Additionally, delete unwanted content and the numerous old versions of existing content that have been stored when you update a page or post – doing this will give you more storage space.
2. Finally get that SSL Certificate
SSL certificates are essential for websites today. They protect you and your users’ by encrypting information, like banking details; they provide your site with the much-needed padlock icon, so visitors know your site is secure, and they can help your website rank better in search engine results. What’s more, you can even get them for free: many of our plans come with free Let’s Encrypt SSLs included. And if a Let’s Encrypt certificate doesn’t offer the level of protection your business needs, we have more secure SSL certificates available, too.
3. Update the look of your website
Spring is a boom time for DIY stores as everyone decides it’s time to give their homes a bit of a freshen up. It’s also a great time of year to do the same for your website. While you can go the whole hog and change your theme completely, you can also make less dramatic changes that are quick and simple to do but which can have a real impact on bringing your site up to date. Changing the layout, fonts and colours, updating images, etc., can all give your site a modern, revamped look. Importantly, make sure any changes work well on both desktop and mobile versions.
4. Start making regular backups
In reality, making regular backups of your website is an insurance policy that you cannot afford to be without. If you lose your website data, whether through hacking, malware, ransomware, hardware failure or human error, having a recent backup allows you to restore your entire website quickly and without hassle. Without backups, you could be in a position that puts your entire business at risk.
At eukhost, some of our plans come with free daily backups included. We also have a remote backup solution where, for continuous protection, you can schedule backups as frequently as you need them, encrypt them for security and check them for integrity to ensure they are not corrupted and will work if needed.
5. Two-factor authentication
Regardless of how strong your passwords are, the sophisticated tools used by today’s cybercriminals means they can be cracked. To keep your site secure, you need an additional layer of authentication. The most effective way to do this is to implement two-factor authentication. This means that aside from a username and password, you’ll also need to input a code sent to your phone in order to log in. It keeps hackers out as they will also need your phone with them if they are to break in. Need help setting two-factor authentication up? Read our post: How to enable two-factor authentication (2FA).
6. Automate security updates
Old software poses one of the biggest threats to websites as it often contains vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. Hackers are also able to search the internet using bots to discover which websites have out of date software so they can target them. Updating plugins quickly as soon as a new version or security patch is released is vital to prevent a cyberattack. It is, however, a chore that a lot of website owners aren’t very good at keeping up with. The solution? If you use a CMS website, like WordPress, then the Patchman Website Security Tool is the answer. Not only does it automate updates; it can also quarantine infections.
7. Sort out your SEO
SEO is vital to help your website perform better in search engine results and increase the number of visitors to your website. Not every website owner has the time to focus on SEO, while those less technically minded sometimes find it a challenging process.
Today, you can reduce the amount of time needed to boost your SEO and eradicate many of the most technical challenges using tools like marketgoo, an all-in-one SEO solution.
8. Upgrade to VPS
If you are a growing business with more website visitors and want to update your website with many of the features and customer experiences today’s visitors expect, such as personalisation, product recommendation engines, chatbots and the like, then it’s likely that a shared hosting plan will not offer you the resources you need.
For a faster and better performing website with bags more storage, CPU and RAM, the logical next step up is a VPS. Like a mini dedicated server but at a fraction of the cost and with all the benefits of virtualisation, this could be the one new year’s resolution that really takes your hosting to the next level.
The new year is a great time to set out your goals for improving your website and for creating a plan of action of when to do them. The ideas suggested above can help make your website more secure, perform better and attract new customers while reducing technical challenges and making important tasks less of a burden.
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