Avoid Security Warning in Chrome – Install an SSL

Did you know starting this month Google Chrome will start displaying prominent “Not Secure” notification on websites without an SSL (secure sockets layer)?  If you’re not sure, visit your website and check the address bar. If you have an SSL installed, you will see “https” vs. “http”.  If you don’t have one, users will be deterred from visiting your website.

Avoid having your website flagged by Chrome as not secure. Install an SSL certificate for your domain and subdomains and offer your website visitors confidence and protection when they go to your site.

BENEFITS OF INSTALLING AN SSL ON YOUR WEBSITE

  • Encrypted data, whether payment or contact information, on your website cannot be intercepted
  • Visitors have greater trust in your website
  • Google and other search engines rank websites with an activated SSL certificate higher than those without one

More about why it is important to install in SSL on your website.

 

Why it is Important to Keep Your WordPress Website Updated

Great News! You finally finished your new WordPress website. Take a moment to marvel at its beauty and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

Now that the moment has passed, it’s time to start thinking about updating that beautiful old site. That’s right old. Welcome to the digital age where websites can be put up quickly and become outdated even quicker — both the content and software.

If you’re thinking that your website doesn’t need to be updated on a regular basis then here are a few things for you to consider.

Maintain your Security

You may be thinking that your WordPress site does not need to change its appearance but you may be forgetting an important factor. Your website may no longer be secure. Thousands of WordPress sites get blacklisted due to hackers, malware, and ransomware. One of the best ways to protect yourself is to make sure your WordPress site stays updated.

Since WordPress is open source software, it will typically receive minor updates automatically. For major updates, you will need to do the work yourself. Deciding not to do this can leave your website seriously exposed.

The other factor to consider from a security perspective is that WordPress uses a large number of third-party plug-ins. Each one of these third-party maintainers releases updates to their plug-ins. That means that you need to be mindful of more than just WordPress open source updates. The damage to your website and your credibility from a successful cyber-attack can ruin your website.

Skipping Updates can be Problematic

So now you may be thinking that you can just do the updates that concern you the most. Skipping updates here and there can’t really hurt, can it? Well, yes it can.

Skipping updates can actually cause significant problems. Open source software solutions are great in that so many talented people can contribute to its overall success. The downside to this is that there are several opportunities for problems to be introduced.

If you choose to skip updates you may spend more time resolving problems than you would have spent just doing the updates in order. Many a WordPress website has experienced unnecessary downtime because its owner was “saving time” by skipping updates here and there.

There is a Better Way

To help you keep your WordPress website up to date, here are a few simple steps that you can follow to safely upgrade your site.

  1. Create a backup site – Before you do any changes to your production site, you need to create a backup. This will allow you to restore the site quickly if anything goes wrong with the upgrade.
  2. Create a Staging site – The next step is to create a staging site. This is a copy of your WordPress website that you can safely make updates to. Updates made to your staging site will not be reflected on your live production site.
  3. Accept updates – This is where you incorporate the updates to WordPress, your theme, and the various plug-ins.
  4. Test the staging site – Now that the changes have been applied, you can safely test your site to see if there were any problems. If so, you can fix them without disrupting the live site.
  5. Move changes to the production site – Once you are happy with the testing, you can move the updated site to your production libraries.
  6. Test the live site – If it works then great. If not, then you can restore from the backup.
how to update your WordPress site

Following these simple steps will keep your WordPress website updated and running smoothly.

Make Sense, But You Already Have Enough to Do?

We know you didn’t go into business to maintain your website. The good news? UmeWorks can help. You do what you do best, and we’ll do the same. We can keep your website humming along – we’ll update the software – and the content too, if you wish. Just contact us to get started.  We can even set you up with a site security monitoring service if you’d like that peace of mind.

4 Reasons to Add an SSL Certificate to Your Website Now

We’ve always installed SSLs for clients with websites accepting online payments.  We did not necessarily recommend SSLs for non-ecommerce sites.  This is not the case any more.

Do you I reallly need an SSL Certificate? How will it benefit my online business? These are some of the questions you might be asking yourself.

It turns out you need an SSL for your website more than ever.

SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is a technology that encrypts connections between an Internet browser (and other “client” devices) and a web server so that hackers can’t intercept sent data. When used in an http connection, the connection becomes https (secure https), the “S” being a sign that your site has an SSL Certificate. For example, https://umeworks.com (secured) vs. http://umeworks.com (not secured).

If the connection between your computers and your server isn’t secured, hackers can use specialized tools to intercept the data on transit, e.g., use it to access consumers’ bank accounts.

So, the number one reason to use SSL is to protect sensitive information being sent across the internet. The SSL technology does this by encrypting all data before it is sent. This way, even if somebody intercepts it along the way, they cannot make use of it because the encrypted information will only be readable to the server it is being sent to.

However, even non-ecommerce sites should use SSL Certificates because of recent changes.  Small businesses can benefit in using SSL four ways:

  • It’s important for trust

Web browsers such as Firefox are currently giving visual cues to help users determine whether or not a website is using SSL. For a secure https site, there will be a green padlock right at the beginning of your URL. In some cases, the entire URL bar may be colored green – all of these aimed at telling the user that your site is safe. HTTP sites don’t have the green padlocks. For a business, these cues can have a big impact on user trust.

  • Chrome has taken it one step further

While other browsers just display the green padlock, the new version of Google Chrome which was released at the end of January is blatantly warning users against visiting insecure sites. Just before your URL, there will be a “Not Secure” warning which could deter users from visiting your site. Google has said that at a later stage, they will in addition to the “Not Secure” warning place a danger sign next to your URL to further advice users against visiting your site.

  • Google Search Engine is giving a ranking boost to HTTPS sites

Actually, this started back in mid 2014 when Google announced that having a 2048-bit key certificate on your site will give you a minor ranking boost. At that time, Google said that SSL Certificates would have only a small impact on search results. But in their renewed efforts to make the web a safer place, the company has made SSL a permanent ranking factor and has mentioned being open to giving it more weight than other signals.

  • SSL Certificates are no longer expensive

Initially a barrier to acquiring the technology, SSL prices are now within reach for small businesses. GeoTrust, for example, offers a number of SSL certificates, including the Quick SSL Premium which goes at just $149/year. Thawte also has a low priced offer, the Thawte SSL, which is priced at $149/year. Pricing depends on several factors including brand, warrant and encryption levels. Many hosting providers offer SSLs you can purchase from within your control panel; some for less than $100/year.  So, installing an SSL certificate on your website via your current hosting company may be inexpensive and the fastest way. You can now acquire SSL Certificates free with LetsEncrypt.com, a service run for the public’s benefit by Internet Security Research Group.

Check to see if your hosting company support Free SSLs

Summary

For these reasons, if you don’t have SSL already, you need to make it a priority. It will be of immeasurable benefit to both your business and your customers.

Need help? UmeWorks can install your SSL for a nominal fee. Contact Us