Any business that wants to succeed must get online as soon as possible. In the current digital age, there is no reason your company should not have an online presence. Today, You can promote your business globally via the internet. It’s easier to get up and running than ever before. So what can you do to get set up, and how do you protect your site from hackers and other nefarious activities online?
The Benefits Of An Online Presence
It is impossible to market your business without an online presence these days. Almost every company understands the importance of having a website, whether it is a small plumbing business or a large multinational corporation. There are numerous ways to get online, and the method you choose will depend on what service you offer.
How to get online
If you sell products or provide services, you can opt for a Content Management System (CMS) or develop a fully customized website to meet your customers’ needs.
Custom Designed Website
Some businesses require a website that is built from the ground up. This provides you with the unique opportunity to work with professionals to implement the latest technology keeping your site secure and offering services specific to your organization’s needs. The most popular coding language that is used to create custom websites in PHP. It’s a very flexible language, which means that you have tons of options for both the structure and content of your site. You will need to hire professionals proficient in providing PHP development services to get something unique to your company. A custom-coded site lets you decide on any design and integrate as many features as you wish. The use case doesn’t need to extend to customers and can be for employee use only. For example, you could already have a customer-facing website but need a backend area for your employees to search a database for inventory or customer details.
Use A CMS
A CMS is a great way to get online quickly and begin selling your service. Furthermore, some CMS’s are even made with PHP, meaning that you could get started online with a CMS that uses PHP then customize it later on. Some of the more popular choices include:
- WordPress: This CMS is the most popularly used option on the internet today. It is estimated that over 40% of all websites online use WordPress in one form or another. It is very versatile and great for companies that only require a basic online presence.
- Drupal: Another CMS in the same vein as WordPress, but has far more ability to be tuned to the way you want. Drupal is an excellent choice for companies that want flexibility but also ease of use.
- Magento: This is a highly advanced eCommerce CMS. It is used for companies with extensive inventories and is accessed millions of times per month.
- Shopify: Another eCommerce CMS but far more straightforward than Magento. It is excellent for selling products, but not much else.
- Squarespace: This option is aimed at beginners and provides a simple user interface. However, it is not suited for businesses that demand more advanced, custom features.
Protecting Your Business Online
Unfortunately, there is no shortage of people that want to hack into your website or pull it down completely. The reasons can range from wanting to hack into your site to steal data to competitors looking to make your site unusable. Nonetheless, there are ways that you can keep your website up and running while also ensuring that your customers’ data is safe.
Use A Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Systems like these are an integral part of a site that’s trying to deliver its data efficiently. For example, you can’t make a website faster than the internet can provide it, so you need to have a faster way of storing and delivering your content. A CDN acts as a middleman between your web server and the site visitor, storing and distributing your content to them. The CDN makes your content load faster and also helps you to mitigate the risk of downtime from outages in the internet provider.
Furthermore, they can help to mitigate a DDOS attack. A distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack is an attack where many computers attempt to make a network connection to a service that is unable to withstand the flood of data trying to get through. If the attack is large enough, it can cripple a service or even bring it down altogether. Downtime can be highly costly for businesses. By using a CDN, your website will stay active, at least in some part, by serving a cached version to users attempting to access the site.
Implement Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, is an encryption protocol used by the vast majority of the World Wide Web. Most web browsers use SSL to encrypt the information that users send to websites. When a user requests a specific website, an SSL connection is created in the process of browsing the internet. SSL uses encryption to provide privacy for Web-based communications. The encryption is performed at the application layer of the TCP/IP protocol stack, so it is not subject to the same limitations as the underlying TCP/IP protocol.
When an attacker manages to infiltrate your website, they can snatch up sensitive information like passwords and credit card numbers, and they can redirect visitors to other sites. And your website is at risk even if you don’t store any sensitive information on it. SSL can act as a protective layer when your customers enter sensitive data.
Set Up A Firewall
A website firewall protects the security of your website. A website firewall, or a web application firewall (WAF), is a tool that performs the same task as a firewall, but instead of looking at data in packets, it looks at the requests that a website makes and determines if they are valid. If they are not valid, the WAF can stop the request.
Use Strong Passwords
This is the most straightforward to implement but the least done. Choosing a solid password and 2-factor authentication will sufficiently stop any form of brute force attack. This substantially lowers the risk of someone hacking your site and locking you out.
Getting online should be the number one priority of any business still offline. There are multiple methods to succeed, but you will need to take steps to ensure your site remains safe and usable once you are online.