The internet is constantly evolving with dozens of sites going either live or offline every second. There are currently over 1 billion active websites which means that the fight for your site to grab people’s attention is fierce. With so many active websites, you could be forgiven for thinking that a website would be pointless for your business. However, these days, even if you are just a small, brick and mortar business, a website is crucial to your success. One of the best ways to give your website a chance for success is to create it in a way that means it’s secure for you and your customers to use. Here’s how you can create a secure website to give your business the edge on the competition.
Have a Clear PurposeBefore building your site, it’s important to have a clear and definitive purpose. Business sites often aim to educate customers or provide a place for customers to make purchases. Most business websites are a combination of these two categories.
When thinking about the content on your site, consider the user experience. Who is coming to your site and what are they looking for? Make it clear and easy for them to find what they need. If customers can’t quickly find the information they’re looking for, like in no more than two clicks, they will leave the page before you can say “secure website”.
Aside from the content, you need to think of a domain name. Your domain name is extremely important. It’s what you will be sharing with customers and clients, so generally, it is the name of your business. It should be short, descriptive, and easy to remember. The most common top-level domain is .com, however you might want to consider the other options available to you. There are dozens to choose from.
Choose a Web HostOnce you have a domain name and have ensured its originality, you will need to find a service to host your website. For a small business, hosting your own server is usually too cumbersome and expensive. You will likely need to pay for hosting to ensure you can provide a quality user experience, which is key for any website. You can get free hosting, but for a serious website, this is not recommended. There are numerous, affordable options available.
When you’re making a website, Digital Exits can lead you through the three basic steps to get your site live. Most good web hosting sites provide the software to build your website. Alternatively, you can build a site yourself and host it somewhere different. When looking for website hosting, you should look for what security features they offer.
Build with Security in MindWhen designing the actual pages of your site, it can be beneficial to keep them as simple as possible. You should have clear and easy to understand pages, that the user can find what they need, while also understanding the purpose of the site. Your site should be original, simple, and should load quickly. Most Content Management Systems (CMS) where you can build your site, will allow for plug-ins that help with speed and security, so be aware and use them when applicable. Don’t just haphazardly implement plug-ins, as this can slow your site or even be a security threat.
It’s also important that you install certain security measures on your site. Make sure your web hosting service provides TLS, Transport Layer Security, a much stronger form of SSL, and that your website name in the address bar always begins with https://. (The ‘s’ is for ‘secure’ with TLS.) This will ensure your site is secure and trusted by the rest of the internet.
Test, Publish and MaintainOnce everything is in place and ready to go live, it’s absolutely necessary that you thoroughly test it before launching. Make sure every page, link, image, and the formatting of your site works on all the major web browsers. Once you are sure of your website, you can then make it live and announce it.
From there, it’s a matter of marketing your site and maintaining its content. Update your site regularly with fresh and relevant content. It’s also important that you keep your software updated, as well as any plug-ins you are using on the site to prevent security risks. Use things like SEO, social media, and a blog to promote your website and your business will start to see the benefits.
Today, getting a website for your business is a simple and necessary step. Think about what your site should offer your audience and make sure this purpose is clear throughout its pages. Making it easy to navigate and ensuring it is secure is the best way to ensure your users have a positive experience.
Editor’s Note: This blog article was written by an outside contributor – a guest blogger – for the purpose of offering a wider variety of content for our readers. However, the opinions and recommendations expressed in this guest blog are solely those of the contributor, and do not necessarily reflect those of The Security Awareness Company, LLC. If you are interested in writing something for us, please do not hesitate to contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org.