WordPress Maintenance and Security: Why it’s so Important

At its core, WordPress is a very secure content management system (CMS). However, lack of security updates, maintenance and neglectful security updates can leave a WordPress site vulnerable to attacks. A hacked website can be very damaging for any business owner and it can lead to a loss of your online reputation. There are an estimated 75,000,000 sites online using WordPress and the majority of the most popular websites are vulnerable to an attack due to the lack of maintenance.

At WSI we value the importance of an updated system, plugins and files. We ensure the following:

  • Setup the right WordPress security plugin,
  • Schedule updates for WordPress plugins
  • Configure and deploy automatic backup and recovery tools
  • Secure reliable WordPress hosting that is complimented by web application firewalls for intrusion prevention
 

This is our Typical Setup for the System and Protection of a WordPress Website

 

WordPress Security Plugin

Using a trusted plugin we lock down WordPress and change its various default values that are typical for hackers to target. This prevents brute force intrusion attempts, file change detection, 404 detections, lockout bad users, hide login and much more. We receive monthly reporting of the overall security grade for proper monitoring of the system status and set requirements to review user passwords on a regular basis to deter bots from targeting a specific user. Best practices for strong password enforcement typically including 8-15 characters, 1 lower case, 1 uppercase, 1 special character and something unique for that user account.

WordPress Plugin Updates

Updating plugins is the most important maintenance factor for WordPress. 40% of online WordPress websites are vulnerable to hackers because of a lack of updates. We will always update plugins immediately when we’re notified of a potential vulnerability or exploit detected by the plugin author. Every quarter we update all of the other plugins on the website. Once the updates are complete we perform a thorough quality control check to ensure nothing has been compromised and verify that the version of the  WordPress CMS is updated to the latest security patch.

Website Backups

We work with a sophisticated backup and restore plugin that will automatically backup and save the website files and database once a month on a secure remote server. If ever there are any issues we can use this to restore anything caused by broken code, a broken plugin or if any content was accidentally deleted. Website backups are always performed before any plugins or WordPress version is updated to ensure a roll-back is easily accessible in case of conflicts.

Secure Web Hosting

Our trusted partners use high performing load-balancers using NGINX that securely and rapidly deliver fast content served with always updated PHP versioning. Our Server performance complimented by a secured (SSL) Content Delivery Network (CDN), provides powerful load speed and the secure delivery of content and images. Server monitoring is also set to detect if there’s an intrusion through unsecured ports and will lock them out if there’s a suspicious login attempt.

Use of a Web Application Firewall & Protection Against Input Fields

The Firewall authenticates and blocks out the bad robots attempting to break into your site in a single session or steal any data that it can scrape. It detects them and blocks them out of the site and server. We also use a secure form system that prohibits any cross-site scripting (XSS) and locks out any backdoor attempts considered to be vulnerabilities or potential exploits.

Without a thorough checklist it can be very difficult to remember all of these steps but at WSI we are continuously proactive in the maintenance of WordPress CMS, plugins, files to secure and protect our customers. Learn more about our WordPress maintenance and security or feel free to contact us to discuss your needs.

8 Critical Elements to Have on Your Homepage: Montreal Web Design

Montreal web designThe homepage of a website is essentially the most important page of any website. This is the page where you make your first impression and often this first impression is deciphered in the first 3 seconds of landing on your website. The homepage is also the one page that commonly gets the bulk of your site traffic and can either encourage or discourage the visitor from turning into a lead and eventually a customer. That is why it is critical to ensure you know who you are marketing to and what it is you intend to deliver as a business and how. As such, our Montreal Web Design team has put together a list of elements we believe are critical to keep in mind when having the website of your business redesigned.

1. Headlines and sub-headlines:

The homepage of your business website should reflect the stages of the buying cycle which include:

  • Awareness: when a visitor becomes aware of your product.
  • Consideration: when a visitor starts evaluating solutions to their needs.
  • Purchase

The top of your homepage will reflect the awareness stage of the buying cycle through the use of headlines and a sub-headline. Both should briefly and effectively demonstrate what it is your business does and what it has to offer for your clientele.

2. Supporting Images:

There should be high quality supporting images all throughout your website, but having such on your homepage is of primary importance. The majority of people are fairly visual. It’s crucial that you include visuals that very clearly demonstrate who it is you are and what your business has to offer. We encourage you to be authentic and choose imagery that captures emotion. Images that make your website visitors feel a positive emotion that relates to your product offered tend to further encourage the visitor to choose your product.

3. Good copy that reveals the benefits of your product or service:

As the visitor scrolls below the introductory section of your homepage that is normally within the header area, they should be able to understand the benefits in which your product or service offers and your experience level or how long you have been offering your service. This can be done by using lightweight and straightforward copy that is worded in the manner in which your clientele speaks. If you honestly demonstrate the benefits to your visitors and how long you have been offering such a service for, the chances of them going with your product and being faithful to it will be greater.

4. Show your visitors the way with links:

Your homepage should always provide your visitors with a direction to other significant features on your website. Part of your homepage should be dedicated to encouraging your visitors to click links to these important pages on your website such as products, services, blog and contact pages. It provides your visitors with the ability to easily navigate through your site and find what they are searching for. When you lead your visitors to the most important pages of your website such as the specific services or products offered using the particular keywords you are seeking to be ranked for, you’re helping Google find and rank your linked webpages accordingly.

5. Calls-to-action:

According to Hubspot, the call to action (CTA) is the link between the regular content which the visitor is interested in and the page that persuades this visitor to turn into a potential lead. The CTA is very brief in wording, consisting of no more than 5 action oriented words. Examples of a good call-to-action include:

  • Contact us today
  • Make an appointment
  • Get a free consultation

Based on the content you have on your homepage, there should be a couple calls-to-action on your homepage.

6. Testimonials, reviews and success stories:

Your homepage can have every critical element in the book, but what will surely grab the attention of the visitor is if the positive statements towards your product or service are supported with proof. Proof consists of reviews, testimonials and general customer success stories that are visible on the homepage. All you need is a few of your best quotes from reviews, testimonials or success stories and you should be well on your way in demonstrating credibility through such indicators of success.

7. Your most recent Blogs and articles:

You should ensure that there is a section on your website that is solely devoted to a blog. This blog demonstrates that you care for your clients and want to provide them with helpful content that will better their lives in one form or another. Blogs are also great for using keywords that elevate your websites ranking on search engines (commonly known as SEO). Displaying your three most recent blog posts towards the bottom half of your website is an excellent way in showing your clientele that you are not only qualified in what you do but that you are a thought leader in your particular industry.

8. Link to your social media accounts:

Adding links to your social media accounts won’t only help increase the chances of your clientele finding you on search engines, but it also demonstrates to visitors that you are an actively present organization. Being active on social media can help you retain your audience and can also help make sure that both your target market and search engines can find you.

Contact Us

Our WSI Montreal team is keen to educate our clients of the most beneficial online trends, techniques and technologies to grow their business. If you would like help achieving the perfect digital marketing mix for your business or want to know more about our Montreal web design servicescontact us today.

 

See You In 2017!

2017-wsiThere is no doubt that 2016 was a great year. Our WSI Digital Marketing team has worked on many great projects ranging from web design to SEO and the implementation of a Facebook contest that increased the engagement and Facebook page Likes for our client by more than 50%. We welcomed a number of new clients and further developed a rewarding relationship with our clients. It’s been a great year and we believe 2017 will be even better.

We wish you a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous new year. Click on the image above to check out this short and uplifting video by WSI World.

 See you all in 2017!

Contact Us

Our WSI Montreal team is well equipped to apply knowledge of the most beneficial online trends, techniques and technologies to grow your business. If you would like help achieving the perfect digital marketing mix for your business or want to know more about our Montreal web design services, contact our digital marketing agency today.

WSI Digital Marketing Mix

WSI Digital Marketing Mix from WSI World on Vimeo.

Are you concerned you’re not achieving the best online results for your business? Are you overwhelmed with the seemingly limitless choice of digital marketing options? Then let’s simplify how to achieve the best digital marketing mix which will take your online results to the next level. The following best practice digital marketing methods will generate growth by building on four key areas of focus; insightful market research, effective customer acquisition, value added communications and lasting brand loyalty.

1. Your starting point should be to evaluate where you are now, and then to plan your strategy.

2. Now you have your digital marketing blueprint, you can assess the effectiveness of your existing web presence, so you can start attracting your target audience through a program of Constant Content Creation.

3. The next step is to promote your content across the search engines with Adaptive SEO™.

4. Paid advertising can also get your message seen in the right places, by the right people at the right time.

5. Social Media is key to engaging with potential customers, as well as managing your online reputation.

6. Now you’re ready to convert visitors into leads, and leads into customers using a combination of marketing automation processes that do the heavy lifting for you.

7. Finally email, which is still a very cost effective marketing medium for achieving more sales and building brand loyalty.

Each part of your digital marketing mix is brought together by a routine of monitoring, testing and improving. By using the right combination of tried and tested, best practice methodologies we have talked about in this video, our WSI Montreal Digital Marketing team will bring global expertise to your market, developing a marketing blueprint that will drive results for your business.

Contact Us

Our WSI Montreal team is well equipped to apply knowledge of the most beneficial online trends, techniques and technologies to grow your business. If you would like help achieving the perfect digital marketing mix for your business, contact our digital marketing agency today.

The Importance of Online Reviews

Online reviews have become extremely important for companies and they play an important role in your online credibility. They can help improve your businesses’ search engine ranking, as well as generate conversions. Today, 92% of consumers read online reviews (vs. 88% in 2014), and are more likely to click on your business listing if they see those golden stars. Consequently, online reviews generate more clicks from potential customers. Don’t be shy to ask your clients for an online review. In our experience, most people are happy to oblige.

Check out this presentation by WSI Montreal Partner, Laurie McCullagh for more information on the importance of online reviews.

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