The 4 important website checks you are most likely ignoring (and easy fixes)
There are so many things to take care of when you have a blog or a business.
First of all, if you are a creative soul like me, the most fun part is to create stuff! So you are writing blog posts, tweaking your site because it feels like a garden that always could use some work, and creating new content for your brand in general.
But having a solid business or a blog does need a solid base, and in your enthusiasm there might be a few basic checks that you are overlooking. Not to worry though, these are fast to fix.
Here is a list of 4 things you are most likely ignoring on your site.
1. Backing up your WordPress site
Hands up, are you taking care of backing up your site? If not, do it today!
You don’t want to get into a situation where you wished you had packed up everything, but kept postponing.
I would not rely on a back-up your hosting service is making, but as a responsible business owner you need to take this matter into your own hands!
The fix: Back-up via simple WordPress plugin
Here is my quick-fix tool on how to back up your WordPress site easily (and for free!)
Another check is to make sure that you have backed up all of the other material for your business as well. Is everything on one computer or drive?
What is something happens to that drive, how much work will you lose (think images, blog posts, excel sheets, budgets, worksheets, e-books etc). It’s better to have a second back-up that you update regularly.
2. Having a secure website
Having a secure site is professional, and as the name suggests, secure for you and your users.
How do you know if your site is secure or not? You can see if your URL starts with http//, or https//. An https indicates a secure connection, and you will also see this by the little lock icon on your address bar.
What happens if your site is not secure? You are more prone to hacking and information leaks, and some browsers, such as Google Chrome show it with big letter NOT SECURE in front of your address (ouch), or refuse to even allow access. Not something you want!
The fix: Installing an SSL Certificate
This may sound very techy, but it’s simple I promise. Here is a step-by-step guide on How to install a SSL certificate on WordPress.
The SSL certificate is protecting the sensitive information you have, and the information you collect, such as:
- Log-in information (for membership websites)
- Any information filled in a form and submitted via your website
- Bank account information
- Credit card information
- Personally identifiable information (name, email, address, telephone number)
- Legal documents
3. Cookie consent banner for information you are tracking
Cookies cookies cookies! You cannot open a website anymore without someone mentioning cookies. It gets you both hungry and confused.
Do you know exactly what cookies your blog or website is collecting? And are you making sure that your users are well informed about the data you are collecting?
Before you think “oh but I’m not collecting any cookies”, think again. You are most likely using Google analytics, and you are tacking user data for performance related issues. These are all cookies. This is all ok, as long are you are clear on it, know about it and make it known for users are well.
The fix: Doing the cookie check on your website, and installing a Cookie consent banner
There is a way to do a quick check on what cookies your website is actually tracking. Here is my step-by-step guide on how to do the check, and how to install a simple (and free) cookie consent banner on your WordPress.
Since the GDPR rules in Europe, everything has gotten a little bit more formal and the need for transparency is higher now.
Which brings us to the last point in our checklist…
4. Making sure your website is legal
As I mentioned, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) came to force in 2018 in EU, you have to be more careful with what you do with the data that you collect (including cookies, as we just covered).
If you think this is not going to affect you because you are not in EU, think again.
If you have a website that is accessible for someone living in EU, you have to comply.
If you are collecting emails, and someone from the EU could sign up for your list, you have to make sure that you are GDPR compliant.
And what is considered personal data according to GDPR? Personal data is considered to be any kind of information whereby a person can be identified with. This is also called Personally Identifying Information (PII), and in includes
- Email (physical email or IP address)
- Financial information
- Health information
- Demographic information (age, ethnicity, gender)
This means that if you are collecting any of these, you need an explicit consent from the user.
Again, this may sound more complicated than what it really is.
First, I have made a guide on what is GDPR, where you can read in more detail what is considered personal data, and how you can get a consent from your new (and existing, if needed) subscribers.
These basic checks will not take you very long to complete, but they are extremely important to have in place.
After all, you want to make sure that you have a solid and secure site, that your subscribers and customers know what you are doing with their data, and that you are not breaking any laws while you are at it.
Now go ahead and tick these things off from you to-do, so that you can create content again in peace!
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