- Recipe for a Great Website: First Ingredient: Use the Right Software
- Recipe for a Great Website: Second Ingredient: Understand Your Visitor
- Recipe for a Great Website: Third Ingredient: Give Your Visitor What They Want
- Recipe for a Great Website: Fourth Ingredient: Use Your Voice
- Recipe for a Great Website: Fifth Ingredient: Keep Safety in Mind
The last ingredient of a great website is to keep safety in mind.
How do you do that for a website? In three ways:
- Make your website secure for your users
- Keep your website admin secure (your log in and the website software)
- Have policies in place to protect yourself, your business, and your visitors
Security for visitors
To keep your website secure for your visitors, make sure you have a security certificate in place. When you have an active security certificate, your website domain will be preceded by https:// rather than http:// in the URL. Most platforms have these in place automatically, but it’s still good to check, especially for WordPress websites.
Make sure your forms, checkout pages, and payment gateways are reliable, and test them regularly to be sure they work correctly.
Test your site regularly for malware if you have a WordPress website. I like to use a security plugin as well for those sites.
Security for website admin
Keeping your website admin safe is critical to making sure your visitors have a website to visit. There are five steps to this process.
First, know which platforms your website uses. If you have related items such as an online store, course, podcast, email marketing platform, etc, know which platforms those elements are hosted on. Know which subscription levels you have and when they renew. Keep track of your domain registration and renewals.
Next, make sure to use complex passwords and keep them safe. Use extra authentication factors when possible.
Third, keep your software updated. Use the latest versions of software, themes, plugins, and apps when possible, and keep an eye on lists of software with vulnerabilities.
Fourth, back up your site regularly. Use automated tools, download data, keep your brand guide up to date, and keep copies of blog posts on your hard drive, in the cloud, or both.
Finally, be careful who you allow to access your website admin, and limit their access to only what they need for the tasks they need to do on your site. Many platforms offer specific access for specific roles people might have on your site.
Have policies in place
Privacy policies vary widely in their features and prices, but my preference is one that updates automatically when the laws change. Privacy laws and their implementation are changing around the world almost on a daily basis. Therefore, keeping privacy policies current with the new regulations is critical.
Other policies that may be necessary, depending on the website and the business, are cookie policies, terms and conditions, and disclaimers. Make sure to get the legal advice you need to have the policies in place so that your website is compliant with all applicable regulations. These policies protect you, your business, and your visitors and customers.
Finally, your policies can make your customers feel safer in doing business with you. Offering guarantees, clear shipping and return policies, and other policies specific to your business can help them feel more comfortable clicking that buy button!