Two free website security audit tools for your small business

I recently used a couple of online website security tools that are worth looking at if you have a small business website.

Both tools provide a high level summary the anyone can understand – “high risk”, “medium risk” and “low risk”. However, understanding the specifics behind the risks will require an IT professional – as such, if you are interested in securing your website, I recommend you ask your IT professional to use these tools (after all, the tools are free) – and if your IT professional cannot explain the results, get a new IT professional!

Virus checker

Sucuri checks a site for viruses on your website and potential vulnerabilities created from out of date software.

The test has to be manually run, and is as simple as putting your website address into their online tool at https://sitecheck.sucuri.net.

To get automated regular tests a paid plan is required, starting at $16.99 per month for scanning every 12 hours.

As you can see from the below test results, Securi provides something called a website firewall that is used to protect against certain types of external attacks – for example, traffic that is obviously attempting to compromise your website will automatically be blocked – this isn’t something the average small business will need, but if your website is being overloaded with malicious traffic, it will prove invaluable.

Sucuri SiteCheck

Vulnerability checker

ScanMyServer is by far the most comprehensive free vulnerability scanner I have come across.

To use the setup you, or your trusted IT professional, will need to add some code to your website.

ScanMyServer will then do a daily check for free. Have a read of their FAQ for more details.

The below test results show the extent of the testing performed – as you can see, I have no “high” issues. “low issues” can be comfortably ignored. “medium issues” may need action, and this is where you need an IT professional to interpret if action is actually required.

It is important to note, that often vulnerabilities can be introduced due to installing a plugin, as an example, have a read of this. As such, a vulnerability check should always be part of a post plugin instal evaluation.

ScanMyServer vulnerability test result

By |December 29th, 2015|Security, Website|0 Comments

Step by step tutorial for securing your small business website with https

Summary

This tutorial provides step by step instructions for securing your small business website with https.

The step by step instructions use the technologies we recommend for small business, in this case: a WordPress self hosted site, Bluehost web hosting, and a domain name registered with GoDaddy.

Time required: 2 hours

What will it cost: Depending on the options chosen it will cost around $100 or more per year to have https in place (these are costs from GoDaddy and Bluehost).

Prerequisites: You should complete our tutorial on setting up a WordPress small business website. You will need administration access to your WordPress site, Bluehost and GoDaddy for this tutorial.

Complexity level: Medium

By |December 28th, 2015|Security, Website|0 Comments

Top 10 Tips: Building or improving your small business Website.

I have a new guide available for small business owners who are thinking of building or improving their website, “Top 10 tips: Building or improving your small business Website”

This guide is for small business owners who are thinking of building or improving their website.

The tips are written with the expectation that someone else will be doing the work for you. Thus, I do not go into any detail on “how” implement the tips, rather I focus on what to ask for.

The tips are below, with each explained in the full guide available here.

1. Understand the jargon.

2. Understand the cons of website builders.

3. Choose a mature website platform and theme

4. Choose a website host that is recommended by your platform provider

5. Select a mobile and tablet friendly website theme

6. Integrate with Google Analytics

7. Monitor your website performance

8. Optimise your content to be Search Engine Optimisation friendly

9. Enable your site for secure browsing

10. Have a backup and disaster recovery plan, and test it.

By |October 10th, 2015|Website|0 Comments

Tech tip: Changing the domain name of your website

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(photo: with thanks to Arnaud de Gramont)

For better or worse, I’ve decided to change the domain of this website, from “theconnectedsmallbusiness.com”, to “officetechnologyexpert”. Oh, and I do realise the risk of using “expert”, but I can always change the name again! (update 25 Jan 2015: as I indeed have, to debaffle.net!)

This post outlines the steps I took to change the domain name.

The steps only apply if the following is true:

  • You use WordPress as your website platform.
  • Your WordPress site is hosted by GoDaddy.
  • You want to re-use your existing website hosting plan, rather than setting up a new website hosting plan.
  • Both your existing and new domain names are registered with GoDaddy.
By |December 17th, 2014|Website|0 Comments

Review: VaultPress for WordPress website backup and restore

VaultPress provides a service to backup your WordPress website. The service takes snapshots of your website content, so that you can restore past versions if your website is corrupted or lost.

In this post, I review VaultPress from the perspective of a small business. I reach the conclusion that VaultPress is an absolute must, and great value, for any small business with a WordPress website.

Skip to the end of this post for my summary pros and cons followed by a recommendation, or continue reading for the full detail.

By |July 17th, 2014|Website|8 Comments

Tutorial: How to add a blog to your WordPress website

In this DIY tutorial we will add a blog page and a first blog post to your WordPress website.

adding-a-blog-5

By |January 19th, 2014|Website|0 Comments

Tutorial: Change the address format of your website pages

By default your website pages and your blog posts have the address format, yourdomain.com/?p=123, where 123 is the number of your page or post that is automatically assigned when created.

To change the page and post address format into a more aesthetic option, login into WordPress, go to “Settings”, “Permalinks”, chose a new option (I have selected “post name” option), and then click on “Save Changes”.

wordpress-permalinks

By |January 14th, 2014|Website|0 Comments

Tutorial: How to create a simple homepage for your WordPress website

In this tutorial we will create a homepage for our website as shown below. This will include a “call to action” button, a navigation menu, and supporting content boxes with awesome icons. The page is very simple, but it provides a fast way to get your site up and going, which can then be refined in the future.

creating-a-simple-landing-page-for-Wordpress-using-Avada-theme

By |January 14th, 2014|Website|0 Comments

Tutorial: How to allow user comments on some WordPress website pages, but not others

This DIY tutorial provides instructions on how to allow user comments at the bottom of your website pages (such as an “About us” page), but not on all pages (such as the homepage).

page-comment-options-for-Wordpress-using-Avada-theme

By |January 13th, 2014|Website|1 Comment

Tutorial: Creating a favicon for your website

This DIY tutorial shows how to add a favicon to your WordPress website. Favicons are obviously relatively minor, but they do add a nice detail to your website as shown below. The resultant Favicon file is a 16 by 16 pixel image with a .ico file extension name.

creating-a-favicon-for-your-website-8

By |January 10th, 2014|Website|0 Comments