The neglected websites

By | June 25, 2010

The internet is awash with neglected websites. Even the sites updated regularly with new articles and pages are often being neglected. How? Lack of administration.

The websites with folders and files set to the wrong permissions. The out-dated, vulnerability found plugins. The lack of file and database backups, a major crash, possibly wiping your work. Worse yet the websites running content management systems not updated, sitting there vulnerable, just waiting.

People worry about SEO, they worry about studying their site statistics, getting the sales pitch just right, reducing bounce rate and keeping people on site for longer, hoping they make contact or people hit the order button, they don’t realise their site is at risk. Other times they realise, but delay and kid themselves about those stories they hear, believing it won’t happen to them.

WordPress does a fantastic job of informing you of updates to their system and plugins. Joomla has an email update service. Modules exist to automate your backups or downloading a database is a few clicks away. I know WordPress and Joomla are just two giants amongst many and if modules don’t exist for your cms, hosts control panels often offer feature rich options. Scattered across the internet modules and code ready to lend a helping hand, though be weary of these as some could be harmful and malicious.

There are forums and freelance sites overflowing with developers, php junkies, eager to bid for your work. Plus the size of many communities to assist for free are incredible, even if you think you are secure it is worth taking the time every so often to visit, to see what others are discussing. Often people do have motivations for advising, but many don’t. I’m always impressed by the kind and generous souls at hand to advise.

With a few hours spend surfing, learning and a ftp client or browser at hand you can hugely increase the security of your site. If you don’t have the time, ask a trusted and qualified person to assist. Sometimes a migration from a long abandoned bespoke content management system is the only option. The time taken overwhelming, but the security gained worthwhile.

I’ve learnt the hard way. I’ve suffered the heartache of the data gone. The lack of an offsite or online backup and the time to replace data is painful. Now I’ve written a backup module myself. I’ve spent time securing sites and the job is never done, just waiting for your next series of security conscious updates. The predators are out there, the errors can happen, you are not immune, but doing your best is all you can do.

Does your business have a neglected website?

This blog post was written by Andrew from Vectis Solutions. If you have a neglected website check out http://www.vectissolutions.com , contact them to see how they can support you.