Author Archives: jupiwebmaster

Why do we work so hard? To protect your WordPress website.

Was just reading the article “Statistics Show Why WordPress is a Popular Hacker Target” by Robert Abela at the WP White Security website. They share very compelling data that, at first glance, made me feel a bit fearful about running a website on the WordPress software. The WP White Security article suggests that more than 70% of WordPress installations are vulnerable to hacker attacks. Yow! That is frightening! But wait. I have good news to share.

The article is correct — there is huge risk associated with a website built on the WordPress system. It’s also true that risk can be greatly diminished if not eliminated — especially with a robust disaster recovery system. Since this risk exists, the crew at JustPixels.com works hard to assure that our websites are safe, secure and ready to respond when something tragic does occur. We work hard for our clients and with great success.

Here’s a bit about the things we do and tools we use to protect your website…

Backups

We implement a backup system that archives both the database (all the content and things the content is connected to) of your WordPress site and every single file that is used to make your site operate. Backups are created and moved off the server to redundant remote locations — this keeps them safe and available for disaster recovery. Frequent backups assure that we archive recent changes and updates to your site content. Current backups are vital to assure that you don’t lose any content that results in wasted time and effort. We also maintain a collection of backups through time. This is important as it provides access to a clean backup should a successful hacker invade and modify/add files. If disaster strikes, we use these backups to recover within hours (frequently less).

Website Monitoring

We monitor your website. With both automated tools and human effort we keep a watchful eye on your website for 24 hours each day, every day of the year (some call that 24/7 but, let’s be clear, it’s every hour of every day — that’s a lot). When something changes, we know it. When something fails, we know it. When the server has a little hiccup, we know it. When we see something that seems suspicious, we investigate. If we discover something is not working or doesn’t belong, we fix it.

Blocking the Unwelcome

Our systems monitor threats to your website and then blocks those threats. When some person or computer attempt to login to your WordPress administrative tools and fails, we know it. When they try more than a few times, we block their access. By blocking their access we protect your site from a relentless stream of attempted logins which can crush and crash the server on which your website lives. While this is not, technically, a successful hack it does disrupt the availability of your website. We protect you from that.

Secure Installation & Setup

We also install WordPress and build your site with a security protocol that keeps your site secure. We know how to label things that prevents hackers from finding them. We hide certain files in places to assure maximum frustration for hackers. We also constantly update our techniques to stay a few steps ahead of hackers — they are clever and they do keep us on our toes.

That’s a Lot of Work

That’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of time for both human and machine. We invest in software tools and services to assist in our efforts. And we invest a huge amount of human time to watch, tweak and fix the security of our WordPress websites. Let’s also remember that constant research and reading is required to understand the most recent threats and update our methods to assure that we are prepared and that your website is safe. It really is a lot of work.

Worth the Cost?

All that work, all those hours, all those tools and services — they cost money. This is why running a WordPress website is not free. Some will say, “I love WordPress because it is free.” Well, it’s not. It may be free to install but, as you can see from the description of our efforts, there is a real cost associated with keeping a WordPress website safe and secure.

Is it worth it? Is it worth running a website on WordPress considering all that additional time and expense? Yep, it is. And here’s why…

WordPress is, simply said, a content management system (CMS). Using a CMS allows a huge amount of flexibility and control for you, the website owner. Using a CMS allows folks with very little technical knowledge to control the content of your website. That’s a good thing. You can find thousands of CMS options today, but WordPress is one of the best. The alternative is a static website that requires tremendous technical knowledge to edit and updates. That comes at a cost. Using WordPress as a CMS saves you time and money.

WordPress also provides many benefits with a robust infrastructure that powers business opportunities in the website. This results in your website as a revenue generating center for your business — that’s important.

Wanna Hear a Horror Story?

How about some disastrous examples of hack attacks destroying a website and the impact on business? Ok, we can share a few and how we rescued those sites — but I will save those for future posts as they do get into a decent amount of detail.

We Protect You

For now, it’s important to remember that, when you hear talk of WordPress being vulnerable to hackers, it’s true. It’s also true that we can protect you. We work hard to protect you and your website. WordPress can be risky. We know how to mitigate that risk.

You CAN judge a book by its cover

When it comes to the internet, it’s a Beauty Contest first, brains and content second. But if you don’t have both eye catching graphics and intelligent content, you won’t keep a customer long. Just Pixels provides your client with the perfect mix of eye candy and food for thought.

How Do People Evaluate the Credibility of Your Website?

In short – by the way it looks. Top-notch graphic design gives your website audience a feeling of security and trust. But, that’s not all. The web audience also wants the information organized, and focused. Share the motive of your company, and you’ve made the audience very happy. How do we know this? There’s a study! Details about that study later. First – what the heck is up with the graphic design?

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

The credibility factor most frequently mentioned by the study participants was “Design Look.” This factor was so important, it beat the next most important factor by 60%! The study found that, if a web user came to a sight with weak, unprofessional graphic design – they abandoned the site. Not another click! They wouldn’t even dig-around to find any valuable content. That’s right – if your graphic design sucks, you lose potential customers.

Martha Stewart or Oxy-Clean?

The graphic design that most frequently inspired a sense of credibility was noted as, “a polished, professional look.” Participants also noted that sites that seemed “slick” and created by a marketing team did NOT convey credibility. A website that appeared serious in look-and-feel, with a bit of an entertaining flavor was found to be the most successful. Graphic design that looked like direct mail or a late-night “Web Designers Gone Wild” commercial conveyed no sense of credibility. What do we learn from this? Don’t get too goofy. Let the graphic design express the personality of your business – but don’t get too slick!

Click Click Click Click Click Mania

Participants in the study even mentioned they understood that this reaction to graphic design was superficial – that the graphic design MAY not be an accurate reflection of the content. They also said, “So?!” The web audience of today clicks at a rapid pace. They are in a fast and furious search for information. They click like crazy trying to find some tidbit of value – a little nugget of gold. When a website is visited, the very first visual cue about the content, or credibility, of the website is the graphic design – the look and feel of the site. It’s the “first impression.” So, you’re in a hurry – here’s some artwork that looks like it was created by your babysitter… seeya! Close that site and it’s on to the next website. The superficial nature of this reaction is driven by impatience. But it’s real – we gotta deal with it!

Pixel Perfect Plan

Just Pixels has some opinions about the graphic design of your website. And they reflect some of the lessons learned by this study. We’ve known, for a very long time, that the look and feel of any interactive products is crucial to a successful user experience. For a website the graphic design should be sophisticated and help the user understand how the information is organized – like a really good road map, it helps you find your way to the desired destination or information. The graphic design should also reflect the corporate identity of your company or product. Your personality should be reflected in the way the information is presented. The graphic design must be lean – small in terms of kilobytes – so it doesn’t take hours for the beautiful solution to download over the internet. The graphic design solution must help inform and entertain your audience. If it doesn’t your audience will disappear. Remember this – there is no audience less patient than the web audience. Make them happy and grab their attention right away or kiss ’em good-bye.

Working with America Online helped Just Pixels understand how impatient and fickle the web audience can be. AOL is constantly performing their own studies and testing. One of the most interesting facts uncovered by AOL is that most members don’t read more than two or three paragraphs of story text. More than that and you lose ’em! Guess that means, if you are still reading this, you are NOT a typical AOL member.

Walk It Like You Talk It

This is really interesting – the results of this study were compared to previous studies. Surprise, surprise! What participants SAID they valued in website evaluation was NOT reflected in the way they DID evaluate. In other words – web users don’t really DO what they SAY! You may hear web users talk about what makes a website valuable – the real test is watching and tracking how they use websites. Previous studies found that web users valued things like the “Privacy Policy” on a website. In reality, less than 1% of web users ever LOOK at a privacy policy. Why? Remember that point about fast and furious? Your audience is simply in too big a hurry!

Says Who?

Stanford University and Consumer WebWatch (affiliated with Consumer’s Union and Consumer Reports magazine) conducted this study of more than 2,500 web users. The participants spanned various demographic groups and depth of web experience – so your audience was in there somewhere. The study took place in 2002 with final results being released in October of 2002. The final tally of credibility factors includes 18 categories, the most important of which were:

  • Design Look
  • Information Design/Structure
  • Information Focus
  • Company Motive
  • Information Usefulness
  • Information Accuracy
  • Name Recognition and Reputation

For more details and the complete report click the link below:
“How Do People Evaluate a Web Site’s Credibility?”

Digging Deeper

JustPixels is dedicated to the study of research like this report. We constantly find and review the results of studies and surveys. Keep your eyes on this site for future news about new studies and the opinions of JustPixels. Please contact JustPixels for additional information about this news and inquire about how we can help your website!