E-commerce Security: Six Simple Ways to Lock Down Your Website

E-commerce Security: Six Simple Ways to Lock Down Your Website

 

The internet keeps improving over the years, and this means more businesses are constantly embracing technology in all forms and making the best use of the internet. One of the solid platforms of businesses today is their online visibility, which opens doors to more opportunities like internet shopping. As this progresses, it is only normal that you observe more internet criminals who hack into accounts.

 

No business owner would like to lose their hard-earned money through the internet, and as much as we dread this, it happens all the time. However, this isn’t enough reason to quit your internet business altogether, considering that you can always find a way around it not fall into the hands of internet fraudsters and hackers.

 

You are less likely to be hacked if you are well informed, and you have tight security against potential dangers. You could go over the review of BlueHost hosting or any other web hosting, and while they may give you resources and information needed for you to stay safe, you still have to take extra precautions.

Here are a few tips to help you lock down your website.

  1. Preventing your website’s forms from becoming vulnerabilities

Your website forms could be the gateway to impending fraudulent acts, and you can avoid that by preventing them from becoming vulnerabilities. If you are not careful, you could submit a fraudulent SQL command to your site just by implementing the command to your forms. To avoid this, scan your site regularly for SQL injection vulnerabilities. Internet security companies can help with this, so you have a safer experience when customers sign up for your newsletter or fill a contact form.

  1. Use HTTPS

HTTPS on e-commerce sites are vital in internet security and is the most secured standard in website security. Online transactions ranging from purchases to signing up for a newsletter can be protected by just implementing HTTPS. In addition to being secure, you also have an improved SEO with Google, as it now prioritizes HTTPS-secured sites. To switch to HTTPS, select an SSL certification, either from your hosting company or a merchant.

  1. Avoid storing credit card details

Storing credit card details of customers can be very risky, and even if you must, getting a PCI Compliance Certificate should be mandatory. This certificate helps keep credit card details safe on your site. By removing credit card details from your site, you prevent your customer’s financial data from being attacked. You can rather opt for a third party payment method, like PayPal to help handle customer financial data on your website effectively.

  1. Eradicate default passwords from your site

After setting up your site and installing everything necessary, change your default passwords to something stronger. Change the passwords for every user on the website and use something stronger and more secure. A long and complex password makes it even more difficult for hackers to get you. You can also set up two-factor authentication for every user on your site to help tighten the security. This way, they could get a one-time code in their emails or phones after entering their passwords, before gaining access to the site.

  1. Use e-commerce security Plugins

Security plugins enforce security protection on the websites and help prevent severe attacks. It is always advisable to implement security plugins, like Astra, to ward off malicious requests and give you a safe experience altogether.

  1. Choose a Secure E-Commerce Platform

There are so many e-commerce platforms today that choosing one can be quite a task. However, always prioritize safety over beauty or other things when choosing a platform. The platform you choose to settle for must have tight security and a firm plan to protect customers from fraud. Choose a platform that enforces strong passwords and has a secured checkout page. Also look out for the ones that discourage password guessing and implements two-factor authentication and login timeout after inactivity for a while.

Conclusion

Your website, if not well secured, can ruin your entire business. With more security features in place today, hackers aren’t resting either, and you will be doing yourself a favour by putting proper measures in place.

When to Build a Website

The answer to when you should build a website is simple.

Now.

We’re just saying that because we’re a web development company, right? Well, we’re biased, sure, but we know from experience that a website can make or break a business.

Think about it. Marketing and business classes teach the importance of going to market before you have a product. Before you even have have the product itself, you should go to market to make sure there is built up interest in it. This process is pretty quick and simple. We’ll run you through it. Basically, you want to secure interest in whatever your doing or making first then you can get into actually providing and building the business. Most people tend to try to build a business first, then go back and brand or market the product, but that’s a high-risk and low-reward plan. It’s far better to make sure you have interest that will fill orders and get your branding and marketing on point for the people that you’ll be doing business with first. After that, you can focus on making and delivering the product or service.

Light Market Research

Before you do anything, you’ll want to do some light research on the market for your product or service. Basically, you want to aim to find out if people want to buy your thing. If they want to buy your thing, you can start learning more about who wants to and what they’re interested in. That’ll be very helpful information as you move into branding and marketing.

Branding and Marketing

People want your thing! Awesome! Now you should start considering how to package the thing. This is when you’ll start considering making a prototype of a physical product, or structure your service as clearly as you can so you know how you’ll deliver it to each customer. Part of this process is also hiring a designer to help you create a logo and a online presence (website, facebook, instagram, etc).

Selling and Operating

The fun part! After your branding and your marketing, you should have a firm grasp on how to make and deliver the thing, who you’re delivering the thing to, and how the thing will look and feel when it’s delivered.

Wrapping up

You’re going to want to have your website up far before you open your doors to your business. Having your website up in advance will help you market a big opening to your product or service, and allow you to focus on running the show when you open your doors. If you wait until your doors are open, you will experience less interest, and less traffic.

Broken Maps? iFrames to the Rescue

Are your Google Maps displaying an error like the following? This page can’t load Google Maps correctly. If so, you probably need to setup your billing information and enter an API key…Or just use an iframe.

Google’s latest update requires users to enable billing with a credit card and have a valid API key for all projects. Fortunately most users can avoid entering billing information and just use iframes instead. If you’re just displaying a single location, without any additional functionality, an iframe will suffice. See instructions below to obtain and setup an iframe – it’s easy! 

Otherwise, or if you believe your site is using one of Google’s Map APIs, follow instructions here to obtain and configure an API key.


Embedding an iframe

Step 1 – Find your location on Google Maps

Simply enter your address in the search bar and hit enter.

Step 2 – Get your embed code

Once you’ve found your desired location, it’s time to copy your html code for the iframe. Simply click “Share” on the left sidebar and select “Embed a map” from the share window. Copy the iframe code and you’re ready for the final step.

Step 3 – Display your map!

Once you’ve copied the iframe code, head over to your website (or wherever you need the map) and paste the code snippet. If you’re not sure how or where to do this, ask your web-master or look up a guide online!


What if my map isn’t responsive?!

Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.

With a few extra lines of code, you can rest assured your new map will look great on all devices.

Step 1 – Wrap your iframe

Wrap your iframe snippet inside of a div tag with a “google-map” class. Example below

<div class="google-map"> <!-- your iframe goes here --> </div>

Step 2 – Add mobile styles

Copy the CSS code below and paste into your sites stylesheet

.google-map { 
position: relative; 
padding-bottom: 75%; 
height: 0; 
overflow: 
hidden; 
} 

.google-map iframe { 
position: absolute; 
top: 0; 
left: 0; 
width: 100% !important; 
height: 100% !important; 
}

Step 3 – DONE!

Enjoy your new map that will look great on desktop and mobile!


Happy Mapping!

When to Build a Website for a New Business

The answer to when you should build a website is simple. Now.

You’re going to want to have your website up far in advance of opening your doors. You can use your website to generate interest in your grand opening which will put you at a strong advantage when you do open your doors for business. Also, when you open your doors, you’re going to be focused on a lot of things that go into running a new business. Anything you can prepare ahead of time is helpful so that you can focus your attention on the most important areas of running your new business.

Before You Open

Before you open your business, you should have a solid website and branding in place. This is going to help you promote who you are and give you credibility in the eyes of the people you want to be doing business with. You’re going to want to have a professional email address (yourname@yourdomainname.com), a logo, and a website up. You can direct people to these assets to build interest and promote an opening, or a launch of a new service.

You’ll most likely want to start looking around for a designer to link up with. They’ll be able to walk you through your brand design, web design, and perhaps print design (business cards, letterhead, package design, etc). You could try to do these things on your own (We have a guide for how to build a website on your own if you want to give it a shot – The No Bull$#*! Guide to Building a Website on Your Own), but it will probably show through in your work, and customers might not take you as seriously.

Depending on the designer, the process to design a brand and a website could take anywhere from two weeks to two or three months. You’ll want to ask your designer what their timeline looks like. If you want to launch two months before you open and your designer is going to need two months to create everything for you, you’ll want to start at least four months before you plan to open your doors for business.

2-3 Months before Open

Your website and branding should definitely be wrapped up a couple months before opening. This will leave you plenty of time to network, gearing up for the open. You can make connections, show you’re legitimate, and start generating that interest and on-boarding new clients and customers. Your branding and website will be crucial components in how people perceive your business. How well your brand is aligned with your audience and how well your website outlines and describes what you do will help shape the opinion of how credible your customers think you are.

Opening Time

When your business opens, you’ll primarily be focused on making sales and delivering the product or service. Your time will be spent getting deals in place and delivering on those deals. Your time will be very precious, and you’ll probably not want to spare a lot of time working on creative like your brand and website, because you’ll be focused on running your business and dealing with day-to-day demands of operations. If you wait until you open to start work on your website or branding, you’ll really be stacking up everything you need to be focused on. Even if you can handle it all at once, the quality of the outcome of your website and branding will probably suffer from your divided attention. It’s better to get on it and have it all set ahead of time than to wait until your attention is spread thin running a new business.

But I’m Already Busy! I have tons of orders! Do I still need to build a website?

It’s always better to be generating more interest in your services and be over-capacity than it is to have less. Besides, you can always scale up by hiring new employees, or re-structuring how you make and deliver your service to meet demands. You may be missing out on more growth opportunity by not having an online presence or proper branding. Just remember, at any time you can throttle back how much you’re taking on. Think about it this way:

You can’t make the phone ring when you want it to, but you can always take the phone off the hook.

Having more interest than you can handle is always better than not having enough interest. Stay ahead of it and you’ll keep growing as fast as you like!

 

 

How To Get The Most Out of your Web Designer

Web design is a specialty service.  There is a lot of training and experience that is required before someone can produce significant results in web design.  Results can be measured in traffic, sales, engagement, and functionality just to name a few.

So how do you know if you’re getting the most out of your web designer?  We’ve written this article to give you some tips if you are currently working with a web designer so that you might feel a little more comfortable when you start the web design process.

Quick Web Design Lingo Reference Sheet:

Web Designer: Someone who designs your website.  This is the person that will work in Photoshop, or some equivalent software to create the ‘look and feel’ of your website.

Continue reading “How To Get The Most Out of your Web Designer” »

Mobile Apps vs Mobile Responsive Web Applications

Mobile apps are a powerful way to connect with your market, collect data on your clients, and provide service to your clients on a new platform.  But what is a mobile app, exactly?

Essentially, a mobile app is a computer program that runs on a smartphone, tablet, or mobile device.  They’re made available through marketplaces like Google Play, or Apple’s App Store, for instance.  These platforms now run on cloud-based solutions, meaning if your phone gets run over by a truck or if you drop it in the water, you can get a new phone, log in, and automatically get all of your apps re-installed.

icloud restore

When you set up a new iOS device or need to restore information on one you already have, your iCloud backup makes it easy.

Continue reading “Mobile Apps vs Mobile Responsive Web Applications” »

How Much Does A Website Cost?

We get this question a lot.

How much does a website cost?

It’s a fair question.  But we re-phrase it back to our potential clients so they can clearly understand what they’re asking.

Well, that’s like asking how much a house costs… it depends…

It’s not surprising that it’s the first question asked, and it’s not surprising that it’s not that simple to answer.

We’ll go on to help our clients understand what it depends on and what their options are before committing to investing in web development work.  Since we do this often, we thought it’d be helpful to share with all of you so that you’re better equipped if you’re going to go shopping for digital development or graphic design services.

First, no matter what you’re looking for, you’re going to have some basic costs.  Let’s go over them quickly. Continue reading “How Much Does A Website Cost?” »

How To Make Sure Your Website Connects With Your Audience

The discovery processes at the start of a project is really the most important phase in a web design process because it shapes the trajectory of your project.  One of the best things you can do to make sure your website connects with your audience is to ask yourself who you’re doing business with.

What are their concerns?  What makes you unique?  Why should they do business with you (and not a competitor)?

We walk our clients through a guided open-ended questionnaire that helps us understand these questions. Continue reading “How To Make Sure Your Website Connects With Your Audience” »

How much SEO do you need?

The best way to explain SEO is to use an analogy because, quite frankly, it’s half science and half art, and mostly complicated.

If building your website is like building a car, then SEO is like souping up the car’s engine and modifying the car to increase it’s speed and gas mileage.  It takes additional time and effort outside of initially designing manufacturing the car.

The first step in good SEO practice is identifying your target audience.

Who is your target audience?

Let’s examine a fictional business to walk through some of this.  Take a look at Uncle Bob’s Tree Service.

Continue reading “How much SEO do you need?” »

What Are Organic Search Results?

Organic search results are listings on search engine results pages that appear because of their relevance to the search terms, as opposed to their being paid advertisements.

In contrast, non-organic search results may include pay per click advertising.

Here are some examples of paid and organic search results:

Continue reading “What Are Organic Search Results?” »

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