Start the new year with a full audit of your website for 2020

A new year, a fresh start, a new lease of life! You’re probably setting all manner of personal resolutions and goals right now; while you’re at it, maybe give your website a little TLC before the month’s end, too.

Here are four essential tasks you’ll want to complete this January to ensure that your website is set up for success this year. These four items will take less than 60 minutes to run through and we’re here to help if you need it.

Backups

Top of your list for 2020 – backups. Do you have one? Do you know what’s actually in it? If you host your site with 34SP.com your site is backed up as standard for free. That said, don’t ever trust your web host alone with your most critical asset, your data.

We try our best to ensure reliable backups services are on hand at all times, but the fact of the matter is that things can and do go wrong: disks fail, software goes awry and data gets corrupted.

To safeguard against the unthinkable, be sure to review our Snapshot tool. Free with every account, it offers a way to create an instant copy of your site and data. It’s initially stored on our servers, but you’re free to download it for safekeeping offline. We deliver the data in a non-proprietary format so you can use it even if you choose to leave. That also means you can inspect the backup and see that all your data is there.

SSL

It’s been nearly four years since we launched our free SSL service using Let’s Encrypt. If you’re currently paying for SSL, or don’t yet use SSL at all, we strongly urge you to review our free SSL option ASAP.

SSL is rapidly becoming the defacto standard for all websites, regardless of what data your site handles. It’s never been simpler (or smarter!) to switch to SSL.

Security

Still using the same simple password across all your logins? Still haven’t updated your site’s plugins or themes to the latest version? These two are probably the cause of most common security issues on regular websites.

Insecure passwords can be cracked in minutes by automated software; likewise an outdated script or plugin can be hacked in minutes by automated software scanning the web for known exploits. Attend to these two issues and you’ll remove the simplest ways for hackers to break into your website.

And before you move on, maybe run a quick scan of your current website setup. This free site scan tool from Sucuri can check your site for common malware and spam defacements plus review your site against known website blacklists, too.

Performance

Something that we will be looking at a lot in 2020 via the blog is performance. The speed of your site, how to measure it and want to do if things don’t stack up.

A good place to start is by first looking at how your site measures up using a tool like Google Lighthouse or Yslow. There are a number of decent online tools such as GTMetrix that can help give you an overview of the speed and loading time of your site.

Remember – a fast site is essential for ensuring visitors don’t bounce off of your site to a competitor’s!

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