Launching a WooCommerce store is exciting. There are so many things to think about in the early days. In among the decisions there are a couple of choices that could be critical to the survival of your business.
Some of these aren’t immediately obvious. So here are a couple of things worth thinking about and making a priority.
You might be tempted to save money on the cost of hosting your website. Budget hosting providers are certainly cheaper. We suggest that you consider what would happen in the event that your website is attacked by hackers. Hosting providers that specialise in WordPress hosting are known as Managed WordPress Hosting Providers. These providers are usually experts in WordPress, and their infrastructure is configured specifically for WordPress, which usually makes them less susceptible to security issues, as well as typically having better performance.
Larger hosting providers typically have a lot more resources and can respond quickly when security becomes an issue. This might enable you to recover from an attack quickly without prolonged periods of having your site down.
The most common reason for a website to disappear is that the owner has forgotten to renew their domain name registration, causing their domain name to expire.
Renewal will usually come up every 1 – 2 years. Some providers will automatically charge your credit card and notify you that the domain has been renewed. If your credit card expires or you change banks this system won’t work. Make sure you know the answers to these questions:
- Who is your domain registrar and what is the password?
- When is renewal due?
- Which credit card is the renewal usually charged to?
- What is the procedure for renewal?
Your website security is as strong as the weakest password used to access it. Keep a close record of who gets password access. Check how strong their password is. The app 1Password is a handy way to generate unique passwords and store them in a secure place. Make sure no one on your staff has a relaxed attitude toward passwords. A lack of care on their part could compromise the security and operation of your business.
If your WordPress administrator password (or domain name password) gets in the wrong hands, then your entire website is at risk.
Be sure to never send your passwords via email, and make sure you’re using a secure password storage system such as 1Password.
WordPress plugins need to come from a trustworthy source or they represent a risk to your business. If they aren’t actively maintained and regularly updated they can be an entry point for hackers. If you have plugins as part of your website make sure the updates are applied and tested as soon as they are released.
If you are engaging an outside contractor ask yourself one question. Would I trust this person with the keys to my office? If the answer is no then don’t give them the login to your website. It is a risk to the security of your business. Use contractors who are referred by a trusted source or even better, use a local bricks and mortar business.
The WordPress team watch for security issues in WordPress itself as well as in popular plugins and themes. Security updates are issued to fix any problems that arise. If you don’t apply the WordPress updates your site will be vulnerable. Hackers can potentially use an unfixed security issue to exploit your site and disrupt your business.
This doesn’t just apply to WordPress. It applies to most software. Hackers use out of date software as a way in. This is far easier than trying to get past real security defences.
Launching a WooCommerce store is a lot of fun. It’s easy to get caught up with the jobs you enjoy doing and forget about the more boring stuff. We recommend that you turn it around. Attend to the things that could disrupt your business first. You’ll feel more confidence knowing that critical issues have been attended to.