Website Security & SEO In 2018

Just a little heads up on what we are we are wrapping up this month. Website security and technical changes to our SEO services have been our focus since the end of last year. Google has made major changes that we addressed in our last blog post, Google Algorithm Update & 2018 SEO Strategy. We also talked about a lot of other technical leaps we were preparing for. Those new technologies are currently being implemented across all of the sites we manage and will be completed in March. The one exception is AMP technology, which we are waiting for more news about Google’s recent involvement with the WordPress platform.

Security & SSLs

Security is the name of the game in 2018. From taking another look at the quality of the plugins we use to the new login security measures and SSL certificates, we are working hard to prevent any security issues for our clients. This month we are wrapping up our rollout of SSLs in time for the start of the 2018 tourism season.

Plugin Changes

We are making massive changes to the plugins we use. Some of them are being replaced because they are not being upgraded to keep pace with the updates to WordPress and some are being replaced because there are better alternatives. Let’s go down the list.

Jetpack

Jetpack offers a variety of tools, most of which we no longer make use of, like spam prevention that is being replaced by Google’s reCaptcha services, and image galleries which we can build using the SiteOrigin Pagebuilder plugins that we use. For managing updates, backups, and virus scanning, we now use ManageWP through Godaddy. This eliminates some of our hardware overhead, speeds up our server response time, and reduces our operating costs to be reinvested in other things, like SSLs.

For websites that use E-commerce and have high volumes of traffic, we may still make use of this plugin for the CDN capabilities and WooCommerce integrations.

TC Custom Javascript

This plugin allowed us to place Javascript in the HTML of the website which we require to make use of Google Analytics. This plugin did not allow us to control the actual script tags themselves. We have replaced it with another plugin by a more reputable provider. As a result, the plugin we now use for this is better maintained and more reliable.

Legull

There are laws that require Privacy Policy and Terms Of Service. Legull provides this through automation which is nice. However, this plugin was not being updated and there was no way of knowing the security risk it posed or accuracy of the wording. We have replaced the use of this with documentation provided by The Better Business Bureau.

Limit Login Attempts

This plugin has been out of date for some time now and is no longer necessary since we have switched to using physical security keys to protect websites from security breaches. You can read more about this in an article on my personal website, “Physical Security Key For The Web?“.

Images, Content & SEO

We haven’t forgotten about our clients or the SEO side of what we do. Though most technical changes are not obvious when looking at your website, we have been working long hours, seven days a week since the start of the year to address and resolve technical challenges and security risks. These changes are also part of Good SEO. Search Engines penalize websites that present security risks to users, so preventing these risks are also part of good SEO.

This week, as we wrap up the changes mentioned here, we are heading back over to the content side of what we do. Many of you have worked hard to provide us with content input and volumes of media, such as images. We will be making use of this and rolling out new blog posts over the coming weeks.

As always, if you have any question, please feel free to contact us at your convenience.