If you’re a professional photographer and you’d like to host your work on an online platform, WordPress provides a good opportunity to do so. Not only can you distinguish yourself from other photographers online, you can also build a brand around your work. That opens up the possibility to sell or showcase your portfolio in a credible manner. However be careful when choosing a wordpress host, as making the wrong choice can have huge repercussions.
A WordPress hosting platform is a service that allows your website to be on the internet. In this case, it’s important to choose a wordpress host that is both reliable and secure. When you decide to launch your own website, there are a few important security aspects you need to consider – not only the price of a service.
In this article, we’ll discuss why security should be the most important thing to consider when choosing a WordPress host, and also the key components to make secure web host secure.
Why Security Matters (for Photographers)
Security is an often overlooked aspect of WordPress websites. One of the reasons is that site owners think their website is too small and irrelevant to be a target for hackers.
But, this a very wrong assumption.
You should never disregard the security measures of your site, even more so for photographers. It would be an absolute disaster to lose your entire portfolio and all of your hard work. One single cyber attack or data breach can ruin a lot, in a short amount of time.
Therefore, you should take the essential precautions to minimize the risk of getting exposed. A secure web host can benefit you in many ways such as:
- Your website data is safe from hackers and other threats.
- Positive effect on search rankings, because people trust your site (and brand).
- Visitors are more likely to convert when a platform is safe and secure.
Now, let’s take a look at some important aspects why you can’t afford to neglect the security of your WordPress website.
Don’t Risk Your Personal & Customer Data
When you create a new website, you’ll have to register for a domain and web hosting using your personal information. So, it’s not only your company data at risk, but also your personal information.
The personal information stored on your host’s online systems usually contains the following:
- First and last name
- Home address
- Phone numbers
- Email address
- Login details
- Payment information (i.e. bank account or credit card details)
You don’t want hackers to obtain such sensitive information who potentially abuse it for fraudulent activities.
Some hosting platforms (including our service at MyPhotoCTO.com) and will chose not to actually store your Card details on their system, but instead use third party organisations like Stripe which allows them access to the card data only during the actual sales transaction.
While online identity and payment information theft is a rapidly growing issue for internet users, you might consider it to be far-fetched that someone would go after your personal information. However, it’s an essential part of online security to protect such data, wherever you’ve shared or used it.
In addition, it’s not only your personal data but also sensitive data of your visitors. Visitors leave sensitive information in your hands by accessing, subscribing, or making payments on your site. This data also leaves them vulnerable.
Imagine if a customer would suffer from identity theft or financial loss because of a breach on your website. The results could be disastrous, because the chance for that customer to return would be zero-to-none. And it could get even worse if people start spreading the word that your site is not safe.
Safeguard Your Brand
As a photographer, the aim of your website is most likely to either sell your work or generate more awareness.
Regardless what the goal of your site is, it’s important to safeguard your brand and your credibility. This is incredibly important for websites that process payments, because it’s important to establish a firm reputation and a sign of trust for your customers.
I’ll explain more about the security precautions you should take in the section below.
What Makes a Web Host Secure?
Now that you are aware of the possible threats and risks to come with having your own site, let’s take a look at the security aspects you should be looking for in a secure web host.
1. Security Team & Data Storage
First and foremost, a web host should have a reputable security team. The security team constantly monitors the data centers of a web host, but also updates their software to patch out the latest bugs and security threats.
Ideally, you want to choose a web host that’s storing your site’s data in multiple locations. Information on the data centers of a web host is stated on the website, sometimes it needs a little digging. However, once you’ve found it, look for the following features:
- Up-time and 24/7 security monitoring
- Backup systems – High-end data centers will not only back up your data but also their system data as well.
2. Backup Options
It’s important to know if your web host is automatically creating backups your site. So, once you run into any issues or a harmful situation, you can always rely on a backup file that can restore your site.
If possible, you can create a backup on your web host’s site by logging in to the cPanel.
As an extra layer of security, you could install a plugin such as BackupBuddy to automatically create backups of your site.
You can read more about backing up you site here.
3. SSL Protection
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) establishes a secure connection between your site and the visitors by encrypting all the communication. That means if a visitors commits to a purchase on your site, all the payment details and other personal information will be encrypted. Therefore, hackers can’t read the encrypted data.
Active SSL protection on a site is visible by the green padlock and the “https” protocol. Such protection will provide potential customers with a sense of security, which typically increases the conversion rate.
Additionally, it’s a ranking factor for Google’s search index, if you don’t implement it by the middle of the year, Google’s Chrome Browser platform will mark your site as “Not Secure”.
4. Firewall Protection
As online threats are rising, firewall protection should be considered a standard feature in the protection package of a web host. A firewall scans all the incoming data and blocks any known threats.
Before you make a payment for a web host subscription, make sure to check the firewall protection features. Just visit the web host’s site and browse through the security features. It’s not always free to install firewall protection on your site, so make sure to have a good understanding of their offerings.
Better Safe Than Sorry
So, be careful when choosing a WordPress host. At the end of the day, it’s crucial to the success of your business, as well as the protection of sensitive customer information, to have top-notch security systems for your WordPress website.
Web host security might be disregarded by many users. However, since you now have a better understanding of important security measures, you should place it at the top of your priority list when starting a new WordPress site.
This article was provided by our friends at PixelPrivacy.com. PixelPrivacy.com is all about making the world of online security accessible to everyone. They pride themselves in writing guides that they’re certain even their own mothers could understand! Be sure to head over to their blog if you’re interested in keeping your private information just that: Private!