Over the years, we’ve had many clients come to us with a website or application that was corrupted or wasn’t functioning properly. Sometimes it was some external code that caused a huge performance drop; other times some pages were giving 404 and 500 errors without obvious changes. 

In resolving these issues, we wanted to put together a list of common occurrences or mistakes that lead to an underperforming or broken website.

Needless to say, a website is an invaluable asset for any business or organization. Properly maintained and secured, it can be a powerful tool to reach customers, increase brand awareness, and drive sales. However, if a website is not properly managed, it can quickly become a liability. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of website maintenance and website security, and provide tips and best practices on how to keep your site working for you and your business.

Most frequent issues on a website are due to a lack of website maintenance

Website maintenance is essential for a smooth and successful online experience. Without regular maintenance, websites can quickly become plagued by bugs and errors that can significantly impact user experience. It’s important to take note of these and plan your website maintenance accordingly. In this section, we will review the most common issues that occur on websites.

1. Broken Links

Broken links are one of the most common website bugs due to a lack of website maintenance. They can occur when pages are moved or deleted, or if the URL is incorrectly written. This can lead to users being unable to access the information they are looking for, as well as a decrease in user experience.

2. Outdated Content

Keeping content up-to-date is essential for website maintenance, as outdated information can lead to confusion and frustration for users. Outdated product information, blog articles, prices, or contact information can all have an impact on user experience and trust.

3. Slow Load Times

Slow loading times can be a major roadblock for website users. When an increase in website traffic or an outdated server causes a slowdown in load times, users suffer from decreased user experience and higher bounce rates. Thankfully, there are ways to identify the source of the issue and work to improve website speed and performance, ensuring that visitors have the best possible experience when navigating your site.

4. Missing Images

Poorly coded websites or incorrectly labeled image files can lead to a decrease in user experience, as images are an essential part of conveying information. Images can often be a crucial guide for visitors, helping them navigate the website or understand the context of a story. When missing images affect the overall user experience, it is important to identify and fix the problem quickly. Incorrect coding and incorrect file paths are two common causes of missing images on web pages, and understanding these issues is key to fixing them.

5. Poor Navigation

Poor navigation on a website or application can also lead to a frustrating user experience and cause users to abandon their search for the information they need. Without an intuitive user interface and clear labels, users can become easily overwhelmed or frustrated when trying to find what they are looking for. This can be caused by outdated menus, confusing labels, or incorrect links which can all lead to time wasted and an overall decrease in user satisfaction.

6. Browser Compatibility Issues

Having a website that has high browser compatibility is critical to providing an optimal user experience. Unfortunately, outdated code or incorrect coding can lead to compatibility issues that can result in decreased user engagement and potential revenue losses. To avoid this, developers must ensure all their code is up-to-date and written correctly in order to ensure maximum compatibility across all major browsers.

7. Security Vulnerabilities

Website maintenance is essential for any business that wants to ensure the security of its website. Without regular updates and patching, outdated software or plugins can become vulnerable to security attacks. This not only decreases user confidence in the website but also increases the risk of data breaches and other malicious activities. It’s important to note that website maintenance is not just a one-time task; it should be done regularly in order to reduce potential risks and keep users safe, as part of the website security strategy.

8. Poorly Written Code

Poorly written code can have a bad effect on user experience. Code that is not well-written or optimized for browser compatibility can lead to slow load times, crashes, and even complete inaccessibility of a website. This can be disastrous for businesses, as it can lead to lost customers and revenue.

9. Missing Meta Tags

Meta tags are essential for successful SEO. Search engines use these tags to identify the content and topics of a website, allowing them to accurately index it. Without meta tags, search engines may not be able to accurately categorize pages, leading to decreased visibility and reduced search engine rankings. Therefore, it is important for all websites to include meta tags in their web pages in order to optimize their SEO efforts.

10. Unresponsive Design

Unresponsive design can lead to a decrease in user experience. With the ever-increasing range of devices, from desktop computers to mobile phones, users need content that is viewable and accessible across all platforms. Outdated or incorrectly written code can lead to unresponsive design, resulting in frustrated customers being unable to access or view the content they want. This can cause a decrease in user satisfaction and ultimately lead to lost sales.

10 common website security threats to be aware of

Website security is just as important as website maintenance. They go hand in hand when it comes to keeping your business’s website functional at all times. As technology advances, cyber security threats are becoming increasingly prevalent. When it comes to websites, there is a range of security threats that can cause serious damage to your business. In this section, we will be exploring 10 of the most common website security threats that you should be aware of.

1. SQL Injection

SQL injection is a type of attack that takes advantage of weaknesses in an application’s code to inject malicious SQL commands into the database. This type of attack can be used to gain access to confidential information, modify or delete data, and even execute system commands on the server. It is one of the most common web application security vulnerabilities and can have serious consequences if left unaddressed. The best way to protect against SQL injection attacks is by implementing input validation and parameterized queries in order to prevent malicious code from being executed in the database. Additionally, it is important for organizations to stay up-to-date on security patches and ensure proper security measures are in place.

2. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

A bit similar to SQL Injection, Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) is a type of attack that involves embedding malicious scripts into legitimate web pages. These scripts can then be used to execute malicious code on a user’s computer or device, allowing attackers to steal personal information and gain access to sensitive data. XSS attacks are one of the most common forms of cyberattacks and can have devastating consequences for both individuals and organizations. Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to protect against XSS attacks, such as using input validation techniques, implementing content security policies, and regularly patching vulnerable systems.

3. Malware

Malware is an ever-growing threat to computer systems and the data they contain. It can be spread in a variety of ways, such as through email attachments, malicious websites, or by taking advantage of vulnerable applications. It is designed to steal data or disrupt operations, and can have catastrophic consequences, should it land on a server with sensitive data for example.

4. DDoS Attacks

DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks are becoming increasingly common nowadays. By overloading a website’s server with traffic, it can become difficult or even impossible for users to access the website. This type of attack has become especially dangerous in recent times, as it can be easily launched by anyone with the right tools and knowledge. Businesses and organizations must take proactive measures to protect their websites from these malicious attacks.

5. Phishing

Phishing is a type of cyber-attack that can be sent through email, text messages, or social media posts. The intent is to trick people into clicking on malicious links or downloading dangerous attachments. Criminals may try to fool victims by convincing them to reveal confidential information, like usernames and passwords, and if successful, they would gain access to their accounts and systems.

The best way to protect yourself from phishing attacks is by being aware of the signs of a potential attack and taking steps to verify the source before clicking on any links or downloading any attachments. It’s also important to use strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible.

6. Brute Force Attacks

Brute force attacks are a common type of cyber attack wherein automated hacking tools guess passwords or credentials to get unauthorized access to a website or system. The attacker attempts to guess the correct combination of credentials until they gain access. This type of attack is particularly dangerous because it can be used against any system with weak security measures, making it difficult for organizations to protect themselves from these types of attacks. Additionally, brute force attacks can be used by attackers with limited technical knowledge and resources, making them even more dangerous.

7. Unpatched Software

Unpatched software can be a huge security risk for organizations. Hackers are constantly looking for ways to exploit outdated software, which can leave businesses vulnerable to attack. To protect against this, it’s important to ensure all software is kept up to date with the latest patches and updates. Doing so will drastically reduce the chance of successful attacks on corporate networks and systems, keeping organizations safe from malicious actors.

8. Weak Passwords

As the risk of cyberattacks continues to rise, it is becoming increasingly important to use strong passwords that cannot be easily guessed. Weak passwords can provide attackers with easy access to a website or system, potentially leading to data theft or other malicious activities. By using strong passwords that are difficult to guess and regularly changing them, users can help protect their data and systems from potential attacks.

9. Unsecured Wi-Fi Networks

An unsecured Wi-Fi network can be a dangerous tool in the hands of malicious attackers. By using unsecured Wi-Fi networks, they can easily gain access to websites, systems, and confidential data. To protect yourself from these cyber criminals, it is essential to secure wireless networks with strong encryption. This will make it difficult for attackers to gain access and prevent them from stealing sensitive information or breaching our security.

10. Unauthorized Access

Unauthorized access to sensitive data is a major security concern that must be addressed. Without proper measures in place, malicious individuals could gain access to confidential information or even manipulate it for their own gain. To protect against these risks, it’s essential to properly secure your website or system by only allowing authorized people access. With the right measures in place, you can ensure that only those with the correct credentials have access to your data and systems.

20 tips & tricks to keep your website updated and Secure

Now that we’ve covered some of the most common bugs and security threats that plague websites, we can’t let you go without proposing some solutions to these problems. As a website owner, it can be very dismaying to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of website security and website maintenance. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to stay ahead of the game. Here we have compiled 20 essential tips & tricks to help you keep your site updated and secure. By implementing these notions, you can be confident that your website is safe and running smoothly at any time.

1. Understand the Risks: It is important to understand the risks associated with online security and the potential threats that can affect a website. Research the types of attacks, such as malware, phishing, and hacking, and their potential effects on a website.

2. Scan for Vulnerabilities: Perform regular scans of your website, either internally or through a third-party security provider, to identify any potential vulnerabilities. 

3. Install a Web Application Firewall: Web application firewalls help detect and block malicious traffic and protect websites from threats.

4. Use Strong Passwords: Use strong passwords to protect sensitive information and ensure that only authorized users can access your website.

5. Encrypt Data: Encrypt sensitive data to protect it from unauthorized access.

6. Monitor Website Activity: Monitor website activity to detect any suspicious activity and take action if needed.

7. Implement Intrusion Detection: Install an intrusion detection system to detect and respond to any suspicious activity.

8. Regularly Backup Data: Perform regular backups of your website data to ensure that you can recover any lost or corrupted files.

9. Conduct Security Audits: Regularly audit your website to ensure that it remains secure and compliant with industry standards.

10. Patch Management: Ensure that all software and applications are up-to-date with the latest security patches.

11. Perform Vulnerability Assessments: Conduct vulnerability assessments to identify and fix any potential vulnerabilities.

12. Use Email Security Solutions: Implement email security solutions to detect and protect against phishing attacks.

13. Educate Employees: Educate employees on website security policies and procedures to ensure that everyone is aware of the potential risks.

14. Implement Strict Access Controls: Implement strict access controls to ensure that only authorized users can access sensitive information.

15. Use Two-Factor Authentication: Implement two-factor authentication to ensure that only authorized users can access sensitive information.

16. Monitor Third-Party Services: Monitor third-party services and ensure that they are secure and compliant with industry standards.

17. Deploy Anti-Malware Solutions: Deploy anti-malware solutions to detect and remove any malicious software.

18. Monitor Network Traffic: Monitor network traffic to detect any suspicious activity.

19. Use HTTPS: Use HTTPS to encrypt data and protect it from unauthorized access.

20. Implement a Disaster Recovery Plan: Develop a disaster recovery plan to ensure that your website is prepared for any potential threats.

Can’t do it in-house? We’ll keep your website running smooth.

When it comes to maintaining and securing your website, doing it yourself can be a daunting task. Not only could it be time-consuming and require a lot of technical expertise, but it could be risky, especially if it’s not done properly. That’s why it’s important to seek out professional assistance if you can’t implement website maintenance and website security in-house.

At WebCakes, we take the security of your website seriously and are committed to providing you with the best possible service and support. If you’re looking for professional assistance with website maintenance and website security, we’ll be happy to help!

Learn more about our website maintenance and security services.