How a Compromised Website May Be Hurting You
Plenty of work goes into building a successful website or online brand. From content creation to technical considerations, the effort is necessary for long-term success. When coupled with aggressive marketing strategies, virtually any brand can ultimately see success in the online arena.
Unfortunately, there are events and occurrences that can threaten this success. One of the most common threats that many do not take seriously enough is the compromise of their website. Through hacking attempts and backdoor access, your website can be harmed immensely if one or more malcontents gain access.
Below, let’s look at how your website could be hurt if it ends up (or is) compromised.
A Hacked Website Hurts Your Rankings
Perhaps more important than anything from the viewpoint of attracting people, a compromised website can damage your search engine rankings. This unfortunate side-effect of being hacked can feel like adding insult to injury, but there are good reasons why Google and other search engines nerf visibility for compromised websites.
Because any website that is compromised could be leaking valuable personal information to those who have breached it, search engines have a vested interest in minimizing the reach of these would-be thieves. If your website is pinging search engines with indicators of compromise, then you’ll soon notice a dramatic drop in rankings.
A Hacked Website Hurts Your Credibility
It’s not just search engines that view your website with skepticism in the event of compromise: browsers (and the people who use them) will also raise their eyebrows. With most browsers now capable of detecting more blatant forms of website compromise, you’ll suddenly notice more problems originating from the event.
For example, many visitors may choose to immediately leave the website if they suddenly see a warning message that the connection is not secure. Likewise, customers will be much more reluctant to purchase anything from you if they cannot be sure that their personal information is secure.
Because of this, it is crucial to consistently update your CMS of choice (whether it be WordPress or another alternative) and to ensure all plug-ins and add-ons are up-to-date as well. Most websites that are hacked are not compromised from poor passwords, but from exploits that exist in older versions of software.
A Hacked Website Hurts Your Efficiency
Most people with websites – whether they’re small-time bloggers or big businesses – have put a lot of work into creating and maintaining them. After a certain point, most of the heavy work is out of the way, allowing webmasters to focus on content creation, marketing and other important elements.
Unfortunately, poor planning and preparation can lead to a compromised website – and that can result in copious amounts of time spent fixing the problem. The last thing you want to do is spend hours shuffling through code and content to verify that the problem has been rectified. This is why it is crucial to take the appropriate steps beforehand to secure your website.
Whether bad indicators are pinging search engines or people, a compromised website can be a pain. You don’t want to alienate your sources of traffic – let alone your visitors – and this is why site security is so important. Hopefully, you’re reading this before it becomes a problem, but even if it has already impacted you, there are solutions to handle any hacking situation.