The most dangerous time to do anything is when you’ve first started doing it. Whether it is a sporting activity or running a business, when you’re raw and have more to learn, you’re unsure of when you’re on the verge of making a mistake or doing something you might regret later.
If you’re starting a website for the first time, then your naivety isn’t just increasing your potential for making errors, it also leaves website visitors open to malware infections and hackers potentially licking their lips at being able to access all manner of information. What are the biggest dangers facing new website owners and what can you do to stop them becoming real problems?
Trying to Save Too Much Money
Saving money is never a bad thing to do, but if you’re too frugal when starting a website then it’ll probably cost you in the longer term. The problem is that it is simply impossible to get great hosting, high quality design, and great content for your site without spending money, unless you happen to know someone at a hosting company and are a great designer and writer in your own right.
Taking the too frugal approach isn’t too bad if you’re a blogger and aren’t launching a site purely to make money. However, if you’re a business owner and need to start seeing traffic and generating conversions from day one, it really is a case of having to spend money to make money.
It is nigh impossible to accurately forecast how much traffic your site is going to enjoy when you first launch it. However, that doesn’t mean you should just invest in a shared server and see where it takes you. Instead, consider using a managed VPS hosting solution; not only will it protect your site from any early traffic spikes that you aren’t expecting and allow you to assess whether you need a more powerful, dedicated server.
The managed element means that you can allow a professional hosting company to take care of your server administration tasks allowing you to focus on the rest of the site or growing your business.
Leaving the Door Open
This is where the dangers for everyone else come to the fore. If you use open source software, unsafe plugins, or flawed applications, you’re basically telling hackers and cyber-criminals to come and get you.
You might think you’re fine and able to deal with these, and you’d probably be right. However, these won’t just affect you; it could lead to your website visitors’ devices getting infected and personal information being stolen. Your hosting company will be able to help you implement security features on your website, but this is about helping yourself as much as yourself.
As a new website owner, maybe building your very first website, it might be tempting to go all out for an over the top website with all manner of features and functions. Ask yourself, do you really need them? One of the biggest turn offs for customers from small business websites is that they’re not simple enough, and are trying to rip off large corporate sites.
Your website visitors are probably expecting a simple, uncomplicated, and easy to navigate site; make sure you give it to them, or see your bounce rate skyrocket.
Dealing with these new website dangers will help you ensure your site starts off on the right foot and is successful right from the off; ignore them at your peril.
Gary is a web design student who experienced most of these problems in his younger days. When he is ready to embark on his own career, he hopes to use his experience to help others avoid these problems.