Over the course of this month, Chamber member Spring Insight, a digital strategy firm here in Bethesda, has been exploring areas of risk that your website opens that have the potential to damage your overall business. We have seen these vulnerabilities impact small businesses that we talk to in real and damaging ways, and we are here to keep you informed so you can sidestep these risks and use your time to focus on the important stuff like attending Chamber meetings.
Our first item is accessibility. To be honest, this is a topic we have been obsessing over in recent months. We recently covered the topic as it pertains to websites, so we will only lightly touch on it here. What is website accessibility, you ask? Basically, it is creating a website with the proper colors, tools, and coding so that anyone, regardless of any auditory, cognitive, neurological, speech, or visual difficulties, can not only visit the site but also navigate it and process the information contained.
Website accessibility is becoming increasingly important both as a humanitarian gesture and as good business. Why? There are a myriad of reasons, but one we are closely watching is that it is starting to show up on the radar of the all-mighty Google. Plus, if your business gets behind the eight-ball on accessibility, you are opening yourself up to the real risk of having it completely inaccessible to anyone. To more fully understand the subject, check out our article discussing why you should care about website accessibility.
At Spring Insight, we fully understand what your business stands to lose if a potential customer visits your website and finds it painfully slow, outdated, clunky when it comes to conversion, or shut down completely. You lose leads, tarnish your reputation, and ultimately, get less dollars in the bank.
On top of that, your website is at real risk for infiltration when it is not properly maintained. Perhaps I shouldn’t disclose this particular piece of advice because we have won business from businesses whose sites have been hacked and needed to be rebuilt. Something as seemingly innocuous as an outdated plugin can leave your website open to hackers.
But it doesn’t have to be that way! Here are three simple steps you can take to minimize website maintenance-related risks.
There is a lot more to learn about these important maintenance tips, check it out by reading Spring Insight’s detailed article on the topic here.
Contact Form Spam
Last but not least, let us talk about the contact form. Can you think of another part of your website that brings you such joy and pain? On the one hand, that is where new prospective leads come from. More often, instead of incoming leads the contact form ends up bringing us loads of spam, or worse yet, phishing attempts.
Contact form spam, at its most basic level, is unwelcome or unsolicited email that comes from your website. It can range from the annoying (Hello! I run a virtual assistant company and I am sure we can help you!) to the unsettling (Hello, I am Toya and I want to be your wife) to the unsafe (Hello, I noticed a vulnerability in your website. I can help you fix it.) In other words, this is the stuff that you mostly delete from your inbox and move on with your day. But, not so fast.
Sure, most of them are easily identifiable as total junk. I have to admit that others are more convincing. The thing is, if they didn’t work, they wouldn’t be around. Want to know what Spring Insight recommends you do to protect your site from this risk? Find the solutions in our full write up of the article here.
You are interested in keeping your website free from the problems associated with these risks. Of course you are! But we get it. When you are running a business, website risk protection may seem like too much trouble. How about hiring a web consultancy to manage your website that is always looking out for these things? Contact us. We are Chamber members and a proud local business in Bethesda!
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