Why your website needs to be secure – and how to do it

By Web Design & Development

“My WordPress website doesn’t need updates or maintenance, after all, it’s not like I collect important information!”

Have you heard someone say this? Have you said it yourself? Many businesses let their Drupal or WordPress core, plugins, and PHP sit with no maintenance, convinced that it will be fine as long as they’re not collecting passwords, email, or payment information. Even worse, some website owners feel their sites don’t need an SSL certificate or firewall.

But did you know that even simple sites run the risk of being hacked and handing their visitors over to phishing sites, spam, and viruses?

With an ever-growing list of risks and possible ways hackers can use your site for their own benefit, even low-traffic sites that do not collect emails are at risk of being infiltrated or marked as unsafe. Yet how can these sites be used? And, more importantly, how can it be stopped? Here are a few common ways sites can be exploited by hackers, putting your business and customers at risk:

The Risks of an Unsecured Website

Spam Injection
Your clean site is accepted by Google as safe, making both internal and external links considered free of risk. By planting spam links in forms and links, your hacked site is helping spam businesses boost their SEO and site traffic– while possibly causing your website to be marked as unsafe. Hackers can also redirect your content to their own content, causing their SEO to boost even if no one visits their page.

Email Hijacking
Websites can also be used to send spam email as your website has a safe, non-blacklisted IP address and will more easily get past spam filters. In this way, harmless spam can turn into malicious viruses. Even worse? Your IP address could be blacklisted due to the spam, making it much more difficult to reach your customers in the future.

Malware and Ransomware
A step further than spam, hackers can modify websites so malware is installed onto the computer of anyone who visits the website, downloading viruses onto the devices of your loyal customers. Ransomware can also be downloaded in this way, causing files to be stolen and encrypted with the hackers demanding payment in exchange for returning the files.

Phising Pages
With a clean bill of health from search engines and trust from visitors, hackers love to use smaller websites for pages that will extract sensitive information from users. This includes injecting items such as fake login pages, donation pages, or purchase pages onto an otherwise safe website.

“Even simple sites run the risk of being hacked and handing their visitors over to phishing sites, spam, and viruses.”
What can you do to protect your website?

Sounds a bit daunting, doesn’t it? No website is too small for hackers to take notice and use it for their own devices. Yet there’s good news! With precautions in place, your risk can be greatly reduced.

SSL Certificate
Becoming a web standard, it is crucial to have an SSL certificate (what makes your website https:// instead of http://) to protect and encrypt data. In addition to keeping visitors safe, Google no longer ranks websites that do not have an SSL certificate, and will discourage visitors from visiting your unsecured site. Make certain that you ‘force’ the SSL, so even if a visitor types in “http://website.com” they’ll be taken to the secure “https://website.com”.

Keep your site up to date
When kept up to date, a WordPress website causes no extra security concerns. Make certain that plugins and themes are updated regularly, and that you have a WordPress specific host ensuring the WordPress core and PHP is updated.

Backup your site
What if your website is hacked? Keep regular backups of websites ready to replace the current site. Just don’t forget to change your passwords on the backup!

Install a security plugin
WordPress has a variety of plugins designed to keep website owners informed while blocking attacks and keeping website safe.

With these steps in place, you’re on the road to protecting your site, your users, and your business.

Want to keep your mind on the day-to-day instead of checking to see what plugins need updated or how the next PHP update will affect your website? ZIV has managed, firewalled WordPress hosting to keep sites safe, backed up, and secure. Want to focus on growing your business and leave the security and updates to us? Let us know!

More About ZIV

ZIV has offices in greater Kansas City and Denver, CO. Whether it’s creating a brand, implementing a digital solution to disrupt an industry, transforming a customer’s experience to gain loyalty, or executing a marketing strategy for needed growth – they’ve got you covered. Explore their capabilities and past work at letsziv.com.

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July 31, 2019 in Web Design & Development

Why your website needs to be secure – and how to do it

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How we transform businesses

ZIV built and designed Lead Bank experience wins website of the year

By Press Releases

ZIV’s design and development of the Lead Bank website a winner of the Progress Sitefinity 2018 Website Of The Year Award

Image of the Lead Bank Website

Progress Sitefinity, a leading provider of app development and digital experience technologies, announced the Lead Bank website design and development by ZIV as a winner of its annual Progress® Sitefinity® Website of the Year Award! Each year websites using the Sitefinity CMS platform are recognized for their creativity, design, user experience, functionality, and overall presentation.

The 2018 Website of the Year Awards winners selected first by a judging panel who shortlisted the three best websites per category, then voting was opened to the community to vote. The websites of each of the 13 categories with the highest amount of votes were declared winners.

ZIV would like to thank Progress Sitefinity for the kudos, and Lead Bank for the opportunity to partner on this.

Want to learn more about the redesign? Check out our website launch press release.

Read the full press release on Businesswire.com, or see the complete list of winning websites here.

To experience the award-winning website, visit lead.bank.

More About ZIV

ZIV has offices in greater Kansas City and Denver, CO. Whether it’s creating a brand, implementing a digital solution to disrupt an industry, transforming a customer’s experience to gain loyalty, or executing a marketing strategy for needed growth – they’ve got you covered. Explore their capabilities and past work at letsziv.com.

For media inquiries or for further information please contact Ben Matthews, ben.matthews@letsziv.com.

More ideas to learn from
July 31, 2019 in Web Design & Development

Why your website needs to be secure – and how to do it

“My WordPress website doesn’t need updates or maintenance, after all, it’s not like I collect important information!” Have you heard someone say this? Have you said it yourself? Many businesses…
Read More
April 4, 2019 in Press Releases

ZIV built and designed Lead Bank experience wins website of the year

ZIV's design and development of the Lead Bank website a winner of the Progress Sitefinity 2018 Website Of The Year Award Progress Sitefinity, a leading provider of app development and…
Read More
February 25, 2019 in Press Releases

Lead Bank launches new website designed by digital agency, ZIV

Monday, February 25, 2019, Kansas City, MO Lead Bank, a full-service community bank that leads the way in innovative banking solutions, launched its newly designed website, lead.bank. The organization sought…
Read More
Are You Ready to Ignite Brilliance?

Making marketing plans or know you need to optimize your market impact but don’t know where to start? We can help. Using a proven process of strategic, creative, and validated thinking, ZIV guides clients to success.

Talk to us today

Great companies deserve web experiences to match – see one of our favorite transformations.

Building a new online experience

Lead Bank launches new website designed by digital agency, ZIV

By Press Releases

Monday, February 25, 2019, Kansas City, MO

Lead Bank, a full-service community bank that leads the way in innovative banking solutions, launched its newly designed website, lead.bank.

The organization sought a firm to completely revamp the website, streamline design and improve functionality in order to help the community stay well-informed in terms of their banking options in the Kansas City area.

Lead Bank awarded experience design agency ZIV the contract. ZIV, founded in 2004, provides organizations with digital solutions grounded in a customer-focused perspective. Working with Fortune 500 companies and smaller organizations to ensure they are compelling.

Bringing Lead Bank’s website to life

With the new Lead Bank website serving as the company’s primary communication tool to their clients, it was important to ensure the site was structured as a simple, direct way to inform the community about the many services the bank offers and allow current clients to quickly accomplish their day to day banking tasks.

At the beginning of this journey, ZIV conducted in-depth information sessions with Lead Bank’s executive team and staff to ensure goals were understood and strategies acknowledged along with talking to current clients to understand perceptions before moving into the redesign process. Once this was defined, it guided the website audit of content and dictated what an intuitive site structure and design would look like moving forward.

“It was important to ensure the site was structured as a simple, direct way to inform the community about the many services the bank offers and allow current clients to quickly accomplish their day to day banking tasks”

With an improved, user tested and validated navigation model, the new Lead Bank website provides clear, easy to find access to every page on the website. Taking a customer-focused perspective to the next level, preferences and findings from Lead Bank customers and area business owners were taken into consideration and worked into new content, program names, and account information.

Visit the redesigned website at lead.bank to learn more about Lead Bank.

More about the agency partner

ZIV has offices in greater Kansas City and Denver, CO. Whether it’s creating a brand, implementing a digital solution to disrupt an industry, transforming a customer’s
experience to gain loyalty, or executing a marketing strategy for needed growth –
they’ve got you covered..

For media inquiries or for further information please contact Ben Matthews, ben.matthews@letsziv.com.

Are you ready to ignite brilliance?

Making marketing plans or know you need to optimize your market impact but don’t know where to start? We can help. Using a proven process of strategic, creative, and validated thinking, ZIV guides clients to success.

Talk to us today

Great companies deserve web experiences to match – see one of our favorite transformations.

How ZIV added to the KC Skyline
Image of an agency workplace

The top 5 ways to stay on top of digital trends

By Marketing

In business and in life, the most successful people are the leaders, not the followers.

With today’s ever-changing digital marketplace, this can be easier said than done. It’s important to stay ahead of the curve. Here’s the good news – we’re here to help! We’ve compiled a list of the top five ways to stay connected to digital trends and best practices, helping you reach new opportunities and customers.

1 – Stay connected.

It goes without saying that utilizing social media is key to staying informed. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other outlets are fantastic ways to connect with digital publications and experts, providing insights you may not have been exposed to otherwise. What are your competitors doing? What is your target audience talking about? What are the latest best practices and market research findings? Knowing the answer to these questions can provide innovative ideas and great return on time investment in the long-term.

2 – Take SEO seriously.

Millions of searches, millions of users, and a virtually unlimited pool of information make the internet a pretty crowded place. Luckily, there are ways to cut through all this clutter. SEO tools, like Moz, allow you to search industry keywords and see exactly what language your competitors and customers are using to share information. Incorporating these words into your website copy, blogs, and advertising makes it more likely that your target audience will stumble across your webpage.

3 – Consume as much media as possible.

Magazines, websites, social media, the list goes on and on. Whether you’re looking at industry-specific material or just popular content, it’s important to stay relevant. The best way to know what’s going on is to put yourself in the middle of the chaos.

“It’s important to stay relevant. The best way to know what’s going on is to put yourself in the middle of the chaos.”
4 – Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback.

You might know your industry inside and out, but at the end of the day, your customer is the expert. You can use surveys, focus groups, and even social media to get a sense of what you’re doing right, what isn’t working, and what your competitors are doing to stay ahead of the game.

5 – Keep the channels of communication open.

Your biggest asset is your team. A collaborative working environment leads to innovation, improvement, and in the long-term, success. At ZIV, we use Slack to stay in touch throughout the business day. If someone has a question, an idea, or even just a relevant article to share, we can all be looped in immediately.

Even though digital trends are constantly in flux, it’s important to remember you have a lot of tools at your disposal. Make staying relevant a priority, and you’ll see the results in no time.

More ideas to learn from
July 31, 2019 in Web Design & Development

Why your website needs to be secure – and how to do it

“My WordPress website doesn’t need updates or maintenance, after all, it’s not like I collect important information!” Have you heard someone say this? Have you said it yourself? Many businesses…
Read More
April 4, 2019 in Press Releases

ZIV built and designed Lead Bank experience wins website of the year

ZIV's design and development of the Lead Bank website a winner of the Progress Sitefinity 2018 Website Of The Year Award Progress Sitefinity, a leading provider of app development and…
Read More
February 25, 2019 in Press Releases

Lead Bank launches new website designed by digital agency, ZIV

Monday, February 25, 2019, Kansas City, MO Lead Bank, a full-service community bank that leads the way in innovative banking solutions, launched its newly designed website, lead.bank. The organization sought…
Read More
Are You Ready to Ignite Brilliance?

Making marketing plans or know you need to optimize your market impact but don’t know where to start? We can help. Using a proven process of strategic, creative, and validated thinking, ZIV guides clients to success.

Talk to us today

Great companies deserve web experiences to match – see one of our favorite transformations.

How ZIV added to the KC Skyline
Image of laptop with Scraps KC website

Scraps KC Launches New Website Designed by ZIV

By Press Releases, User Experience
Image of laptop with ScrapsKC website

ScrapsKC Launches New User-Centered Website Designed by Digital Agency, ZIV.

October 20, 2017, Kansas City, MO – Scraps KC, a non-profit creative reuse center and retail store, launched its newly designed website www.scrapskc.org. The organization sought a firm to design, develop and implement a new Scraps KC website in order to increase awareness of what they do and provide visitors with a better online experience.

Scraps KC awarded the UX (user experience) agency ZIV the contract. ZIV, founded in 2004, provides organizations with solutions grounded in a customer focused perspective. With the new Scraps KC website serving as the non-profit’s primary communication tool to a variety of customer types, it was important to ensure the site was structured in the most optimal way to inform the community about volunteer opportunities, education around reuse and repurpose, retail store information and homeless and school support programs.

“ZIV has created a dynamic new website for Scraps that produces a stimulating user experience, expanding awareness and promoting action that enables progress within our communities in and around Kansas City.”

“With a heart and passion for the work Scraps KC does,” says Cara Miller, Founder and Chief Creative Strategist for ZIV, “we were eager to dive in and ensure the website optimally communicated every way this great organization touches the KC community. With a full curation of content, an updated look, and user centered navigation, Scraps KC can better tell the story of how their work changes people, places and things, and most importantly how the community can get involved.”

“Scraps KC seeks partners that are positively inspired to support our mission around education, environmental sustainability, and the homeless” says Executive Director Brenda Mott. “ZIV has created a dynamic new website for Scraps that produces a stimulating user experience, expanding awareness and promoting action that enables progress within our communities in and around Kansas City.”

Visit the redesigned website at scrapskc.org to learn more about ScrapsKC and explore the new website.

Does your website need an update? Contact us and ignite brilliance with ZIV.

ZIV has offices in greater Kansas City and Denver, CO. Whether it’s creating a brand, implementing a digital solution to disrupt an industry, transforming a customer’s experience to gain loyalty, or executing a marketing strategy for needed growth – they’ve got you covered. Explore their capabilities and past work at letsziv.com.

For media inquiries or for further information please contact Lyssa Surface, Lyssa.surface@letsziv.com.

More ideas to learn from
July 31, 2019 in Web Design & Development

Why your website needs to be secure – and how to do it

“My WordPress website doesn’t need updates or maintenance, after all, it’s not like I collect important information!” Have you heard someone say this? Have you said it yourself? Many businesses…
Read More
April 4, 2019 in Press Releases

ZIV built and designed Lead Bank experience wins website of the year

ZIV's design and development of the Lead Bank website a winner of the Progress Sitefinity 2018 Website Of The Year Award Progress Sitefinity, a leading provider of app development and…
Read More
February 25, 2019 in Press Releases

Lead Bank launches new website designed by digital agency, ZIV

Monday, February 25, 2019, Kansas City, MO Lead Bank, a full-service community bank that leads the way in innovative banking solutions, launched its newly designed website, lead.bank. The organization sought…
Read More

User Experience is our specialty – explore our favorite UX renovation.

See the full story