Back to the top

Web Design

Everything You Need To Know About Website Security

In a world with millions – perhaps billions – of websites, small business shouldn’t have to worry about website security, right? It should only be big companies like Walmart and Microsoft that need to worry about hacks. After all, they’re the ones with all that sensitive information to steal… why would anyone bother with a local business’ website?

Truth is, hackers don’t discriminate. Hackers don’t spend hours looking for the perfect site to break into. Hackers don’t care if you’re a tree care business, a lawyer, or a restaurant. Hackers don’t care how much traffic you have on your website…

In a world with millions of websites, no website is special, and every website is a target. That means that proper website security is paramount for any and every website.

Why Hack?

Outside of Bruce Willis movies, hacking – and basically everything else – is pretty mundane. Instead of finding the few lines of computer code that can somehow shut down infrastructure, most hacks are about spreading viruses, most of which are used to capture sensitive information. It’s a bit like crowd-sourcing; instead of trying to break through the security that companies like Walmart pay entire teams to maintain, hackers gather information slowly from a lot of sites.

Why? There are many reasons, but the most common are for spam, using a server as a proxy, and to spread viruses.

Spam: Many hacks are trying to access the server your website is hosted on so it can be used to send spam emails. Hackers can usually send thousands of emails before hosting companies notice. This has the added danger of your server potentially being flagged by other email servers as a dangerous or illegitimate source. This can lead to emails from your domain always going to spam, or being outright rejected by many mail servers, including Google.

With so many email servers and services, once your domain or server is flagged, it can be a truly daunting task to restore your server’s reputation.

Proxies: Sometimes all hackers want is to use a little bit of your server’s power, or to use your server to mask their identity while performing other – sometimes illegal – tasks.

Viruses: Your website may be hacked and used to spread viruses. Once these viruses infect visitors to your site, they can be used to collect information like internet passwords, credit card numbers, and more.

At the end of the day, most hacking is used to gather sensitive information, or make money – a hacker who can distribute a lot of spam will sell that distribution for profit. All the while, everything that a hacker does will drive your website’s reputation down, hurting search rankings, and potentially your reputation with customers and clients. If a customer sees a Malware warning when they visit your site, they might think twice about doing business with you. In an age when an online presence is all but required, website security can make or break a business.

How Do They Hack?

There are a few ways to hack into a website or server, but we’ll focus on the two most common: exploiting old and outdated software, and exploiting poor security.

Exploiting Old Software: If there’s a will there’s a way, and if there’s a technology that a lot of people are using, there’s someone trying to find its vulnerabilities. With 46% of all websites now built on WordPress, it’s a pretty obvious target for hackers. Many hacks will focus on sites that have outdated versions of software that they have found a way to exploit.

Exploiting Poor Security: Weak passwords and standard usernames on websites can spell serious trouble. If a hacker can gain access to a website as an administrator, they have almost full control over it.

Most hacks and website security issues are due to a lack of diligence. If a website’s software is kept up-to-date, and proper precautions with usernames and passwords are taken, the risks of hacking are dramatically lowered.

DogCat Measures

When we build a site for any client, we build it with a eye on website security. We take the necessary precautions to ensure that when a website is launched, it has ample protection.

Premium Themes and Plugins: We only use tried and true WordPress themes, purchased from reputable sources. We carefully review their download history, user ratings, and the frequency of their updates. The same goes for plugins – we carefully vet the programs and software we use, keeping an eye out for possible vulnerabilities.

User Roles & Two-Factor Authentification: Weak passwords and usernames are a major concern. For every website we require a unique username and a 32-character alphanumeric password for any user that has administrator access. For eCommerce and other high-traffic sites, we employ two-factor authentication for administrators.

Backups & Security: Even if you do everything right, sometimes website security can be breached. That’s why we install a security plugin that scans our websites, and alerts us to any major problems, allowing us to act swiftly when there is an issue. We can also access site backups to start from a clean slate if anything slips through the cracks.

Website Security Maintenance

With as many security features built in as possible, DogCat Marketing websites start with the right footing. However, without maintenance, the software on these sites becomes vulnerable to attacks. Consistent upkeep and updates are required to keep a website secure.

At DogCat Marketing, we offer a monthly service that will keep your site up to date and safe from most attacks. It’s almost ridiculously inexpensive. Get in touch today to find out more about protecting your investment in your online presence.


GoDaddy? You’ll Be Crying For Mommy.

The first thing many of us do when we come up with a great idea is we rush out and find ourselves a domain name. Often from the Kings of Domain Marketing, GoDaddy.

But whether you intend to have the pros build your new site, or you are thinking of it doing it yourself, please let us help with a little friendly advice.


GoDaddy is second on our list of incredibly unethical websites. (We’ll get to Yelp later.) Think about some of their practices: they were caught snooping on your searches for a domain name – then buying it themselves, and selling it at a premium when you went back for it. Lovely. If your domain expires, and they see value in it – they have been known to snap it up and sell it back to you after extracting a healthy profit.

Secondly, assuming you are woefully ignorant enough to actually buy a domain from them (for $14.95, instead of the $10 you pay elsewhere) you may as well kiss goodbye to any control you ever thought you had of your domain. They’ll tack on numerous fees and ‘options’ that you don’t need, including one – Domains By Proxy – that is solely designed to make it almost impossible to ever transfer your domain to a reputable registrar. You’ll need an entirely separate login, password and so on – and THEN, they’ll ask for you to scan and send them your driver’s license before they’ll even allow you to unlock your domain name!

Their hosting package is cheap – but you get what you pay for. The Better Business Bureau reports that 78% of customers would not recommend GoDaddy to a friend. I wouldn’t recommend them to the guy who ran over my dog.


Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 14
Neutral Experience 7
Negative Experience 154
Total Customer Reviews 175


Speaking of which…

Forget the practical matters for a moment: their CEO shoots elephants. Everyone needs a hobby, right?

And would any woman-owned business want to associate itself with their sexist, man-child advertising? For all we know, Danica Patrick may be a perfectly nice person. But so was the Marlboro Man.

There are so many places to buy a domain where you won’t get completely reamed. Our favorite is because they’re only $10, and they’re easy to transfer.

And then, if it doesn’t work out, at least we don’t have to clean up GoDaddy’s mess when you call us next month…

Building A Website Painlessly – DogCat Marketing

Building a website painlessly isn’t easy. Chances are you don’t want to pay $25,000 or more for your web design – at least, as a small or medium business.

But here’s the kicker – you may not really know how to actually get your needs met, without paying a fortune.

You’re probably not a writer. Or a designer. Or a developer. You may not have time to run around chasing down social media opportunities or figuring out how to link all your accounts together. You may not know how to select the hosting and URL package that’s best for you, or how to get information onto it once you do. And even if you do all of that, there’s a huge reality gap between having an integrated online presence, and actually getting business from it.

DogCat Marketing solves those problems.

Our process is simple. We discuss what you need from your web identity through an initial meeting or two about your business, your skills, your competition, and what differentiates you from others in your field. We help you identify the key selling propositions online – they may not be exactly the same as they are offline – and we’ll take over building a website from there.

We’ll start with a site plan, a set of key messages, and a way to deliver those messages both actively (search engine optimization, third-party marketing, push marketing through social media, paid ads, virality and so on) and passively (through your central hub, your website).

The copy, keywords, and sales pitch are written by someone who has won dozens of awards, and created millions and millions of dollars in sales – one email alone brought in over $650,000.

Then we’ll claim your online presence where necessary – Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and more – and literally put your business on the Google Map.

Best of all, once the initial development phase is complete, we’ll work with you to teach you to manage your own site with the minimum of fuss, so that as your business develops, so does your online presence. Of course, if you really WANT to pay us to manage your online business, we won’t say no. But we think you deserve the option of building a website for the future.

Over a period of time you’ll see your business rising in the search rankings… sending new customers your way… and adding enormous credibility and retention value to your existing business.

In short, it doesn’t matter if you know nothing about web development. We’ll get you where you need to be – quickly, simply, and inexpensively.

Building a website painlessly isn’t impossible, it’s just a matter of choosing the right firm.

Perhaps you can understand that a monthly support fee is important – something that makes sure that your site is updated and secured against hacking attacks every time a new version of the software comes out. Other companies will charge $500 or more for that service: we charge $65 per month.

Call us today at (720) 588-2007 for a free initial consultation. You might be surprised at how affordable we can be.

© 2022 DogCat Marketing | All Rights Reserved