To be successful in e-commerce, not only is the speed and accessibility of your store or website important, but you also need to protect it from hackers. And the Conversion Hacker has some very interesting and important tips for this today.
Link to Kinsta: https://kinsta.com/?kaid=CZTLDISHZEIG
TRANSCRIPTION OF THIS EPISODE OF THE PODCAST
Hello, my name is Jörg Dennis Krüger, and yes, as my lock picker at the entrance already said:
I am the conversion hacker.
And hacking is exactly what we want to talk about today. And not about hacking, as I see it, as a philosophy to find creative solutions to achieve things that cannot be achieved in any other way. It's about those evil hackers who use their creativity, and often not even that. It's often some script kiddies who use ready-made programs to break into servers and destroy things or spread malware or whatever.
After all, you mustn't forget that an online store like this also needs proper hosting. And quite often many stores simply fail because of the hosting, because of the good foundation.
And on two levels, firstly in terms of security. Because yes, then the hackers come around the corner and destroy something, and that costs a lot of money if the store is not online for one to three days, or if the backup is perhaps not running properly. In addition, you could even lose orders that have already been placed and paid for because you have to reset the database or something like that.
And of course also on the other side, in terms of performance. Very often it's not the store that's slow, but simply the server. And often you think you're with a really good hoster, but in the end they just don't have their server properly under control. Because many hosters are simply stuck ten years ago.
Because the entire store landscape, how store software works today, has changed massively. You can see this very clearly with WordPress and WooCommerce. Anyone who still runs a WordPress or WooCommerce site on a normal host and not on a specialized WordPress host will simply have problems. They will have a slow and insecure server and simply won't have many of the options that you can have with WordPress and WooCommerce. Because standard hosting, where you just have Linux and Nginx on it or something like that, is not enough.
Instead, you have to have a somewhat tidier system that offers more so that it runs properly. And once you have that, you also have a host that doesn't just offer a server with Linux and so on. Instead, you have a host that takes care of the server in all dimensions.
And why did I come across this? There was just a hacker attack on a completely updated WordPress instance at a very large e-commerce news portal, but all kinds of content was changed and so on. A backup had to be imported, but the backup then had umlaut problems and it was a lot of work that shouldn't actually have to be done.
Because, as I said, it starts right at the beginning. If you have proper hosting, the server is hardened accordingly. Appropriately hardened, especially against the gateways that you can have if you use a certain system, a certain store system or content management system, in this case WordPress.
And there are now various specialized WordPress hosts that simply ensure that WordPress runs really well. Because these hosters use cloud infrastructure. For example, performance is not a problem because I can make my server bigger or smaller at the touch of a button and the like. And this cloud infrastructure is set up in such a way that it is not so easy for hackers to access the server from outside.
This means that there are not only firewalls, but also proxies, caches, CDNs, etc., so that the data is not just stored in one place on the server. Instead, you really use the technology that enterprise systems use, the kind you used to have to buy from Akamai for many thousands of euros a month for your own online store. And then I'm protected in both directions, firstly against hackers and secondly in terms of performance, and then it works really well.
That applies to everything. I would never go to a hoster who says that they will set up individual servers for me, configure them and so on. That's always bullshit, because then the host has no processes, no strategy at all to ensure that the servers are permanently operated, updated and so on. Then it's all customized for your online store, with all the problems and risks and costs that come with it individually for your online store.
Incidentally, that's also one of the biggest advantages of Shopify for me, that I don't have to worry about hosting and so on at all. And I can't think of any security incidents that have happened with Shopify where stores have been hacked or anything like that. Because of course the whole structure is the same for all stores and a team can work on securing all stores at the same time.
The same applies to large WordPress hosts that simply manage thousands of WordPress sites. And if there is a security vulnerability, they make sure that all their hosted sites are protected against it. Or, in the absolute worst case, they know exactly how to reset it accordingly, how to repair it and so on.
I personally only have experience with Kinsta. I'll put a link below in the show notes. With Kinsta, I'm extremely happy with the WordPress hosting because it just works fast, reliable and super awesome. And if I have any technical questions, I can also talk to Kinsta support. Because they know WordPress, they can really answer questions like, "Why is the performance bad here?" "Why isn't this loading?" "Why is a plugin causing problems here?"
They can help directly, without me having to find another WordPress specialist somehow, because that's included in the price. In the same way, there's always excellent WordPress hosting from Ionos, and many other good WordPress hosters. And the same applies to other store software, although of course there isn't as much marketing because there simply aren't as many store software or PrestaShop stores as there are WordPress stores.
But that's why, if you're building a store, do it right. Invest a little bit more in hosting (if it's more expensive at all, it's certainly not more expensive in the long run). And get a specialized host for your system. Not the kind of web hosting that I booked my first domain with Strato 25 years ago, where you have a server and there's PRP and so on. But don't go for something like that, don't go for a Strato, Ionos standard thing.
Or use a good hoster, not your own virtual server or whatever. Because you have to set up everything on your own server, as mentioned before. Instead, take a server, take a hoster that really manages your entire environment properly. And not just the server, but the entire environment, and then I promise you, you won't have any loading time problems. Because, among other things, the hoster also has a CDN, image compression, good caching, runs the whole thing on a cloud and so on. So all these problems are not there.
And the server is secure so that no hacker can get in so quickly and bite their teeth out first, because the system is simply extremely well hardened. Because thousands of WordPress sites are operated with it and of course no WordPress hoster wants thousands of WordPress sites to be infected.
Yes, that's the absolute basis for successful e-commerce, because if your site is slow or unavailable or gets hacked somehow, then of course e-commerce is completely broken. So for the absolute foundation, definitely do it! And if you have any questions, as mentioned before, I've put them in the show notes on the left. Feel free to write a comment, post something on my Facebook page, on my Instagram page. I'm here for you, and otherwise let's talk about how we can make your store even more successful.
Best regards, yours, Dennis Krüger!