Folks who have money and fame take special measures to protect themselves from the prying public. Site owners need to do the same thing to protect themselves from bad bot attacks and hackers too. Let me explain how and why you need to treat your site like a celebrity’s home.
You can’t just walk up to the door
Here in Nashville there are a bunch of fun bus tours available to see the homes of country music stars.
Things is, though, you never really see the houses.
What you do see is a big gate with high walls on each side and security cameras mounted everywhere.
Because they don’t want just anybody coming right up to the front door and knocking on it.
And they sure don’t want folks peeping in the windows either.
What’s hitting your site all day, every day
Besides your human traffic, all kinds of bots come to visit your site everyday.
- Search engine bots – like Googlebots
- Torrent bots – looking for things that might have money attached to them such as PDFs
- Hacker bots – trying to break your login
- Spam bots – leaving bad links via comments
Out of this whole list, the only bots you really want to allow on your site are the first type, for search engines.
You want to kick the rest to the curb.
Get a gate on your site
That’s where a gatekeeper comes in handy.
Just look at the homes of celebrities. The gate is far away from the house.
On a website, a firewall acts as that gate.
It kicks out the bad bots before they get anywhere near the front door of your site.
A bad firewall kicks bots out after they hit your site.
There are lots of plugins that have firewalls that do it this way.
The problem is, the bot has already hit your site.
Then the firewall has to chew up even more of your precious host resources to kick them out.
If you’re collecting stats on all that activity, then it is chewing up your database keeping track of all the bots it has fought off.
And if you tell it to email you those stats, it’s eating up even more hosting resources just to let you know that it’s working so hard.
Using this method is like putting a heavy dresser at the front door or bars on the windows to help fend off bad bots and attacks. The bots are already too close and the damage is being done, even if they don’t break through and hack your site.
You want to stop the bots before they get anywhere near your site or your hosting resources.
That’s where a good firewall based in the cloud comes in handy.
The free version of CloudFlare is the only CDN that offers a modicum of bot protection at no extra charge.
The paid version of CloudFlare and Sucuri both offer superior firewalls that can not only kick normal bad bot hits to the curb, they can also stop a DDoS attack where your site is being swarmed and targeted by bad bots and hackers.
Protect your site like a celebrity
Site attacks have become so frequent and so sophisticated that getting behind a paid firewall is going to become as standard as needing a domain and hosting account in order to have an online presence.
Your site represents a huge investment of your time and money and it is your money maker.
Protect it like a celebrity and get it behind a gate that is far from the front door.
Don’t confuse a malware scanner for a firewall
Some site security services and plugins only offer a malware scanner.
The problem with these is that they check for issues after they happen.
They don’t prevent the bad bots and hackers from getting into your site in the first place.
And keep in mind that the real business they are in is getting paid to clean up a compromised site.
A firewall keeps the bad stuff out, so it never hits your site.
I use and recommend CloudFlare
I tell all of my site owners clients to at least get on the free version of CloudFlare.
Do not set it up through your host!!!
Get your own CloudFlare account.
If you ever need to change hosts quickly, you’ll be glad you set it up this way.
CloudFlare also comes with added speed benefits for your site.
As a CDN (Content Delivery Network), it mirrors your site all over the globe and delivers it from a location near to your site visitor.
That way it doesn’t have to travel all through the internet, which makes delivery a lot faster.
Plus, it caches the site pages, which skips the compiling that has to be done to put all the pieces together before delivery.
And, it also minifies all those parts to create a smaller data package, which travels lighter and faster too.
Need help setting it up?
I do live sessions to help my clients set up CloudFlare and understand how to use it. Plus, I do all the techy settings so you get every perk it offers, including setting up the important Page Rules that most folks overlook.
Takes about :30 minutes and you’re all set.
Contact me to get your site on the fast track and protected like a celebrity.