5 Tips to get your website ready for the 2020 Holidays

holiday website security

Do you know who Ellen Davis is? It’s no big deal if you don’t.  Even Wikipedia doesn’t acknowledge her if you looked up “people named Ellen.”  But they should, and you will, and here’s why:

Ellen Davis was the former President of the National Retail Federation, the world’s largest trade association. In 2005 she noticed a trend. She noticed how people were spending a substantial amount of money online the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Ellen Davis coined the phrase Cyber Monday.

In 2006, $610 million was spent online on freshly minted Cyber Monday.

In 2019, it was $9.4 billion.

For those of you who‘ve been enjoying your states laxed policy on marijuana a little too much — we officially live in a COVID-19 world where we know our Amazon drivers mother’s name… It’s Ruth.

We officially live in a world where more than $1 in every $5 was spent online in Q2 2020–the highest ecommerce penetration of any quarter or year on record.

And we officially live in a world where online sales are predicted to grow 18% while brick and mortar decline by 14%.

So, we have one question for you – are you ready? Or better yet, is your e-commerce website ready for a Cyber Monday/Holiday season that will, without a doubt, be one for the books?

If not, awesome! Not like “yay, awesome.” More like, “hey, awesome. We wrote this blog called 5 tips to get your website ready for the 2020 holidays” sorta awesome.

1. Make sure your domain is set to auto renew.

You don’t, repeat, you don’t want to lose your domain due to not renewing it. Even worse, if you did lose your domain, you just provided potential for someone to buy it out from under you. Good job with that.

However, there are steps to prevent your domain from expiring and protect you from losing your domain registration.

One of those steps is to auto-renew.  To find out how you can do this for your own website, check out this post from Google.

Or you could contact J.E.G. DESIGN INC.

2. Make sure SSL Certificate is up to date.

First, for those of you who are unaware, or are too proud to admit you don’t know everything, SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an company’s details. But you knew that.

These certificates are the little padlocks you see next to your URL.  If your SSL is not up to date, no big deal.  Instead of having a padlock you get a subtle international sign for warning with the words “Not Secure. ” You know, in case they didn’t know what the giant exclamation mark meant.

Now realize, all SSL Certificates have an expiration date. To determine whether or not your SSL is still valid, you can check out this blog post by Venafi.

Or you could contact J.E.G. DESIGN INC.

3. Request Extra Bandwidth

Okay, now before you go and think to yourself, “this is all I need to do!”—stop thinking. This solution isn’t for all or many of you.  Unless you’re going onto Shark Tank the day before Cyber Monday, we don’t foresee your site crashing due to the scope of your bandwidth.

However, it may be the case for some of you. So, if your selling the next pet rock, Tickle-Me Elmo, or Furby – you may need to do so me serious investigation into increasing your bandwidth.

Oh wait, you don’t have to! Here is a beginners guide on how to increase your websites bandwidth.

Or you could contact J.E.G. DESIGN INC.

4. Turn off or delete any unneeded or unused plugins on your WordPress based site

Honest raise of hands here, how many of you loaded your WordPress website with plugins as soon as you discovered you could load your site with plugins?  Ya, it happens.  But, if your site has as many plugins as the overly friendly waitress at T.G.I.F has pieces of flair – you may need to have a “Come to Jesus” meeting with your web designer and ask which ones you really need.

If you don’t have a web designer, check out this piece about how to remove those unused plugins from your WordPress site.

Or you could contact J.E.G. DESIGN INC.

5. Test your Credit Card Gateway

No matter what your reason, no matter what your purpose – if your website is unable to take payment for any goods or services purchased, pack it in and call Uber.

It is imperative, not just for the holiday season mind you, that:

• All payments are processing
• All processing is active
• And all notifications are being sent properly

To make sure all your site is doing all of this, you can either check out this post

Or you could contact J.E.G. DESIGN INC.

Ellen Davis was and is an insanely bright, creative, and imaginative individual – but even she couldn’t foresee how successful Cyber Monday would become.  And she absolutely couldn’t  predict what Cyber Monday will look like this November 30th.

This is going to be interesting.

None of us have ever lived through a year like this. If you have, I’ll shoot you my Zoom link.  But our motivation for creating this piece was to provide some of you simple steps in preparation for what is going to be a chaotic shopping season.

And remember that 18% increase mentioned earlier? Ya, we wanted to make sure  you got yours.

If any of what was provided prepares you for the upcoming holidays, then we’re proud to say we did our job.

If it didn’t and you still need help – then let us work for you. Contact Jon at J.E.G. DESIGN INC. today for your free estimate. Then, when we’re done, we’ll be proud to say we did our job.

Help us support small business. Please share this blog with any and all you think could benefit from it.

— Written by Keith Hannigan, co-owner and writer for S.B.I. Content Creation LLC.

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash