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To All Our Clients: Force SSL and Go to PHP 7

To All Webstix Clients:

Force SSL on All Pages of Your Website and Make the Switch to PHP 7

This is something you need to do this year - as soon as possible if you can. It's something Google wants. It's something we're doing with all new websites that we launch. Here's why...

  • PHP 7 is fast! It makes most websites load twice as fast. It's also more modern and more secure. Do it.
  • Google wants to see all websites have every page secure. Soon, all websites will be this way. Do it.

Note: This page isn't just for our clients, it's for any website owner that wants their website to load faster and be more secure.


Do It Now! on Post-It NoteAn Increase in Website Hacks and Attacks!

We're seeing an increased rate in the amount of attacks on websites. There's a massive cyber war going on out there and we're only seeing it increase. We see many of our clients doing these security upgrades doing it after the fact - after their website has been down or compromised, causing damage to their domain's reputation.

Do you want to go through that and then decide to do something about website security or would you rather take care of that now and have peace of mind?

The PHP 7 upgrade makes your website more secure because it is being supported.


Speed Up Your Website!

Going to PHP 7 can make your website load twice as fast!

That's what we're seeing with most sites. Here's an example:

Go here: https://www.jenniferbergstromdds.com/

That's a website of one of our clients that we switched to PHP 7. That was the only change we did. The website was already loading quickly but the switch to PHP 7 made an even bigger impact:

Before:
before-php7

After:
after-php7

PHP is the programming language used for a lot of websites today. If your website runs WordPress, then you're using PHP because that is the language it is programmed in.

The latest major release of PHP was version 7 back in December 2015. They skipped version 6, so it went from version 5.6 (August 2014) to version 7.0. PHP 6 was a version that was abandoned, so that is why they went to version 7.

PHP 5 End of Life

  • Support for PHP 5.5 (and all versions below) ends in January 2017
  • Support for PHP 5.6 ends in January 2019 but they are only issuing security fixes.
  • PHP 7.1 will be out before January 2017 and it will be supported until late 2019.

Find out more about PHP supported versions.

What's So Good About PHP 7?

There are a number of benefits:

  • PHP 7 is twice as fast as version 5.6!
  • It can handle twice as many requests as 5.6.
  • Reduced memory consumption.
  • New language features.

If your website uses a version older than 5.4, then security fixes are no longer supported. The best path to follow is making sure you're using a modern, supported version of PHP behind your WordPress website.

Ok, I'm In... So Switch It Already

We can do that for you if you host with us. We can even look at doing it if you don't host your website with us.

You may be wondering why we're talking about this now in October when it was released last December. It takes a while for programming to catch up. Some plugins have not made their code compatible with PHP 7 yet (they're behind). If that's the case, then we'll have to look and see if we can make the changes to the code or if a different plugin can be used. If we can't do either, then you'll need to either disable some plugins or else have us do more work to get your website to work.

Making the switch will take 2-3 hours (estimated). Here is a list of tasks we need to do to migrate your website to PHP 7:

  • Backup the full site - all files and the database
  • Take screen shots from Pingdom and GTmetrix for a performance report
  • Change PHP to version 7 in your hosting control panel
  • Test all the functionality of the website (both the front-end and backend)
  • Change the database engine from MYISAM to innoDB
  • Compile a complete report with all the screen shots and things that we changed

Before we do this work, your version of WordPress and all plugins and themes need to be up to date with the latest versions. Getting this done would be in addition to the 2-3 hours of work and testing mentioned above.


Force All Pages of Your Website to Be Secure (SSL / HTTPS)

In case you’re not familiar with what SSL is, it’s a type of encryption so that the communication between your web browser and a server cannot be intercepted. In other words, website visitors on SSL secured websites are protected from hackers on the network who might be trying to their steal passwords or credit card data.

Google likes websites that use SSL and even gives them a small boost in rankings but, besides that, why take the risk of someone using Google Chrome as their browser seeing an ugly warning when they arrive at your website?

Not Secure warning in Chrome

By adding your own SSL certificate you may even get an OVERNIGHT boost in conversions and get more targeted organic traffic.

There's no downside here!

To get this work done, a few things will need to happen:

  • You'll need an SSL certificate (we sell them for $120/year and we take care of renewing it and installing it for you).
  • Your website will need to force https. This means it'll need to be set up to make sure any page accessed is forced to be secure.
  • We will test all forms and shopping cart (if you have one) on your website to make sure everything works fine.

We'll work carefully, work on it during the night and take backups of files we modify. You'll get a report explaining all that we did for you. Learn more about how to make your website secure.

Here's the deal:

  • To get the SSL certificate is $120/year (blocks cannot be used).
  • To set up forcing SSL is 2 Maintenance Blocks (or $125).

Just contact Webstix or open a support request with our Maintenance Team and we'll get started on the work.

Forcing the website to be secure is a one-time charge. You'll just need to renew the SSL certificate for $120/year each year with our hosting.

If you do not host with us, then you'll need to contact your website host and have them help you with the SSL certificate and we can help you make sure your website forces every page to go to SSL (2 Maintenance Blocks).


Two Words: Do it.

You'll have to make this small conversion later anyway, so why not get this done now and take advantage of the increased speed?

If you would like to go ahead, then please use the form below to contact our Website Maintenance Department:

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