Backup, policy and email deliverability: the 3 foundations of a WordPress site.

HI! I'm Michele, founder of Easy Green Hosting and in this article I will tell you about:
Backup, email deliverability, i.e. how to ensure that messages sent from your site are always delivered and do not end up in spam and management of GDPR and privacy policy.

If you have found this page it means that you intend to build a new WordPress site or that you already have one and would like to improve it.

WordPress is a spectacular platform. It is safe, stable, fast and continuously developed by a huge community. But above all it is extremely flexible: with WordPress you can then develop websites for different purposes and insert various functions for many types of content.

On this page, however, we will not talk about how to develop a site in WordPress (extremely broad theme), but what they are 3 of the fundamental elements that a web designer should take into consideration when creating a site.

Easy Green Hosting is an eco-friendly web hosting service and the information written in this article is technical.

By foundations I mean 3 precautions to take into consideration for:

  • be able to deal with crisis situations generated by unforeseen (oversights) or unwanted changes to your site (hacking or human error)
  • to be legally entitled to publish online
  • to authorize your site to send emails so that recipients receive your messages correctly in the inbox and not in the spam folder or worse not receive them at all

For each of these 3 fundamental needs there is a very simple solution.

FUNDAMENTAL N.1
I BACKUP

It's about always having at least one backup available and easily restoreable.

It can happen that you make mistakes such as deleting code, posts, pages, images that should not have been permanently deleted (even from the trash) or changing complex settings without being able to restore them. In the most unfortunate cases, your site can be hacked. Because of this we always recommend using plugins that are updated and approved by WordPress, i.e. present in the repository https://wordpress.org/plugins/ and to always use complex passwords (Roma12345 or ciaociao are not secure passwords).

So what do we do when we permanently lose valuable data or our site stops working?
In these cases it is better to have a recent backup.

There are several backup plugins for WordPress, more or less free and (we noticed) more or less reliable. In fact, we have noticed that some of the most famous ones, for example, are sometimes unable to correctly restore previously created backups or create partial backups. Furthermore, the biggest limitation is that backups are often created within the site itself and when the site is no longer reachable... neither is the backup!

Another problem is space: plugins can occupy the space of your web hosting, filling it up.
The simplest solution is to have a web hosting equipped with a backup system and obviously this is the case with Easy Green Hosting.

In fact, on Easy Green Hosting all accounts have active accounts JetBackup which creates a new backup automatically between 2 times a day and 4 times a week, depending on the changes made.

Backups created daily and stored in different copies in geographically different locations so as to be available even in extreme cases such as fire or similar and contain all the most important parts of web hosting, namely:

  • file
  • database
  • email
  • dns
  • cronjob
  • SSL certificates
  • account ftp

If necessary, any of these parts can be restored even partially, for example only some files or directories, choosing the restore point date. We keep backups for 30 days.

How do you manage backups with JetBackup? Here you can find our tutorial: https://www.easygreenhosting.com/tutorial/come-gestire-i-backup-con-jetbackup/

So, for those who are not our customers and do not have an adequate backup system in place, having a backup management plugin is better than nothing. If the plugin in question also gives the possibility to save the backup on Google Drive or in any remote location, I strongly recommend choosing that option so that you can recover the data even if the site goes down. The well-known free plugin UpdraftPlus offers this option: https://wordpress.org/plugins/updraftplus/

Otherwise, for a professional and complete solution at the server level, we offer everything you need on all our products.

FUNDAMENTAL N.2
LE POLICY

It is important to prepare and update from time to time a plugin for managing consent on the use of cookies and the privacy policy page.

I will not go into depth on this topic because the cases vary depending on the type of activity represented by the website, its legal form, the methods of data collection, etc etc.

An LLC (or LTD for England) needs legal support that will take care of the setup of these parts, but for more ordinary mortals like boggers or small self-employed businesses it is enough to know two important things:

  1. Online presence is regulated in Europe by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) https://gdpr-info.eu and each site, if it uses cookies of any type, is required to give its visitors the possibility to choose the level of authorization for the use of cookies;
  2. websites are required to declare their privacy policy.

It will then be up to the individual business to decide whether to add, in addition to these two points, conditions of use of its services, or of sale or whatever.

How to address these two points in a simple way? I propose a completely free solution (with no limits on the number of pages or views) and complete, expandable for a fee depending on legal needs.

This solution is valid for small businesses and information sites and includes first creating a privacy policy text and then creating the cookie management system.

1. WORDPRESS OFFERS A DRAFT DOCUMENT TO PUBLISH ITS PRIVACY POLICY

It's very simple. Just go to “settings” → “Privacy” and follow the instructions. It will be necessary to adapt the text of the page created later by inserting your own data and peculiarities.

2. USE THE COMPLIANZ PLUGIN TO MANAGE GDPR AND COOKIE CONSENT

As mentioned, there is a plugin called Complianz which offers a complete and completely free solution for the (simple) management of cookie consent rules., the creation of the relevant pages and the installation of the banner for managing cookies.

Complianz also offers paid plans for more complex situations.

Once set up, your site will be equipped with everything necessary to be "legally" present on the internet. Complianz will also be able to link the previously created privacy policy page on its banner.

THE GDPR IS JUST A BREAK IN THE BOX

I would like to point out that the supranational rules on the use of data were drawn up to prevent user data (including yours) from being abused. For example, the GDPR requires that no one except the person responsible for managing customer data is authorized to access that data.

Try to imagine if a company that holds your data decided to sell it without your consent... it would not only be unpleasant but also dangerous. The GDPR therefore helps all of us to live more protected!

FUNDAMENTAL N.3
THE MAIL SERVER

Why make WordPress able to send emails by authenticating on the mail server.

This step is not absolutely essential, but it will ensure that the emails automatically generated by WordPress never end up in the spam folder, whether the recipient is a customer or visitor, or the site manager himself.

By default, WordPress cannot know either the address of the mail server or the credentials of the mailbox from which the emails are sent and therefore to generate and send the emails, it uses a php module, which is a small program that looks at a mail server and generates emails without any authentication.

This mode poses several limitations including the fact of not being able to generate emails in html and not being able to send attachments, but the greatest limit concerns the legitimacy recognized by the recipient's mail server.

In fact, you should know that emails are a technology highly regulated by the Internet Engineering Task Force https://www.ietf.org and also in this case, as with the rules on the approval of sensitive data, our security is at stake.

Emails are today a secure data transmission system and in some respects even safer than handwritten letters. Imagine receiving a letter written by a scammer, which on paper looks like a letter from your bank, in which apparently legitimate requests are made.

Then imagine receiving a letter from an advertising agency every day. Every day one or even more than one: in both cases you won't be able to help but find both letters in your letterbox.

Emails have two types of protection:

  • Spam lists exist, where those who abuse the sending of commercial proposals are banned so that their emails always end up in the spam folder, which you can still consult;
  • there is also a system that checks the equivalence between the address declared by the sender, which could be contact@latuabanca.com, and the real one (tirubotutto@primaopoicicaschi.loso). Also in this case the email will end up in the spam folder or will be rejected by the mail server.

In the same way you too can legitimize your emails, so that your clients' mail servers (or yours) do not have to doubt that your emails generated by your WordPress site are legitimate.

How to do? Even in this case there is a simple solution. Just install and set up a plugin. There are several, just choose one from the WordPress repository:

https://wordpress.org/plugins/search/smtp/

SMTP is the protocol that regulates the sending of emails. Since WordPress in most cases only sends emails, the plugin will be sufficient in which you will have to set the mail server address, the security protocol, the address and the password of the mailbox.

If you prefer to use a gmail address, the procedure is a little more complex, but if you need it you can ask for our help.

I end the writing of this page by hoping that you will be able to manage your site (or sites) in WordPress with maximum relaxation and control.

If necessary, do not hesitate to contact us for any advice.

Best regards,
Michele

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