If you are selling products from your website and using PayPal as the checkout payment method you may have received a notice with this warning.
“We recently announced several security upgrades planned for this year, some of which may require you to make changes to your integration. You’re receiving this email because we’ve identified areas of your integration that may need to be upgraded. What you’re about to read is very technical in nature – we understand that. Please contact the parties responsible for your PayPal integration, or your third party vendor (for example, shopping cart provider, and so on) to review this email. They’re best positioned to help you make the changes outlined in this email and in the 2016 Merchant Security Roadmap Microsite.”
Most of the updates that PayPal is implementing relate to increasing security on your website to insure your site is secure for financial transactions. The information and requirements are highly technical in nature and PayPal suggests you take the following first step:
“Consult with someone who understands your integration. We encourage you to consult with the parties that set up your integration, which could be a consultant or third party shopping cart. You may also need to find someone who can assist with making your integration changes.”
Areas that may require attention include:
It’s important to have any required changes in place by the specific event “Act by” date!
As an example, with “SSL Certificate Upgrade to SHA-256”:
To avoid any disruption of service, you must verify that your systems are ready for this change now.
• Testing will occur between June 17 and September 30, 2016.
• Full deployment will happen after September 30, 2016.
Ongoing website maintenance is becoming increasingly important as the Internet matures and changes at an ever increasing pace. Consider this: Your website is built with custom code using one of several software interfaces or using an open source platform such as Word Press. New releases (updates) are constantly coming out to the utilized version of the code platform(s) such as PHP, Word Press, Drupal, Magento, etc. Staying current with new releases helps insure proper website functionality and optimum search engine compliance.
In addition, your site most likely uses several “Plugins” which each allow specific functionality such as calendars, sign up forms, rotating banners, etc. These plugins are also constantly being updated. For your website to operate at peak performance it is important to keep your plugins current and make updates as needed. Over time, neglecting to update your website code can cause problems which can impair your site functionality.
We recommend you have your professional webmaster or designer implement the required updates in a timely manner and always remember to backup the site before you make the necessary updates.
In the process of updating several client’s Zen Cart websites we’ve learned that the responsive Zen Cart v1.5.4 is designed for PHP 5.5 and PHP 5.6 (and is compatible with PHP 5.3.7 and PHP 5.4 if really necessary, with some bugfix patches applied).
If your server is still using PHP version 5.2.x (which is VERY OLD and now officially obsolete since 2011) and you try to use Zen Cart v1.5.4 you may encounter an error akin to the following when trying to access the Admin area: Blank Page
Remember: PHP 5.2.x is obsolete and officially no longer supported by anybody. You should be upgrading your server’s PHP version ASAP to stay up-to-date for your best website performance.
We find that these issues are the most frequently discussed in the current website design and development community:
1. Custom versus Template based websites. In a recent post I’ve gone into detail on the pros and cons on both sides of this important issue. You can read the post in full here: http://socalwebworx.sanclementedev.com/wordpress/template-websites-vs-custom-websites/
2. Mobile-Friendly websites. Also known as ‘responsive’ websites, these get the highest ranking from Google on smart phone searches. Read the two relevant posts here: http://socalwebworx.sanclementedev.com/wordpress/mobile-first-web-design-did-you-know/ and http://socalwebworx.sanclementedev.com/wordpress/category/mobile-friendly-website/
3. Keeping your website platform and plugins current. Monthly maintenance for your website may be overkill, but to overlook implementing timely updates can result in a host of problems including the eventual breakdown of some functionality on your website.
4. The appearance of your website can be crucial to keeping new visitors on your website and leading them to take the action you desire. The appearance of your website should be consistent with your overall branding and needs to look current and fresh. Dated designs and color selections, among other things will lead to fewer conversions to visitor action. More here: http://socalwebworx.sanclementedev.com/wordpress/websites-as-part-of-larger-marketing-efforts/
5. Updating website functionality. Visitors expect to have a positive and easy experience on your website. They also expect you to have current features and functionality such as an easy to view product samples and galleries.
6. Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This has been a high-ranking issue of discussion for years with no sign of letup. As Google changes its algorithm and shaking up ideas on SEO, it continues to move the field of website design and development into new arenas. Read more on these posts: http://socalwebworx.sanclementedev.com/wordpress/category/smart-phone-websites/