The Internet is becoming a dangerous place. We knew that all along but we always felt that it was sufficient to protect certain pages with password systems and in 21 years none of our password-protected sites were ever really hacked, mostly thanks to a company specializing in membership software called s2member.com.
This new site, however, is built on BuddyPress and WordPress. Both are quite heavy on load, especially if you need lots of extra functionality that is supplied by add-ons — or plugins as they are called in WordPress. Each plugin has its own load on the server and although s2member is remarkably lightweight for its many options, we decided not to use it here, because we will not have a payment system on this site. It is basically a small network for friend and models. Anybody can register, but all registrations go through a screening test and not all members get access to all groups.
This way we protect our models and the photographs. But to solely depend on WordPress security seemed like a gamble too. WordPress is regularly updated and quite secure, but we decided to add SSL encryption to the site.
There was an additional reason for that. There is this Google initiative to promote web safety. Through their own browser Chrome, they warn people for sites such as these that collect passwords and data if they are not encrypted through SSL. This also has an effect on the Google listings. As far as we know this site is not prominently listed at all on Google since it is pretty new, but we do not want to hurt future listings either.