Why Now Is The Time To Make The Switch To HTTPS
Google has been all about trust for a long time now. Back in 2014, it started factoring in HTTPS into its core ranking algorithm and gave sites that used it small ranking boosts. If that was not enough for you to switch from the standard HTTP, there is more reason to make the switch now more than ever.
Google has recently started sending out email notifications to webmasters through Google Search Console to all site owners that serve forms over HTTP on their website. These HTTP pages on your website will be marked as “not secure” in Google Chrome as of October 2017.
Here is the actual statement from Google...
“Beginning in October 2017, Chrome will show the ‘Not secure’ warning in two additional situations: when users enter data on an HTTP page, and on all HTTP pages visited in Incognito mode.”
Google has warned us all prior to this and you can think of this of a second warning if you will, urging webmasters to make the switch.
Why Should You Care About This?
Your website is one of your business' best assets and you may generate several enquiries from it every month. When Google implements this new feature, many of your potential customers might be put off from enquiring. Would you fill in an enquiry form on a website if it said, “not secure”? Some people will still convert, but there are those out there that I'm sure will be put off by this and go elsewhere. If you don't act now then it could result in a loss of business.
What Exactly Is HTTPS?
HTTPS is a communications protocol that provides secure communication. It has been used across the internet for a long period of time with an increasing trend in its use.
The main thing that you need to know is that HTTPS provides a secure connection and HTTP does not. If you are using a standard HTTP connection on your website then it is possible for someone who isn't authorised to observe the communication between your website and another device.
As you can see from the above, HTTPS is all about trust and authentication. As I stated previously in the article Google has been all about trust and authority for a long time now and it's only going to continue in this fashion.
How to Make the Switch From HTTP To HTTPS
Are you now thinking about making the switch from HTTP to HTTPS?
There are a few steps you need to take to secure your website and the best thing to do if you want to make the switch is to contact your website hosting provider. They should know the steps that must be taken to do this. However, some of the key steps are:
- Don't Put it Live Straight Away
As with anything of importance on your website, testing is crucial. You don't want to just put the HTTPS straight onto your live site without testing. I would suggest testing it on a development server first before switching it live.
- Get An SSL Certificate
Purchase an SSL certificate and get it installed on your server. The process for this is usually quite straight forward for a web developer.
- Update Any HTTP References in Your Content
You'll need to update any HTTP references throughout the content on your site to HTTPS. This should be easy enough to do by accessing the database.
For more information on this, check out Google's very own guide here: Secure your site with HTTPS
Anyone out there who has a HTTP site, should be making the switch to HTTPS. It is a complicated process but it is worth it. Not only does it give you a nice little boost in Google but it helps with trust and authentication. More visitors will trust your website, less will be scared away from “not secure” messages and you should benefit from more enquiries as a result.