WHY YOUR WEBSITE NEEDS HTTPS

Less than two weeks ago, Google announced that in July 2018, with the release of their Chrome 68 browser, any website that does not have the ‘S’ as in ‘HTTPS’ with the green padlock, is going to have the entire website display a Not secure message in the address bar that will look like the middle image below. This makes it clear “Why Your Website Needs HTTPS.” Website visitors seeing Not secure are going to click away, never to return!

Why Your Website Needs HTTPS Encryption by Laurel Ward

SO WHAT IS HTTPS?

Hyper Text Transport Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the secure connection protocol for HTTP, the connection protocol we all use to navigate the internet between websites and browsers.

To encourage website owners to implement this secure protocol, Google is already giving preference to websites using HTTPS, by ranking them higher in searches.
More and more websites seeking any type of information from visitors without the HTTPS green padlock in the address bar of the browser are being flagged as “Not Secure.” So, if your business website is collecting visitor information in any of the methods below, you must upgrade to HTTPS.
• Search bars
• Contact forms
• Login screens
• Registration forms
• Newsletter sign-up forms
• Payment screens

DO I REALLY NEED HTTPS?

YES, YOU DO… and here’s why: Google Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer have committed to up their security warning game by displaying warnings on your site if you haven’t made your website HTTPS secure by adding a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate.

It’s important to note that if you don’t, security warnings will likely deter users from returning to your website. Large scary warnings are already showing up on websites that ask visitors for information and do not provide SSL secure connections. Here is one I’ve routinely encountered when asked to provide my email address or attempt to use the contact form where the website owner did not have the SSL certificate to provide a secure connection.

Connection Not Secure image

NEED MORE REASONS?
Business websites, large or small, are attracting criminal hackers from around the world. These are alarming statistics from the Better Business Bureau.

  • 71% of data breaches that are targeting small businesses
  • $7,100 is the average cost for a small business to fix a data breach
  • $32,000 is the average cost to fix if money was stolen by cybercriminals

SO, WHAT IS A SSL CERTIFICATE?
A Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private. SSL is an industry standard and is used by millions of websites in the protection of their online transactions with their customers.

So, when an SSL certificate is installed, the website’s URL protocol will change from HTTP to HTTPS and a green security padlock will also be present in the URL as a way to further signal the secure status of the website.

HOW DO I GET AN SSL CERTIFICATE?

Never fear, the SSL Certificate is something your website host will install for you, usually for a modest fee of around $60-$90/yr (basically a couple $s per month)… However, that certificate then needs your site to have ALL the old HTTP links, images and scripts converted to use HTTPS instead. Do you know that little green “padlock” symbol you see on many websites – there’s actually one at the top of this page you’re reading right now! Well… that’s the symbol that lets you know that your connection to whatever website you see it appear on is secure! Meaning, hackers should not be able to intercept sensitive information about the site and/or it’s users without a revolution in quantum computing.

Last, but not least, you’ll need to resubmit your site for indexing via Google WebMaster Tools as the HTTPS version of your site is actually considered to be an entirely different website! So all that indexing and passive search engine optimization you’ve done in the past won’t be worth much unless you resubmit your newly secure site to Google.

OH MY GOODNESS, THAT SOUNDS LIKE WAAAAY TOO MUCH WORK!

The conversion from HTTP to HTTPS is more nuanced than most people realize, it can be hours and hours of hunting through files for the inexperienced to find and replace links, images, and scripts with their secure versions…But, never fear – I provide SSL conversion for WordPress users for $149/site and you’ll be staring at the Green Padlock icon next to your URL in no time!

Feel free to contact me for a free consultation!