IF YOU ASK USERS TO INPUT ANY DATA, YOU NEED AN SSL CERTIFICATE
If your website has forms, login fields, a shopping cart, or any other input sections across its pages then you’re running out of time to avoid Google marking them as not secure. Well, actually… time is up. July 2018 is the drop dead date according to Google. After that, if you don’t have an SSL, your site will be marked as insecure. Period.
Google has been marking non-https websites that require credit card details or passwords as not secure for some time now. The latest move know as Google’s ‘HTTPS Everywhere’ Initiative is a further attempt to encourage website owners to embrace user security by using HTTPS as a ranking signal. Beyond that, the EFF is pushing the same agenda too.
WHAT IS AN SSL?
An SSL certificate is something that every business should have on their website, especially since Google is prioritizing websites with SSL certificates for better search engine rankings. SSL, which stands for Secure Socket Layer, is an encryption technology used to create a secure connection between a web server and a user’s web browser.
When a website has an SSL certificate properly installed on the server, a small green padlock icon ssl padlock will be displayed to the left of a website URL in the browser and https will appear in green as well. SSL certificates are used to secure data transfers, credit card transactions, logins and other personal information. They provide security to customers and make visitors more likely to stay on a website for longer periods of time.
Google’s ‘HTTPS Everywhere’ Initiative
One of the biggest changes that Google made with this new initiative is if a website has an SSL certificate and exhibits a commitment to online security, it will rank higher in Google Search results. Comparably, websites with poor website security will be pushed further down in Google rankings. The importance of this cannot be overstated. If you’re curious about how secure your website is, you can use online tools to check.
SSL certificates sometimes come at an extra cost, which can be worrisome to small businesses, but if you want to establish an online presence it is becoming more and more necessary. The online world can be a scary place and most visitors are looking for a reason to not trust a website.
Make sure your website has the best security available. Brandishing the green locket and https in your URL will show visitors that your website can be trusted and web users will be more likely to stick around.
WHY IT MATTERS
In this volatile age of privacy enforcement and news coverage of hackers stealing or leaking peoples data, visitors to websites are even more cautious of where they spend their time and money. Trust then becomes incredibly important to online shoppers and without some kind of approved mark or seal on a webpage like HTTPS, they will more likely leave and take their business somewhere else. Which could be devastating to your online business.
If you manage a website you really can’t wait any longer. SSL’s are not terribly expensive, and in some cases can be installed for free if your hosting provider accepts the installation of Let’s Encrypt Certificates.