HTTPS and what it means
It was only a few years back that Google started favouring websites that were loaded over a secure https connection with benefits such as small boosts to online ranking.
We’ve also seen more and more webmasters adopting HTTPS (also known as HTTP over TLS, or Transport Layer Security), on their website, which is encouraging. For these reasons, over the past few months we’ve been running tests taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in our search ranking algorithms. We’ve seen positive results, so we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal.
However Google and their Chrome browser have gone a step further by announcing that as of July 2018 they will start to mark websites loaded over non-https connections as insecure.
What does this mean for me?
As a website owner you should be focused on providing the best possible user experience to your visitors and while most IT savvy people can spot potential fake or insecure websites, lots of people still rely on their browser or their malware and anti-virus software to keep them safe online.
The last thing you want a potential customer or visitor to think is that your website is potentially dangerous or trying to steal their information.
Who will see this warning?
At the moment this only applies to users who browse using Googles’ Chrome browser, however it may be worth noting that Chrome has gained more and more users over the years and now dominates with around 46% of the market share of browser use according to www.statcounter.com
While this only applies to Googles Chrome browser for now, its likely that other browsers will follow suit with https becoming the standard requirement for all websites.
What should I do?
You can contact your current web host who will be able to advise you on what options are available for SSL certificates which is what you need to have your website load over https. There are lots of types of SSL certificate, with varying prices and levels of cover so it can be a bit confusing, luckily Net Fusion work with UK hosting providers who provide low cost solutions for SSL certificates with prices from only £20 per year.
They are relatively straight forward to set up and most web hosts or IT professionals should be able to do this for you.
The result is a secure notice in your browsers address bar like this one below.
Of course there are different grades of SSL certificate which can result in different appearances in your browser and also depending on which browser you use, but the common factor should be that they all display the green secure padlock image.
You can contact us at any time if you would like to know more about upgrading your website to https by contacting us.