You probably noticed a lot of websites becoming HTTPS recently, and there are plenty of good reasons for it.
Should your site follow suit and adopt https? In my opinion, absolutely.
The basics: how do you tell if your website is secure?
Browsers like Chrome and Firefox hide the http:// when displaying a standard website. However, when a website is using a SSL certificate, these browsers highlight the security in bright green, like this:
Browsers like Internet Explorer and Safari always display the full URL (http or https) and no colourcoding at this time.
Here are the top 4 reasons why your website should use a SSL Certificate:
1. Safe, Secure Interaction With Your Website
When you use a SSL Certificate on your website, you prevent others from passively intercepting communications between your website and your readers. Just surfing the web might not seem like a big deal, but if the sites are not secure, a bystander can build a profile on you based on your habits!
Although a single visit to one of your unprotected websites may seem benign, some intruders look at the aggregate browsing activities of your users to make inferences about their behaviors and intentions, and to de-anonymize their identities. For example, employees might inadvertently disclose sensitive health conditions to their employers just by reading unprotected medical articles.
Why HTTPS Matters, by By Kayce Basques
2. Improved Confidence in Your Website
It’s just not search engines that notice the security label: it’s your readers too! That means it’s entirely possible your prospects are deciding to not use one of your forms because of your lack of security.
GlobalSign, an SSL and Internet company, conducted a European web security survey that discovered over 9 out of 10 Internet users were more likely to trust a website if it displays security indicators and more likely to leave details or make a purchase when they know that their data is sent over a secure connection. One of the findings from the GlobalSign study was the point that the green “https” lock sign that appears in your browser on an HTTPS site provides a sense of security and reassurance to users that their personal information is safe on the Internet.
Why You Should Move Your Site to HTTPS: SEMrush Data Study, by Luke Harsel
Is it worth the risk? Definitely not.
3. Improve Your Search Engine Results
Google has been using HTTPS as a ranking signal since 2014. Who doesn’t like better search engine results?!
For now it’s only a very lightweight signal — affecting fewer than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content — while we give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS. But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.
HTTPS as a Ranking Signal, by Zineb Ait Bahajji and Gary Illyes
There are anecdotal accounts of improved search engine results all over the internet. It matters more if you’re runninng a high traffic site, but I say, “why tempt fate?” – get a certificate!
4. Because Google Said So
As I warned readers back in September, Google took a stand and Chrome began displaying “not secure” warnings in October last year:
Starting October 2017, Chrome (version 62) will show a ‘NOT SECURE’ warning when users enter text in a form on an HTTP page, and for all HTTP pages in Incognito mode.
Based on the number of emails and messages I’ve received about the not-secure warnings in your browsers, imagine how your prospects are behaving when interacting with your not-secure website.
Ok, fine. I’m convinced. Now what?
There are a few options for getting a website security certificate. Your website host will likely sell you a SSL certificate, which starts at around $100 Canadian a year.
If you need help implementing security certificate, drop me an email for a 30 minute website consultation at email@example.com. I’ll be happy to talk you through making your site secure: we can come up with a plan and an estimate for taking your site through the steps to be secure.
If you happen to be hosted with D&D Hosting (aka hosting your website with ME), I can implement your security certificate FOR FREE. You’ll pay only for my 30 minutes to convert your site over. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.