From January 2017 the new version of Google Chrome’s website browser is going to be the first of many browsers to now tell users that your website is not secure.
This will only be the case if you do not have an SSL certificate. In the past these have only really been used by e-commerce websites with the vast majority of small to medium websites not really needing them, unless part of an SEO strategy. (See our blog post from Aug 2016 about HTTPS SEO benefits, and we have also dropped emails out to all clients in the past about this too)
What is HTTPS?
An SSL Certificate secures your website by creating an encrypted link between the user and your site. It’s a bit like sealing an envelope before posting it. This shows your users you are serious about security when they are navigating your site.
When you have an SSL certificate this means users cannot run things like ‘man in the middle’ attacks from unknown wifi sources and grab data that people are inputting to your site. While Google adding this message does not mean your website has ACTUALLY suddenly become insecure. It is just telling users that it is less secure than an HTTPS website now, so be wary when inputting their details, particularly from unknown wifi sources like internet cafes.
Imagine this message as being kind of like someone running round a restaurant warning that you might get robbed in there easily as there is no CCTV or policemen at the door. It doesn’t mean it has or will ever happen.
What does this mean to me?
1 – Users may be put off using your website
Users may be put off by the warnings or deterred from completing any online forms by this insecure warning.
They will be seeing it across a number of websites however users will feel much more comfortable if they see your website is secure, as opposed to a competitor’s. Some particularly wary users may not even want to use the site if they see this message (even though from the outset it is exactly the same as before and very unlikely for their details to be hacked)
2 – Time to get ahead of the competition
With more and more hackers and phishing scams out there Google is becoming the first of other browsers that will undoubtedly follow. Getting HTTPS now may mean you are that one step ahead with users more inclined to use your website.
3 – Better Google Rankings
As mentioned in previous blog posts and emails, if you have HTTPS then Google perceive you as a much more trusted entity and will rank your website higher because of this. In addition when adding HTTPS this often goes alongside having a new Virtual Private Server with advanced web hosting, meaning your website is going to run a lot faster. Faster running websites is another big plus for Google ranking you higher in their listings and in turn driving more custom to your business via your website.
4 – Other (techie) benefits of HTTPS include
- Combat known vulnerabilities such as SSLstrip and Firesheep
- Provide complete browser user privacy
- Support HSTS which provides a browser error if the site is not secure
- Support HTTP/2 for higher performance and less latency
- Faster load times when combined with VPS server
- Host multiple sites when combined with VPS server
So how do I get HTTPS ?
If you already have advanced hosting with inLIFE :
If you have your website hosted with us on our Advanced Hosting Package (Virtual Private Server) we can set this up for you for just an hour’s work at our standard hourly rate.
If you have our standard hosting :
We can transfer your website to a Virtual Private Server (for faster load times) along with a free HTTPS certificate for just £395 per annum.
If you do not have hosting with us :
We can help you set this up with your current host (price depending on time required) or move you over to our hosting at no additional cost other than the new server and HTTPS for £395 per annum.