Google has officially set the date for their recent initiative to give websites a forceful nudge towards having a secure protocol with SSL certificates. That should be read as, “quick, hurry or forever regret not taking action.” On July 24, 2018, the URLs of websites without an SSL Certification will be marked as “Not Secure” by Google Chrome. What does that mean? It means users will hit your site and see something along the lines of, “this site is not safe, turn around and never come back.” Google Chrome is the leading browser of choice so don’t jeopardize your traffic, make the update now!
This “Not Secure” flag can be presented to your digital prospects in a few different ways, including a large, red-colored banner claiming that your website may have dangerous content and advises users not to proceed to your website.
What does this mean for you and your business?
Very simply, your client traffic will take a measurable hit, customer conversions will likely decrease significantly, and the click-thru rate of your site will drop as well. This is a serious matter, and acting now is the best actionable measure you can take to prevent this from happening to your business. With most recent estimates of Google Chrome housing roughly 58% of the browser market share, having an unsecured website will have severe traffic implications.
What exactly is an SSL certificate?
An SSL Certificate is a certificate installed on your web server that is responsible for securing a connection between the browser (what’s used to navigate the world wide web) and the web server that hosts the content on your website. This SSL certificate can reduce the frequency of cybercrime by hackers, who can access your personal information like credit card numbers, using loopholes in the browser’s security.
After installing the SSL certificate, you’re benefiting your business by:
- Building Trust and Brand Reputation with Users & Google
- Providing a Secure and Encrypted Connection for you and your users
- Providing True Authentication and Protects Sensitive Information
- Giving Yourself a Small Boost in Google Website Ranking
Where exactly can I get my SSL certificate?
The absolute easiest (and recommended) way to get your SSL certificate is by contacting your website’s hosting company and paying the fee (it varies from $30-$100 depending on host) for the SSL. Your host will automatically add it to your server and renew for you. Popular hosts include: GoDaddy, HostGator, NameCheap, etc.
Free SSL certificates are also available, but require some manual work to install properly in your server’s .htaccess file. (WP Engine & Let’s Encrypt offer free SSL certificates.)
Manual SSL Tutorial: https://sucuri.net/guides/how-to-install-ssl-certificate
We recommend going through your host so it saves you a headache in the long run (you don’t even have to contact your webmaster or developer), and it renews for you automatically!
PRO-TIP #1: Even once you have your SSL Certificate, you’re still not out of the woods! Confirm that your website is NOT linking or pulling content from a resource (or website) that lacks the SSL, or your entire page may also display as “Not-Secure,” which defeats the purpose of having the SSL in the first place.
PRO-TIP #2: After your SSL is active and live on your website, you should contact your website developer/webmaster to add and optimize the correct 301 redirects needed for any pages that require a redirect to its SSL version.
Time is running out, it is imperative you add the SSL Certificate before July 24, 2018, or else your site will undoubtedly risk major traffic decrease and likely loss in revenue.