Online security is a top priority for everyone browsing the web. Users expect a safe and private connection regardless of the content of your website.
This is where the new HTTPS comes into play. HTTPS is an encrypted Internet communication protocol that safeguards the confidentiality of data between any device and your website. With the old HTTP connection, it is possible for unauthorized parties to hack this “conversation” and steal users’ information.
If your site collects sensitive data such as passwords, credit cards, or personal details, switching to HTTPS it is a MUST. Even if your website is simply listing your services, you should still consider adopting HTTPS as soon as possible.
To migrate to HTTPS, you can start by looking at your hosting support documentation. Some hosting companies provide a free and easy SSL installation. For large sites, however, the move can be more challenging. Talk to your web design agency or have a look at Google’s HTTPS for webmasters.
Google Ranking and SEO
Since January 2017 Google Chrome has begun marking sites without HTTPS as “Non-Secure”. This Google warning may confuse your visitors and make them believe that your website has been compromised. Marking the old HTTP sites as unsafe is part of Google’s strategy to encourage websites to migrate to HTTPS.
Besides disheartening your visitors, HTTP can also down-rank your website in search engine results. Google is working hard to make sure everyone switches to HTTPS as soon as possible. In fact, Google just released the new HTML5 Chrome 56 with extra encryption cues and new security features rolling out across Windows, Mac, and Linux.
HTTPS is not a web application firewall and will not prevent your website from getting hacked. However, it will make your website more secure and will help you avoid taking a hit in your SEO ranking. Sooner or later, we will all need to migrate to HTTPS, so do it sooner rather than later.