In the past, best practices dictated that only ecommerce sites necessitated HTTPS encryption. Other sites that were not gathering credit card information or other sensitive data were developed using HTTP.
That has all changed over the past year. Google has strongly advocated that sites adopt HTTPS encryption, the industry standard for ensuring the security and integrity of data traveling between a website and browser. In July 2018, Chrome will begin to mark all pages that are still in HTTP as “not secure” which will push the transition to a head.
If you have not yet changed your site from HTTP to HTTPS, now is the time.
Why Changing from HTTP to HTTPS is Important
Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol over which data is sent between your browser and the website that you are connected to. The most common secure protocol to encrypt communications is using an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). It is relatively easy for your developer to change your site over. It will look the same but because of the different url, redirects should be done from the old version of your pages with “http” to the new “https” urls of those pages. This will prevent 404 “Page Not Found” error pages to appear if a visitor had bookmarked a page on your site.
Affects Google Rankings
Changing your site to HTTPS is not only important as a best practice for security on your website, but HTTPS will also be a more important factor in Google rankings. Just as mobile responsive became a must have after Google’s announcement and push to rewarding mobile-friendly sites in 2012, HTTPS will become a must-have standard for every website.
Welcomes Consumer Visits
Having a secure site will not only reward sites operating with HTTPS in its ranking algorithm, it will also negatively impact those that are not secure. Those using the Google Chrome browser will soon see “not secure” in the browser URL field deterring potential site visitors from clicking on your site. In the July 2018 update of Chrome 68, viewers using Chrome will see all sites still in HTTP as “not secure” in the URL field. If you are a Chrome user, you have already noticed this as the browser began marking increasingly more HTTP pages as “not secure” over the past year.
Verve Marketing Group began creating all sites in HTTPS last year. All other sites we maintain are being changed to HTTPS.
If you are not a current client and wish advice on this issue, please give us a call. There are a number of levels of security to choose from in HTTPS. In most cases, the lowest level is sufficient. Correct configuration is also necessary so “not secure” doesn’t show on your site even though you have purchased SSL on your host.