Do I need an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) for my website? For many years, I’ve been telling Back40 clients that an SSL was only required if you take online payments, collect personal information, or have user accounts. As of late, my answer has officially changed.
Now if you ask, the answer is a definite ‘Yes’. This is the best upgrade you could make for your website. And, the time is now.
Deadline: July 2018.
A few years ago at its I/O Conference when Google called for “HTTPS Everywhere” (secure search), there was both skepticism and resistance due to inconvenience and the additional costs.
45 minute video from Google’s HTTPS Everywhere I/O Conference
However, since Google calls the shots when it comes to their search engine rankings – by gradually enforcing rules against non-secure pages and by rewarding secure domains with better search results – the web is gradually conforming.
Not only do secure sites have an search ranking advantage over non-secure sites (Google has been giving secure sites an SEO boost since 2017), but now they’re going to have a visual advantage as well.
Why does it matter?
Chrome is the overwhelmingly the most popular internet browser in the United States. And starting this year, Chrome is going to start flagging sites without SSLs as non-secure.
Right now there’s a just a subtle indicator that tells visitors when a site is HTTPS or just plain old HTTP. But in just a few months (July 2018), Chrome is going to warn all users when a website is not using HTTPS with this message:
That’s right. If your website isn’t HTTPS, Chrome will immediately bring this to everyone’s attention. More than half your website visitors are going to see this message and question if it’s safe to be on your website or fill out your contact form.
But it’s not just the Chrome users being affected. The other portion of your visitors (the ones using Firefox) have started getting this message any time they type into a login field, email signup or other text input field.
Both of these warnings can diminish the effort your brand has put into building trust with your customers. Is that really a risk worth taking?
Should you buy an SSL? Yes. The sooner the better.
If you have a website and you want people to trust it, you have to be secure. Thankfully as a Back40 client, this is easy for you to do. Simply contact us as firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll take care of you from there. We’re happy to help you get this set up.
Secure Sockets Layer, most commonly referred to as ‘SSL’, is a protocol for encrypting data sent over the Internet.