Up until a few years ago only e-commerce websites needed an SSL certificates and to be “secure” with the “https” designation its accompanying little padlock icon when taking credit card information. Today it is a must for all websites even if they are only informational in nature. Google has pretty much made it mandatory across the board. As of October 2017, Google started showing a “not secure” message which is enough to scare away most of your customers! With online fraud on the rise, more and more web surfers are leery of visiting unsecured sites. Seeing an unsecure website is a telltale sign of negligence and of an unmaintained website. Visit at your own risk!
Making your website secure is an easy way to increase consumer confidence in your site. It gives your visitors a certain sense of security and peace of mind, generally indicative of a site that can be trusted with their sensitive information safely encrypted, even if it’s just your basic contact information being sent through a simple contact form.
What exactly is HTTPS and how you go about implementing HTTPS on your website?
It stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol + an S for secure. It was designed for communication between web servers and browser. The s now means that this communication is encrypted and cannot be hijacked by third party cyber criminals. Don’t forget to look for the little padlock which means the site has successfully been made secure.
HTTPS provides multiple layers of protect to your website and its visitors;
- Encryption, which renders any intercepted data useless.
- Data integrity, your website’s data can not be corrupted.
- Authentication, which prevents phishing or tricking your clients into giving their information to a scammer.
3 reasons to make your site secure.
- Encourage your visitors to fill out forms on your site and leave you their contact information, or simply put, lead generation.
- Improve your SEO or search engine rankings.
- Reassure your website visitors and maintain the desired perception of general security, it’s just the right thing to do!
How To Install HTTPS On Your Site
Although super important, it’s not a huge expense or terribly difficult to convert your site to HTTPS. That being said, there’s more to it than just flipping a switch. A few steps are required:
- You will need to purchase or acquire an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate. Now days most reliable hosting providers them free of charge.
- You should probably hire a web developer or pay your hosting company to install the SSL certificate on your web server and configure your website properly. In most cases it should cost less than $200-$300. Even if you have access to your web server, It is not advisable to do it yourself and risk messing something up. It’s not worth the time or aggravation. Just hire a professional to do this for you.
- After your SSL certificate is installed, you’ll need to check every page of your site for “mixed content” errors. A mixed content error is when a web page refers to a non-HTTPS element. Sometimes they are easy to fix, other times not. If you have hired a professional web developer to convert your site to HTTPS, you will not have to worry about it!
- You should let Google know that you’ve converted your site to HTTPS so they can re-index your site. Rather than wait for Google to crawl your site you can notify them through your Google Search Console. If you’re using Google Analytics, make sure to update your settings there as well and let them know your site is now HTTPS.
There is even a website called whynopadlock.com that will tell you exactly why your site is not yet secure if you are attempting to make it so on your own.
At Hire72, all of our new websites are delivered secure with standard SSL encryption, the https prefix and a visible padlock.