Google want all websites to move to HTTPS and are taking steps to discourage people from visiting non-HTTPS websites. Google are going to actively start warning visitors to some non-HTTPS sites that they are not secure in January 2017. They are expected to roll the warnings out to all non-HTTPS sites later.
It is easy to check the status of your website. Just take a look at the address bar. If your website has HTTPS you should see that part of the address is green and says HTTPS like the picture below:
At The Company Warehouse we have been making all the websites we build HTTPS as standard since April 2016. We build a lot of websites for startup businesses and know they need solutions that will work out of the box and give them the best possible results.
What does HTTPS Mean?
Standard websites are on HTTP which stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. Google want everyone to move to HTTPS which stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. The ‘secure’ is the key bit here. With a standard HTTP website no checks are done to make sure that the website claiming to be your bank really is your bank, and none of the data that you send to them is passed over an encrypted connection. With HTTPS the website’s domain name will have been verified and the ability to have encrypted connections is turned on. This is done by adding what is know as an SSL certificate to the website. The certificate is issued once the domain has been verified and gets checked each time your web browser makes a connection to a new site to make sure it is valid and everything is as it should be.
Most internet security experts see it as being a bit weird that we have allowed the internet to operate on a system where most websites were unverified an insecure. The decision to try and move everyone onto HTTPS is being lead by Google but is also supported by other major tech organisations including Mozilla, Cisco and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
What are Google Doing?
Google have been trying to push people towards HTTPS for a while. They have been saying since 2014 that given the choice between a website with HTTPS and one without they will put the one with HTTPS first in the search results. So going HTTPS should give websites more traffic. This has encouraged a lot of websites to go HTTPS but they are now trying to force it on people by issuing warnings through their Chrome browser.
Starting in January 2017 the Chrome browser will start warning visitors to any website that collects credit cards or where you login to a members area that they are not secure if they are not HTTPS. This is mainly going to impact on ecommerce websites but many of these are already HTTPS. However, they are saying that “Eventually, we plan to label all HTTP pages as non-secure”. So even if your website is not going to be effected by the changes in January you are going to have to go HTTPS at some point. With the added SEO benefit it is worth doing it sooner rather than later.
How to Make your Website HTTPS
To make your website HTTPS, and keep Google happy, we need to install an SSL certificate. All of the websites we build come with an SSL certificate installed already and we can also assist with the installation of SSL certificates on older websites. If you would like us to do this for you please give us a call on 01245 492777.