Up until late 2017, I probably would have said don’t bother.
But times have changed and I now believe it’s a good idea for ALL businesses to secure their websites with HTTPS.
Let’s take a look at what exactly HTTPS is, why I’m now recommending HTTPS and how you go about implementing HTTPS on your website.
What Is HTTPS?
Short answer: If you see a little padlock in the address bar of your web browser, that means you’re visiting a secure website, which means that the data you’re sending to or receiving from that site is encrypted.
A non-secure website has a URL that begins with “http” in the address bar, whereas a secure website begins with “https” — with the “s” standing for “secure”.
It used to be that you really only needed a secure website if you were doing e-commerce and you had a shopping cart where customers were entering their credit card info on your site.
But now, even if your website is primarily an informational site and you’re not selling products or services directly from your site, it’s recommended that you move your site to HTTPS. Here’s why …
3 Reasons Why It’s Important To Upgrade Your Site To HTTPS
- Maintain lead generation. Starting in October 2017, the Google Chrome web browser started showing a “not secure” warning when users started filling out a simple contact form or search field on a non-HTTPS website. So if you depend on your website to generate leads and sales inquiries, your site needs to use the HTTPS protocol so users don’t freak out and abandon your site’s contact form due to “non secure” warnings.
- Improve your search engine rankings. In August 2014, Google announced that HTTPS is a ranking factor in their search algorithm. The jury’s still out as to how much of a factor HTTPS plays in your search rankings, but research suggests it’s becoming a stronger ranking factor. Just do any type of a Google search, and you’ll notice that nearly all of the page 1 results begin with an HTTPS URL. Google has also indicated that a HTTPS site can serve as a tie-breaker between two sites offering similar information.
3. Everybody’s doing it. Perhaps the most important reason to have an HTTPS site is perception. We live in a world where hacking and data breaches are everyday news, and people are concerned about online privacy and security. Even though your website isn’t collecting sensitive information, the fact that you have an HTTPS site and visitors can see the little padlock in their browser gives them comfort. And that translates to confidence and trust in your company. HTTPS is quickly becoming the norm, and even non-techie visitors are now starting to feel a little uneasy when they don’t see that padlock …written by Mark Brinker