People have become used to seeing padlocks in their browsers when online shopping. This indicates that the site you are using is using encryption on the information you are inputting.
The encryption is based on the site using a SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption, which can be seen by web addresses being HTTPS: rather than the standard HTTP:
This HTTPS: has been common practice and an essential part of ecommerce for many years as you are asking customers for their personal details and they want to know that their data is secure.
However, this year we have had many of our clients complaining that their basic information sites now show up on browsers as “Not Secure.” This is despite them not collecting any customer data.
This is due to a big shift in policy by Google in regards to web security. Any site that doesn’t have a SSL certificate installed (available from your hosting company) will be labeled as “Not Secure.”
The impact of not having a secure website;
- Customers will be wary of trusting your content even if it is only information;
- Some browsers or carriers will show extra warnings which will cause concern to visitors. This can also block out part of your site, such as headers or menus;
- Google now considers a SSL certificate as part of their ranking algorithm. This means if your competitor has a SSL certificate and you do not you are already on the back foot.
Installing a SSL Certificate
Having considered the above you may consider moving your site over to a encrypted SSL status. With most hosting packages it is fairly simple, although at extra cost, to add this to your package.
However, there are issues with this and it is not always straight forward.
Although the WWW.DOMAIN remains the same the addition of a HTTPS at the beginning is effectively a new domain name. With any change of domain this throws up the issue of redirects.
A redirect is a command that tells visitors or more importantly search engines that a page or site has moved and automatically sends them to the new destination.
There are several ways to do this;
- If a one page site you can set a redirect from HTTP to HTTPS in your host’s control panel;
- You can add a list of pages and their redirects to the .htaccess which is known as 301 Redirects. This can be time consuming especially if your have a lot of pages, posts etc.;
- A WordPress plugin. Our favourite is Really Simple SSL which when activated redirects the whole site to the HTTPS version with no coding necessary.