Google Says Your Website Needs To be Secure
What does that mean, and how does it impact you?
For all practical purposes, Google is forcing the use of SSL and HTTPS on all websites! Prior to this, there was no need for you to purchase a SSL Certificate for your website and incur the expense of migrating your website from HTTP to the HTTPS protocol.
What is SSL
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a standard security protocol for establishing encrypted links between a web server and a browser in an online transfer of data. A SSL Certificate is necessary to create SSL connection. Having a SSL Certificate installed on a web server ensures that all data transmitted between the web server and browser remains encrypted.
Google says, “Beginning in July 2018 with the release of Chrome 68, Chrome will mark all HTTP sites as not secure.”
If you have SSL enabled for your website, visitors will see it displayed as shown in the image below. The HTTP protocol has changed to HTTPS and the pages are secure.
As of May 30, 2018, Chrome browsers are used by over 60% of desktop users. Chrome is also used by over 40% of mobile users. Firefox, Safari and Edge browsers will be following suit in warning users that sites are not secure. In other words, you simply can’t ignore enabling SSL and migrating your website to the HTTPS protocol.
What Needs To Be Done
You must enable SSL for your website. That is done through your hosting provider. We can help you with that. The SSL Certificates (annual renewal) and implementation choices and costs vary depending on the hosting company and the plan you have. WebWise can help you review your hosting plan and provide you with your options and costs.
After SSL is enabled, we need to Migrate Your Website from HTTP to HTTPS:
Once SSL is enabled on your webserver, there is a process of over twenty steps that must be completed so your website pages always use the HTTPS protocol. Here is a high-level summary:
- Verify the SSL Certificate is installed, and SSL is enabled correctly
- Download backup copy and working copy of current website
- Edit all navigation links, text and photo links, Google Analytics code, forms, maps and any other links
- Edit sitemap.xml, robots.txt file and other required files
- Upload all files to webserver and validate pages
- Test and verify all internal and external links
- Make updates to Google Analytics, Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools accounts
Recap: Google is pushing this, as are most reputable hosting companies. You simply should not ignore converting your website to SSL and migrating your website from HTTP to HTTPS protocol.