Does My Website Need HTTPS And SSL?
So as some of you may be aware, the tech behemoth that is Google has put its foot down when it comes to insecure websites that aren’t using HTTPS. They’ve announced a deadline and they’re sticking to it. They plan on releasing a feature for chrome that will warn a user whenever they access a site that is not using HTTPS. For a lot of you, this may seem like technical jargon and I.T mumbo jumbo. However, this issue is serious. People are still, believe it or not, entering their banking details and personal info onto websites that aren’t secure which leaves them vulnerable, all because they didn’t bother to check whether there was a letter “s” at the start of the URL.
With Google’s deadline of July 2018, it doesn’t give you too long to sit on the fence and think about whether or not your website needs to use HTTPS and SSL (chances are that you do).
SSL Certificates and HTTPS
SSL certificates and HTTPS are two of the most basic and yet most neglected security methods websites can implement.
SSL Certificates are primarily used when it comes to sites that are taking personal info or bank details. The point of an SSL certificate is to ensure a user that the site they are visiting and putting their details into is trusted. Along with making your site trusted by an authority, it makes sure your connection to the server itself is secure and means all of the data that is then sent to and from the server is encrypted. As well as encryption and trust, having a valid SSL certificate may also increase your Google rankings, which is always a nice bonus!
HTTPS is the abbreviation that you will see at the start of the URL on almost every website you visit nowadays, but what does it mean? HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP that is used on sites that are not secure. If you’re in the percentage of people who aren’t using chrome, then you will have to look for HTTPS in the URL to see if the site is secure. However, if you are using Chrome then you will be able to look up to the left of the URL and see a padlock and text saying “Secure”.
Nowadays, HTTPS is and should be the standard most basic level of security which should be present on every website.
What’s the point then?
The reasons for using SSL and HTTPS on your website are numerous, ranging from that fact that it may help your site rank higher compared to sites that aren’t secure, to the fact that roughly 80% of users will leave your site and search for an alternative if they see that it is insecure.
Over half of the sites on the internet today are secured using HTTPS and SSL, that means if you aren’t willing to ensure your site is secure and safe, then you are automatically giving yourself a handicap when it comes to seo and user trust.
With the recent introduction of GDPR, securing your site should be even more of a priority than it was before. Now if your site gets compromised and someone manages to steal the information you are storing, you can be fined:
- up to €10 million, or 2% of annual global turnover - whichever is higher
- up to €20 million, or 4% of annual global turnover - whichever is higher
That amount of a money could cripple most businesses to the point of bankruptcy. Out of the option of paying £50 for an SSL certificate or potentially be fined 20 million euros, I’d much rather pay £50 and make sure my site is secure.
Why should I care?
As a business, you SHOULD care... a lot. Besides providing security to your users, Google have come out and said that if your site is secured properly, it may rank higher than those that aren’t secured properly. That can be the difference between you and your competitor reaching that coveted number 1 position in the search results.
What effect does HTTPS and SSL have on my SEO?
When it comes to SEO, if you don’t have a secure website, then you can expect your search rankings to be affected, especially when google starts labeling sites that aren’t secure as “Not Secure”.
Am I doing it right?
You’ll know if your site is secure very easily, especially if you’re using chrome, by going to your site and looking in the URL bar for the padlock and the text to the right of it saying “Secure”. That’s the short of it. If your site doesn’t say secure with a padlock next to it, then you can most likely assume that either HTTPS isn’t setup on your site or that there is some mixed content which are invalidating it. The most common cause of a site not being viable for HTTPS is that some of the content on the page may be imported from another site that itself isn’t HTTPS which automatically voids the HTTPS that may be in place on your site.
How do I get SSL?
In order to get yourself one of those ever desired SSL certificates, you will need to go to a CA (Certification Authority) and pay them some money (£50 to £200) to grant you a certificate of security for your site. Alternatively, and in our opinion the best way to get an SSL certificate is to have us build your site for you. All of our sites come with free HTTPS and SSL certificates.
Do I Need SSL AND HTTPS?
Short answer: Yes.
Long Answer: Kind of, in reality you only really need HTTPS on your site to make it secure, but SSL is a good extra measure that is the status quo, meaning that it really does help. You can have a website that has just HTTPS, but you can’t have a site with just SSL on it. With Jacit, we make sure that when we build your site, it will automatically have HTTPS and SSL (FOR FREE) to ensure that your SEO rankings do not go any lower than the top.
SSL certificates cost money, and not even that, they cost money monthly and yearly, so using SSL can be expensive if you are a small website owner or a start-up business with not much cash, however, HTTPS is completely free due to the fact that it is based upon the content that you have displayed on your website and how it affects the user.
If you want to have a site that is: fast, secure, high ranking, and future proof, you should give us a call or drop us an email, and let us help you get around all of the issues and problems that come with having a site in today's modern world. We’ll be happy help you redesign, rebuild and restart your site to make it bespoke, professional and most of all, perfect for you.