The time has come to transition your WordPress website to a secure SSL version — from http to https.
In the past, only websites with e-commerce or sensitive data needed to have an SSL certificate (security certificate) and be served as https with a green padlock. But that is no longer the case, and you may have noticed how many more informational brochure websites are now served under https with the security lock. I just made the switch myself, and have already transitioned many of my clients. The time has come where all sites need to be under https.
Google is leading the way in making this a search ranking factor!
One BIG reason to make the switch is that sites that are secure under https will be given more precedence in Google searches. This started as of January 2017 and will continue to be a bigger ranking factor as the year goes on. If your site is not under https, it will lose some ranking points.
Advantages of a Secure Site
- SEO – Google wants all websites to be secure and stated that it will give higher search ranking to those using SSL and https
- Chrome – As of January 2017, Chrome will display a non-secure icon in its browser for sites not using https (Chrome is used by about 50% of all users); In future releases, it will state in red that your site is not secure (see image below).
- Firefox – Any sites that have a login, for example in WordPress, will show an “not secure” message now if not SSL (many of you have asked about this new message – see image to the right)
- Extra layer of security – With more hackers and breaches, it helps to add an extra layer of security, especially when logging into WP
- Trust – Visitors will feel more confident that your site is secure, giving them peace of mind
Process & Cost
Here is the process for transitioning most sites to use SSL. It may depend on your host, but this is the typical set-up and process.
- Purchase and install an SSL certificate (cost depends on your host & plan, but many shared hosts are now offering free ssl)
- Reconfigure all the links within your site to https and update server settings
- Update Google Webmaster tools and Google Analytics and add any redirects so that the secure version always comes up first
It’s important to keep your investment protected and ranking well in Google.
What is the Difference Between http and https?
Basically, http serves regular text files to the browser, and https (“s” standing for secure), serves encrypted files that only your web browser and the host server can read, protecting it from hackers and those who could be trying to listen in while the data is being sent.
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