Have you been “condemned” by Google?

If you have not installed a SSL (Secure Socket Layer) Certificate to your site’s server by now, the answer is YES! Without it, the Google Chrome browser version 68 just launched a couple of days ago displays “Not Secure” warnings to your visitors upon landing on your site. Worse still, people searching Google will see your site listed as “Not Secure”. SSL Certificates are no longer optional – they are now required – if you are planning on running a successful website!

According to NET MARKETSHARE, Google commands 60% of the browser market. But hey, all browsers – Firefox, Safari, Edge, etc. have all followed suit and are now displaying some sort of insecure warning to site visitors to non-SSL sites.

What does the SSL Certificate do?

The simple explanation is rather than your website pages being prefixed with http:// they will display as https:// with the s meaning that your site is deemed “secure”. Bonus – there will also be a little green lock displayed in the browser bar indicating to your site visitors that your site is secure.

What are the implications?

Let’s take a practical example. Say your website is all about dogs and you are touting your expertise. People searching Google for information about dogs will naturally be less likely to click a link to your site as it has been tagged by Google as “Not Secure”. It gets worse. Because Google includes secured sites as an element in their page ranking algorithm, without an SSL Certificate, your site will be pushed further to the bottom of search results. Ouch! All that work in improving your organic SEO – out the door!

Additionally, say you are an ecommerce site selling dog toys. If your site is tagged as insecure and your competitor’s site is secure, which site do you reckon people will select?

What you can do:

Install an SSL Certificate to your host server. Some web hosts offer this for free, others do not, such as GoDaddy where an SSL Certificate will cost you (starting at) $74.99 per year, per site. Some web hosts, including GoDaddy, allow you to install your own SSL Certificate, but this ain’t for the uninitiated, faint of heart. If you are looking for a free SSL Certificate, Let’s Encrypt is the choice. The Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate should serve many of you just fine, but the downfall is that it must be renewed every 90 days. Another free option is to utilize Cloudflare, which I will discuss in an upcoming post.

WHAT YOU CAN DO – NOW!

As said, SSL is no longer an option for your website – it’s mandatory. We offer website hosting through our sister site – The Site Hosting Company which includes SSL Certificates for no additional charge! No muss, no fuss, no work on your part! Give me a call and I’ll take care of your needs.

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