In this article we’ll learn what an SSL is, and why you need one for your website.

SSL required by Google

What’s an SSL?

SSL, which stands for Secure Socket Layer, is a standard security technology that is used on websites to make them encrypted. It encrypts the information your browser sends to the server. If you want to get really technical, you can read more about it here –

In a nutshell, an SSL is what you install on a website when you want your website and your users to be kept safe and secure. It’s what you see at the top of your browser that makes it HTTPS instead of HTTP.

HTTPS coming soon

Traditionally, SSL’s were only installed on websites that were transmitting secure information like credit card info or social security numbers. That is now changing.

Enter Google

Google has been taking steps to encourage users to move their websites to HTTPS since they announced in August of 2014 that HTTPS was a ranking signal (that you got a boost in the search engine rankings if your site was secure). Then in January of 2017, their Chrome browser showed a “Not secure” message when a user was filling out a password form on a insecure website.

Fast forward to October of 2017, and now any website that is not secured will display a “Not secure” message when the user begins to fill out ANY form in Chrome. And the Incognito browser will display “Not secure” whether there is a form or not.

What This Means

What Google wants, it gets. They have such a strong control of the industry, that when they say jump, we say “How High?” When Google wanted all websites to be mobile friendly, we obliged. Now that Google wants all websites to be secured, it is only a matter of time before it happens.

While there is nothing forcing anyone (yet) to secure their website, the ramifications of not securing it are real.

Here are the 5 reasons why you should secure your website.

1. Your SEO ranking gets a small boost

This is probably the least significant item on this list, but it also carries a lot of weight. Google has stated it as fact. So while the size of the boost that a HTTPS website receives is unknown and probably small, this is a concrete answer that makes securing a website right now a good idea.

2. Google Chrome is warning your users that your website is not secure

As mentioned above, the warning only appears in Incognito mode, or as the user is filling out a form. But regardless, you don’t want to scare away potential customers with a Not Secure warning. Especially as more and more of the competition is securing their websites, you don’t want to have a website that stands out negatively.

3. Google may take further steps to encourage HTTPS

The future is coming…HTTPS is most likely going to be the standard for all websites. Might as well jump in the game now.

4. The cost is relatively low

Depending on the type of security certificate used, SSLs are not as expensive as they used to be. At Fresh Look we charge $100 for purchase and installation of an SSL.

5. Customer Trust

Regardless of outside factors like what everyone else is doing, or search engine rankings, the biggest benefit of having a secure website is building customer trust. Customers may not completely understand what the green padlock icon is at the top of the website, but they have a general idea. Creating that trust is paramount to gaining new customers as well as retaining the old ones.

Don’t let your your competition get an advantage over you. It’s so easy to do, and the benefits are substantial. Get an SSL today by calling us at 757-778-8973.

In our next article, we will go over some of the common pitfalls associated with moving a website from HTTP to HTTPS. Stay tuned!

Let us know if you have any questions. 757-778-8973 or