What’s an S matter?
If you own a website that uses HTTP encryption instead of HTTPS, you’re about to lose some business—Google Chrome is officially listing HTTP-based sites as “unsecure.”
Fortunately, obtaining an SSL certificate to switch over to HTTPS is no Herculean trial, and it won’t break the bank, either.
HTTPS is essentially a certification from a credible source that marks your website as “secure”. This means that users can comfortably enter payment information, account credentials, and other bits of data without having to worry too extensively about having their data stolen or misused.
If you do business through your website, the HTTPS rating is also a stamp of approval of sorts.
Even if you have egregious examples of advertising or product pop-ups, anyone who knows anything about anything will inherently trust your website if it has “https” in front of its URL, making the HTTPS designation quite valuable in and of itself.
No Edge Cases
Naturally, you might be wondering why having your site listed as “unsecure” matters all that much. The main reason is that your traffic is likely to see a hefty drop simply because of Google’s obtrusive warnings about unsecure sites. While these warnings are helpful overall, they also scare off a large number of users when the actual risk is relatively minimal.
This means that even if your site doesn’t host payment information or allow for individual user accounts (e.g., a blog), you’re bound to miss out on some prospective viewers due to Google’s safeguards.
Obtaining an SSL Certificate
As it sits, you won’t have to sell a kidney to afford an SSL certificate. Some sites, such as NameCheap, sell SSL certificates for as low as $39 per year, though you can pay around $90 for the “Green Bar” stamp of approval that Google and other chromium-based browsers use to mark a site as safe.
It’s also pertinent to note that Pressable offers SSL certificates for WordPress-based sites for free. Before doling out cash for your certificate, check to see if there’s a free option for your domain as well.
Benefits of HTTPS
HTTPS sites enjoy higher search engine ranking, uninterrupted traffic, and a generally better pedigree amongst those in the know.
Ultimately, though, your site should ideally be running HTTPS anyway, if for no other reason than the reliability and the relatively cheap price tag; this Chrome push is a textbook example of a good idea for a good reason, so don’t get left behind.