What is a secure website? Why should you make your website a secure site? And what's the reason you should consider doing it before June 2018?
What is a secure website?
A secure website is one that has an "s" after the http, as you can see in the image in this blog. The "s" stands for secure, and all major websites are secure. All SEO-conscious websites are secure as well.
Who can have a secure site?
Anyone. Even as a Columbus website design firm, we have a secure website. And you can have one, too, for the low, low price of $50. That's how much it costs to get what's called an SSL certificate for your website. An SSL certificate is the mechanism which allows you to make your site secure.
If you or your hosting service can't install the SSL certificate yourselves, your website design firm should be able to help you.
Why would you want a secure website by June 2018?
There's 2 very good reasons:
First, secure websites are a ranking factor for Google's algorithms and have been since 2014. This is because one of Google's missions, in conjunction with the Word Wide Web Consortium (W3C.org), is to enact standards for all websites. And secure sites are better.
Second, as of June 2018, Google's Chrome browser will have more prominent warnings when a website is NOT a secure site. This is how Google is saying the "warning" will appear: in the URL window.
Currently, this is how Google's Chrome browser lets a visitor to your site know your website is not a secure site (you have to click on the little "i" letter):
Will other browsers show the same warning?
Yes, Firefox is already notifying users if a website's content is not secure. Below is a screen shot of how Firefox currently shows that a website isn't a secure site.
Will your website still work if you don't make it a secure site?
Yes, it will.
However, do you want to take a chance when people are seeing the words "Not secure" right by your domain name? Especially when they DON'T see those words by your competitor's domain names?
Should you care if a website is secure?
You should. When you visit a website that's not a secure site, your connection is open for snooping by what's called "man-in-the-middle attacks." Granted, it's a long shot. We've never had it happen to us... that we KNOW of! This is an attack where someone is eavesdropping on your web browsing, and they can relay, and possibly alter, the communication between you and whomever you're communicating with.
When you visit a secure website, like a bank, you see a green padlock icon in the address bar, like this:
For websites like these, no one can see what your browsing, nor interfere with the communication between you and the folks on the other end of the website.
Before June 2018, you should make sure you contact your website designer, or hosting service, and see if either of them can help you make your website a secure website. Or do it now. It's never too soon, but it could be too late, if you wait too long.