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What is HTTPS & Why Converting Your Website from HTTP to Secure HTTPS is a Great Idea

27th August 2018
Thomas Marsden Team

In an effort to move towards a fully secure internet, Google has recently stepped up recommendations that all websites submit data via encrypted methods, also known as HTTPS, a method which has previously been reserved for ecommerce websites handling credit card details.

So, what is a Secure, HTTPS Website?

To put things very basically, running a secure website means ALL communication between a website and the user will be encrypted so that it cannot be intercepted by malicious third parties.

You will know you are on a website which has been secured by the green padlock next to, or near the url bar in your browser, just like ours below:

On a site like this, anytime you submit your email address to subscribe for a newsletter, complete your details in an online enquiry form or login to customer area, all these details are submitted by secure means, keeping your data nice and safe.

Google’s Push to Secure the Internet

In July of 2018, Google released the following statement regarding the latest release of their Chrome browser and how it will treat non HTTPS pages in the future:

“For the past several years, we’ve moved toward a more secure web by strongly advocating that sites adopt HTTPS encryption. And within the last year, we’ve also helped users understand that HTTP sites are not secure by gradually marking a larger subset of HTTP pages as “not secure”. Beginning in July 2018 with the release of Chrome 68, Chrome will mark all HTTP sites as “not secure”.”

From the business owner or marketing managers perspective, this should be an important point to ensure your website complies with, as it becomes the new minimum standard for website hosting.

Hosting Providers Offering Basic SSL Certificates as Standard

The good news here is that a number of progressive website hosting providers, including our own hosting, are well ahead of following Google’s lead to a secure internet and have already implemented features which allow all websites to start using a basic SSL certificate at no extra hosting cost, instead of having to purchase expensive dedicated SSL certificates required for ecommerce sites.

These basic SSL certificates, while not suitable for ecommerce sites, are great to allow your site to run in secure, HTTPS mode and all that is required is the site to be configured correctly to work in this manner.

Need help checking if your hosting supports HTTPS? Simply get in touch and we can provide a quote.

Converting Your Website to HTTPS the Right Way

If your website hosting supports HTTPS, then the process to make your site secure is a one off change to the websites configuration.

There are a number of steps involved in converting a site to run through HTTPS the correct way, mainly to ensure no existing rank is lost in the process. The process we have developed to complete the change over is as follows:

  • Update all site links and resources to be loaded securely
  • Perform full site scans for unsecure pages and correct if required
  • Adjust redirection configuration to ensure all users are directed to the secure version
  • Update Google Search Console to add secure versions of the site and check for configuration issues
  • Submit new XML sitemap

All of the above steps help to ensure no pages remain unsecured, which can cause page loading issues for your users, and that Google is quickly shown the new location of your website.

If you would like a review of your website to see if it can be converted to HTTPS, please contact us today for a complimentary review and quote.

Why Running a Secure Site is a Great Idea?

There are a number of reasons why converting your site to HTTPS is important, here are three of the most common:

  • Google Compliance
    Keep up with Google’s best practices are important to ensure the search engine views your site in its best light, and rewards you with subsequent rankings
  • Secures Data Submitted
    Keep your users data secure by encrypting transmission to and from the web server, safe from possible interception on unsecured networks for example
  • Build Customer Trust
    More and more customers will subconsciously look for the secure green padlock as a signal to assess a businesses legitimacy

Need Help Moving to HTTPS?

If you would like a review of your website to see if it can be converted to HTTPS, please contact us today for a complimentary review and quote.