Have you noticed a “not secure” warning showing up in your website address bar? Are you wondering why it’s displaying there?
Well, Google has quite aggressively started to communicate the HTTPS status to users by identifying those that don’t have an SSL certificate, with a not-secure warning. We probably don’t have to tell you that this isn’t a good thing; it doesn’t look great and it can stop people from visiting your site. In this article, we will address exactly what the secure warning means, how to fix it and the advantages of doing so.
What is the warning?
You might have started seeing the “not secure” warnings rolling out lately, don’t worry…you’re not imagining it. Google’s new update means that they’ve started to let everybody know when the website they are visiting is not HTTPS enabled.
What this tells users is that a hacker could look at the data they have inputted into the site; things like passwords, addresses and card details could all been seen. A hacker could even, in some extreme cases, hijack the connection or redirect the user to a malware-laden page.
For obvious reasons, people are circumspect of a not secure website, some even choose not to stay on the website.
What it means for your visitors
So, we touched on it briefly in the point above, but your visitors will not like this warning.
Internet users are told to look out for these not-secure warnings. If they see them, they’re advised to not enter any kind of sensitive data and, in some cases, exit the page.
Users are becoming more cautious and more cognizant of the issues on the internet, scams and viruses are a worry for them, and it is, in complete fairness, your job to make them feel safe and to make them feel like they can trust your website.
What does it mean for you?
If you own a website, and it shows a “not-secure” warning, you could be losing out on a lot of traffic or revenue.
If you run any kind of e-commerce website, your users will most likely not be entering their card details on your site, and they will ultimately look elsewhere for the product. This means you lose out on revenue.
If your business relies heavily on traffic, a not-secure warning could be affecting this too. Users may not re-enter your site because of the not-secure warning, and your website could possibly be showing up lower down on the search results as a consequence.
How do I fix it?
By now you’re probably in agreement that you need to fix it. The good news is; it’s pretty easy to do.
You need to get an SSL certificate, which is basically something which stops all suspicious activity on your website. It binds the domain name with the organisation identity, which will activate a padlock and make that undesirable “not secure” in the top left, completely disappear.
You have an option to get a free SSL certificate or a paid one. Both have their benefits, but we recommend a paid one.
The benefits of doing it
To begin, you will get the convenience of being labelled as “secure” in the address bar – and that really can’t be faulted.
You’ll also (most likely) be ranked high in the search results, as being secure gives Google a good reason to boost you up there. This is great for businesses that heavily rely on traffic for revenue.
Users and visitors will also be more inclined to enter their bank details and address, which is a necessity for e-commerce sites.
Last but not least, and kind of the whole point of an SSL certificate – your website will be protected against scams and viruses.
Will you run into any problems?
A lot of people put off making their website secure because they don’t really know how to do it and are scared it will change their site.
A lot of questions we get asked are; “will it lower my ad revenue?”, “How do I do it?” and “will and SSL certificate affect how many visitors I get?”
Redirecting a website to HTTPS isn’t hard at all, your visitors won’t be affected (in fact, it might benefit you) and it shouldn’t lower any ad revenue.
Is it difficult?
No, not at all. If you choose a free SSL you will have to renew your certificate probably about every 90 days, which isn’t extremely convenient. This is one of the reasons why we recommend a paid SSL certificate.
With a paid SSL certificate, you have different options, the renewal process is super easy, you’re protected with a warranty (if anything does happen on your site, you’re entitled to a pay-out) and, quite importantly, you will get customer support, which makes the entire process monotonous.
Achieving a secure site, in short, is an easy and beneficial process which you should absolutely do.
Can I get help?
Of course, with paid SSL certificates, customer support will always be there to offer you helpful advice.
If you feel like you need a little bit more help, you can use a technology partner, they will help you with all your technology needs. Avalon Hosting Services will help you with anything you could possibly need revolving around your website or tech problems. They don’t let you rack up a costly bill either.
To summaries, if your site is showing a “not secure” sign, you need to invest in an SSL certificate, as soon as possible. You can choose from a free SSL certificate or a paid SSL certificate, and you can get help as you go along, either from customer services or a technology partner.