From July 2018, Google’s Chrome browser will mark non-HTTPS sites as ‘not secure’. This means that if your website is not https, it will be at a disadvantage. So, if you haven’t migrated to https yet, then this is the best time to do it. In addition, websites that have an SSL enabled, they get a small ranking boost in Google’s search results, so all good reasons to act now or ask your agency to get this in hand.
So, what do we mean by ‘migrate to https’, why it is important to do so and what is the relationship between https and Google rankings?
What an SSL Certificate stands for
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. It is a security protocol that enforces encrypted communication between the web browser and the web server. This means that any information that is transmitted between your website and web server like usernames and passwords, credit card information and any other data submitted by users, is secure and encrypted. If an SSL is not present, the information is submitted in plain text.
What is the problem with that? If a hacker manages to intercept the connection between your website and server, can get access to the information.
What is https?
Websites that have an SSL certificate installed and configured can be accessed using https://www.example.com instead of the traditional non-secure way of http://www.example.com. Modern browsers such as Chrome, label https websites with the word ‘secure’.
Https is not something new, it’s been around for years but it wasn’t until 2014 that Google decided to start an initiative to make the web more secure and introduced the slogan ‘https everywhere‘. They started by making all google searches https and announced that https websites would gain a very small ranking boost.
Should you migrate to https?
This is definitely something you need to do now or in the near future. Sooner or later, https will gain more importance as a ranging signal and everyone will rush into changing their websites to https, so the faster you migrate the better. In addition, https is something that increases user trust, so if you have an ecommerce website it is a must, not an option.
Experience has shown, many websites that migrated to https experienced a slight increase in ranking and traffic. Https is a low-ranking factor with Google (at least for now), so don’t expect huge differences. However, don’t forget that you are adding the secure certificate, not only to benefit from the ranking boost but also to increase user trust, which can prove more beneficial in the long run.
So what should you do next?
Migrating your WordPress website from http to https is not especially difficult. However, the steps needed are quite involved for the novice, so you might like to consider asking your agency to assist with this?
There is a cost involved, since you the SSL certificate will have to be renewed every year. But for an online business who wants to stay in synch with the latest SEO developments and cares about data security, not migrating to https will undoubtedly be a lot more expensive.