Make Your Site Secure
Have you ever noticed how some sites come up as http and others come up as https? Your own site is probably set up as http, but if you look at sites such as Facebook, Amazon, and even Google itself, they are all https. Having https helps make your site secure, and gives your visitors peace of mind. So what is https and how does it affect your own local site?
There’s a big technical explanation behind the difference, which I am not going to bore you with. But as a small business owner it does affect you. Or it will in the very near future. The basic difference is that http is not secure, while https is.
Go to any online store site, you will see that they are always https. If you find one that isn’t, DO NOT buy anything from it. Your credit card and personal details are at risk of being intercepted. The sites with https are secure, and your information is encrypted making it very hard for anyone trying to intercept this information to actually get it.
So how does this apply to your site, especially if it isn’t an online site? Well, as of this year, Google made an update to its own Google Chrome browser. If you have it, open up a regular website that doesn’t have https. Next to the domain name, you should see an i with a circle around it. Click on that little icon and a drop down will appear informing you that the site is not secure. Now go to google itself, and you will see it is https, and the word secure in green comes up next to it.
What Google is trying to do is tell you, the user (its customers) of what sites are secure and what sites are not. In the bigger scheme of things, this means that Google will (if it hasn’t already) use this information in order to rank a site. So if two sites are equally matched in terms of SEO, then the site with https will get the nod.
This is important to you as business owners with websites to get a march on your competition. It could make a big difference to the way you appear in the search engines.
Obtaining https is a matter of acquiring a certificate (SSL certificate) which will make your site secure, and give you a little boost in rankings too. These certificates can be bought, but many ISPs are allowing their customers to get them for free.
Now there is a catch, because any links to your site will need to be updated to https in order to retain SEO rankings. So any links in your control (eg from your Facebook account for example) should be updated to https as well. Similarly your Google Places listing as well. It is also possible to place a redirect code on your hosting which will automatically take the user to the https version of the site.
Hopefully this article has helped you understand why you need your site secure. The process is quite straight forward, and RAST has already updated over 100 sites from http to https. Do you want your site converted? If so, give us a call 609 774 3865, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.