Is your website locked up?
When browsing to your website do you see a locked padlock icon in the address bar?
You may be thinking that since your website is simply a landing page for people to learn about your business and isn’t accepting credit card payments or handling personal information, having it secure isn’t necessary. I thought the same once.
However finding the “Not Secure” message or an unlocked padlock can be harming you in Google’s search results. In 2014 Google began using HTTPS as a factor to break ties in search rankings when similar sites are presented. A site with HTTPS (hypertext transport protocol security) enabled is ranked higher than other similar sites for content and speed.
Later in 2018 Google’s Chrome web-browser began signaling unsecured websites by placing the message “Not Secure” within the address bar. So not only are search engine algorithms favoring secure sites, when your website visitors do find you they may not understand the “Not Secure” messaging and click away quickly.
There are many pages online that can be referenced to guide you through the process of configuring your website to redirect any HTTP requests to HTTPS. Most are tailored to help you with the major hosting providers. For example here is a link to GoDaddy’s online help which I referenced while researching for this blog post and quickly applied for a website I manage.
What should happen? A visitor entering a URL, such as http://www.yourwebsite.com will find that URL modified by your website hosting system to the format https://www.yourwebsite.com, this happens automatically behind the scenes. In case you are wondering a URL is a uniform resource locator, aka it’s the address to your website.
If you need assistance to securely configure your hobby or business website, please contact me.