Google has made an important announcement:
Beginning October 2017, people using the new Chrome browser to fill-up a form or even subscribe to a website that’s not using HTTPS will get a warning that says the website is not secure.
If you’re still on HTTP, this will definitely injure your conversion rate. People will be scared off, thinking your site is not secure or worse, that it’s a bogus site.
Justin Meadows will show you what you can do to switch to HTTPS in this episode of the Hassle-Free Websites.
In the video:
- 00:51 – What is HTTPS?
01:43 – What HTTPS and SSL certificate are for
02:42 – The backlash of not using HTTPS
03:37 – How to switch from HTTP to HTTPS
04:36 – The side effects of switching
05:33 – Easy tips to assuage the side effects
What Is HTTP And HTTPS?
When you connect to a website using HTTP, your browser connects to the IP address it assumes is the right one. It cannot verify if you are on a compromised network redirecting you to an impostor website or not. And so, it sends out data and other sensitive information like passwords and credit card details in clear text.
Hackers can steal these data along the way as it travel through an HTTP connection.
The “S” in HTTPS means “Secure.” It means data travelling across the internet are scrambled as it leaves one site and gets unscrambled when it reach its destination. Anyone who tries to access it along the way will just see jibberish because the data is encrypted.
HTTPS or SSL certificate is a requirement for ecommerce sites and other sites that ask for credit card information. However, with the latest announcement of Google, the entire worldwide web, ecommerce or not, is gradually making the switch to HTTPS.
If you’re not unsure whether you are on HTTP or HTTPS, you will find it in the first part of the address of your website in the address bar.
What Will Happen If You’re Not Using HTTPS?
What are the repercussions if you don’t switch to HTTPS?
Lower Ranking. Google will give preference to websites that are using HTTPS. If you are still on HTTP, you will likely lose your rankings in Google.
Lower Traffic. And because you will lose your Google ranking, the traffic coming into your website will also be significantly reduced.
Reduced Conversion Rates. Because users will be warned that your site is not secure, they will likely think their information will be compromised if they give it to you. So, they most probably will not subscribe, buy anything from you or have anything to do with your website.Now is the time to switch to https. Click To Tweet
How To Change To HTTPS
So, how do you go about changing to HTTPS?
Buy An SSL Certificate
You can buy an SSL certificate just for your domain name from one of the trusted SSL providers. It costs roughly $50 to $100 a year. There are other more expensive versions—those that will give you the green secure bar at the top of the web address. You will usually find them on sites like PayPal.
Use “Let’s Encrypt”
And while buying an SSL certification is a good idea, there is still a better option and it’s free: using Let’s Encrypt. This solution makes security encryption a freely available service to everyone on the internet. If you have a good hosting provider, contact their support team and ask to have it activated on your server.
Be warned though: whether you buy an SSL certificate or use a free solution to make the switch, you will experience a dip in your Google rankings and website traffic. This is because you are actually changing your website to a whole new address and Google needs to thoroughly index your site.
It’s only temporary, but it could last from two weeks to two months.
What You Can Do To Mitigate The Negative Effects Of Switching To HTTPS
If you are relying on SEO for your website traffic, the two-month temporary dip in rankings could hurt you. Make that dip as short as possible by following these steps:
Update all the links to HTTPS
Make sure all the links on your website are changed to the new HTTPS address. Use Backup Buddy and do a ‘find and replace’ to get the entire site updated.
Correct URL in WordPress
Don’t forget to set the address inside WordPress to HTTPS.
301 Redirect in HT access file
Next, use HT access to do a 301 redirect from HTTP to HTTPS. If you’re unsure on how to do that, ask your hosting provider or contact a web developer to help you out.
Clear Beaver Builder cache
If you are using the Beaver Builder plugin, make sure to clear all the caches on your website. Then, check the site to make sure everything has been properly updated.
Add URL to search console
Go over the Search Console (formerly called Webmaster Tools) and submit the site again as a new site with the new HTTPS address.
Submit XML sitemap
Make sure the HTTPS address is used in your XML sitemap before resubmitting it to Search Console.
Don’t forget to go over to analytics and make sure the address is also updated there.
Continue publishing new content
After the switch, make sure to continue publishing new content both on your website and on social media. This will help Google bots crawl your site faster and make sure you re-index quicker.
Once all these things are done properly, your ranking will come back faster and your site placed in a better position than when you started.