By Josiah Cole
Privacy and security are on the mind of almost every person these days. Whether it identifies fraud, government spying, or Chinese hackers, threats seem to emanate from every nook and cranny of the web.
One way to ensure the security of your data is to use a secure, or encrypted connection. Most commonly associated only with online shopping and banking, secure websites (https://) encrypt or protect the connection between the web server (your website) and the visitor’s device.
This is all changing, and Google is helping usher in a new era of encryption for everyone. In August of 2014, Google announced that encryption will now be used as a “ranking signal” for all websites. What this means is that all other ranking signals being equal, a website with a secure connection (https://) for the entire site, will rank higher than a website that is not (http://).
Similar to the recent mobile-friendliness update, the secure ranking signal is just one of the hundreds of factors that determine the rank of a website. So don’t panic! Consider upgrading to a secure website to give your website an edge on your competitors, and reassure your customers that data privacy is important to you.
Purchasing, installing, and enabling an SSL certificate for your website is fairly straightforward. Here are the steps.
- Purchase the SSL from a reputable vendor such as RapidSSL, GoDaddy or NameCheap. If you’re a COLEwebdev client, we can purchase the certificate for you.
- Install the SSL certificate on your web server. This is something your webmaster or web host will do, and if you’re a client we’ll take care of it for you.
- Enable your website to use the new secure connection. Now that the certificate has been installed, your website needs to be configured to force all visitors to use the secure connection. Depending on how your website is built, the process varies. Like step 2 this is best done by your webmaster or web hosting provider.
Once installed, the SSL certificate only needs to be renewed every year, or longer depending on the term you purchase.
If you visit our website, you’ll notice that we’re now using a secure connection for our entire website. Notice the lock icon, and “https” in the address bar.
The urgency for encryption everywhere is only increasing, and with Google and other large tech providers pushing to encourage adoption of secure connections, the pace will only quicken. We anticipate that in 2-3 years’ time, it will be the standard protocol for all our hosted websites.
Final note: If your website already has an SSL certificate for eCommerce purposes, using it for the entire site is a bit easier as the certificate is already purchased and installed.
Contact us today to ask about the cost, and process involved.