Is It Time To Move Your Site To HTTPS?
For me the answer was yes and here are the three reasons why:
1: It's a ranking signal for Google
For a while now I've been following SEO experts and learning as much as I can about SEO to improve my own website and my client's websites. I've heard multiple times about how having a secure site (https) is a ranking signal for Google. Although Google doesn't really put out a list of all their ranking factors, this one they did mention and encourage. Google has said this more than once so I figured it was time.
2: It's an added layer of security and projects a professional image
If you look at many of the trusted sites on the web, you'll notice they are using HTTPS. With all of the security issues online these days, it is a little more comforting to know that a website you're visiting and potentially purchasing from is secure. Having HTTPS helps protect the integrity of your website and the privacy and security of your users. HTTPS is the future of the web even for sites that don't process sensitive communications and data.
3: The red “Not secure” warning is coming to Chrome this Fall
According to Google Chrome, web visitors should expect safe browsing by default and only be warned when there's a problem. Soon all pages not secure will be clearly marked showing the red “not secure” warning. And those that are secure will eventually default to unmarked. That means no lock icon or “Secure” indicator. The expectation will be all sites are secure and those that are not will be clearly marked.
These changes are slated to be rolled out beginning in September 2018 with the red warnings in place in October 2018. You can check out the Google Chromium Blog for a visual image of what this will look like.
To add HTTPS to your website, start here
When you're ready to move forward with https and an SSL certificate, check with your web hosting provider first to see what they offer. Certificates are installed on the same server that hosts your site so it makes sense to keep those together.
Some web hosting companies, like SiteGround, even provide free SSL certificates via Let's Encrypt. For me, I waited until my web hosting service was expiring, then I switched my website to SiteGround hosting. Not only did I get a free SSL, but I also got a temporary reduction in web hosting services. (most web host companies offer a reduced rate for your first year)
If you don't have access to a free SSL or find that you need one for multiple domains, you will need to pay for this addon to your account. In most cases, you'll just need the basic SSL certificate but check with your web host for their advice first.
Once you get your SSL certificate installed, you can test it here on SSLlabs.com.
If you still have questions, please leave them in the comments.