Why Your Site May Need HTTPS Now – Want Your Site to Rank in 2018?

header image of a padlock with HTTPS text in front

Think it might be time now for us all to give serious consideration for purchasing SSL certificates for our regular type websites … or suffer having our sites rank lower and lower (if at all).

Why your site may need https now? Well, here’s why I am saying this (details in screen print below):

screen print of an explanation for why your site needs https
Source: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-is-requiring-https-for-secure-data-in-chrome/183756/

I am not hearing a lot of chatter about this … yet … but I thought it best to give you all a “heads up” as to what IS coming. Some of you may have even received an email from Google that looks like the one in the screen print below:

screen print of an email received from Google detailing October 2017 Chrome will show security warnings

If so, please understand that there is NO need to panic purchase ANYTHING without doing your research first. It seems that Google is now ruling the internet (well, for the most part they are!), so if we don’t follow THEIR rules … well … our sites won’t be ranked very well, if at all, going forward.

The part about being forced to pay for and use SSL certificates on regular sites that are mostly glorified, digital billboards makes me not a very “happy camper” to say the least. So, if you feel the same way I do then now you know that you’re not alone.

Apparently, the different priced SSL certificates come with different warranties; so I checked to see why a warranty would even be necessary. This is what I learned (details in screen print below):

screen print of an explanation for why ssl certificates need a warranty

Now my question was this:
Does using a SSL certificate on my website open me up to a potential lawsuit in the future; and if not, then why do the different SSL certificates offer different amounts of warranty coverage?

If you think I’m being a bit cynical with this question, you BET I am!

SIDE NOTE: There are nasty things going on with American law firms on the internet these days. Don’t believe me, try Google searching “American law firm suing website owners” (without the quotation marks, of course) and read through some of the different issues American law firms are making money on the backs of website owners WORLDWIDE!

Apparently, the warranty will be used to cover any SSL certificate protected website visitor’s financial losses.

Here’s an example: Let’s say a website visitor gives their credit card details to a SSL protected site, and then their card is compromised at a financial loss. The warranty will be used to cover those losses … so I’ve been told by namecheap.com’s staff. See screen print of an email I received from them.

screen print of an email received from namecheap's staff member

Am betting that any website protected by a SSL certificate that cause a user’s information to be compromised (and a warranty to have to be paid out, of course) will most likely have their SSL certificate revoked, virtually putting that website out of business.

If this proves out to be true (and this does sound feasible) then if your website is NOT an eCommerce type of site, you can relax. This will NOT impact your website in any way.

However, if you DO own an eCommerce website, then be sure to purchase just the right SSL certificate so that you will be fully covered by the warranty, should one of your website visitors have issues with your site.

Why Does Your Website Need HTTPS?

Believe it or not, there are some good reasons for forcing all websites to use SSL certificates.

Two reasons that I have learned of are as follows:
1.) this will help shut down malware and phishing sites from stealing user’s information … and
2.) stop content jacking (known as session jacking).

Apparently, there’s a new surge on APPs to steal a site’s information, and use the info though their own, to make money.

We’d all love to see those types of sites come to an end, for sure … right?

In shopping around, I found that nampcheap.com seems to offer the lowest priced SSL certificate at $11.39 Canadian, yearly.

However, please DO check with your website hosting provider to see if they offer SSL certificates that you can purchase. Some website hosting companies are now offering Shared SSL certificates … or they may tell you they will be offering these soon. If so, you may want to wait for these.

The lowest priced SSL certificate that namecheap.com offers is detailed in the screen prints below:

screen print of namecheap's lowest costing SSL certificate

The “Learn More” link in the screen print above goes to the following information:

screen print of namecheap's Learn More link

The next question I asked was how much encryption is “up to 256-bit”?
And, I received what I have determined to be a good answer (details in screen print below), from here: https://www.ssls.com/ssl-certificates/comodo-positivessl
screen print explaining what up to 256-bit means

Oh … and if you DO decide to purchase this certificate, it will cause your site to need to be reworked in order to install this certificate … and, to possibly correct any errors caused from installing the certificate. Therefore, you should expect that you will be charged accordingly.

NOTE TO MY CUSTOMERS: If you are my website customer, and you are asked to verify that you have control of your website when purchasing your SSL certificate, then I will need to be available at the time you are making your purchase – and, there will NOT be a charge for this verification. If verification is NOT necessary, then great!

You may want your website hosting provider to install your SSL certificate for you … or … I can install it for you; though you will need to understand that I will be charging you according to the difficulty in fixing all issues. And yes, I have had experience converting sites from http to https. I’ve learned that this conversion can sometimes present some rather “unique” issues, to say the least. Some sites have resolved quickly while others … well, they took a little more tweaking, and no IT support staff would tell me why.

Adding your HTTPS to Google Webmaster Tools

Once your website SSL certificate is successfully installed in your website, for those of you with Google Analytics, you will need to update your Google Analytics in order to keep your initial advantages over your competition, and to have your site tracking updated to your (technically) new domain name.

For the “do-it-yourself’ers”, here is an updated guide regarding SSL certificates from start to finish: https://www.keycdn.com/blog/http-to-https/. Please DO read through this post so that you understand the complex issues that will need to be addressed during this conversion.

Am hoping this information shared here will provide you with the necessary data to help you make your decision … to buy or not to buy a SSL certificate for your website.

Any questions? Please feel free to ask me.

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