Most business websites will need to invest in an SSL certificate
Over the past few years, there has been a move towards making the internet more secure to reduce the risk of stolen customer data and hacking of websites.
Google in particular is incentivising website owners to make their websites more secure. As of last year, websites with an SSL certificate installed will rank better in Google than equivalent websites without SSL. You can recognise a website with an SSL certificate by its URL which starts with https:// instead of http://
Many businesses have already moved to SSL, and this trend is set to accelerate over the coming months. As of January 2017, Chrome is actually starting to show a "not secure" warning in the browser window for websites that don't have an SSL certificate and ask for customer logins, passwords or credit card information. They are planning to show this "not secure" warning for ALL websites without SSL certificates in the future.
This is from Google's blog:
"Beginning in January 2017 (Chrome 56), we’ll mark HTTP pages that collect passwords or credit cards as non-secure, as part of a long-term plan to mark all HTTP sites as non-secure."
"Eventually, we plan to label all HTTP pages as non-secure, and change the HTTP security indicator to the red triangle that we use for broken HTTPS."
This is a big development as it really makes it imperative for all business websites to have an SSL certificate in the future. If you have an eCommerce or membership website - any website where someone can create an account and login - you should really get an SSL certificate as soon as possible. If you see this in your checkout or customer login page (in Chrome), it does not make your business look good:
According to Google, eventually all non-SSL pages will look like this in Chrome:
There are different types of SSL certificates available, which you can usually purchase and have installed through your web hosting company. For most small businesses, a domain validated certificate will be sufficient.
Moving to SSL requires some planning for existing websites though. This is because all your links will change to start with https, which means you will need to set up redirects so any existing links are not broken. You'll also have to resubmit your website to Google, and update your Google Analytics settings.
If your website allows people to create a login or account, such as any eCommerce or Membership website, or if Search Engine Optimisation is important to you, we would HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you get an SSL certificate installed as soon as possible. All other business website owners should consider moving to SSL over the next year to avoid the "not secure" warning in Chrome when this is rolled out to all websites without SSL.
If your website is hosted with us, please contact us if you would like to find out more about purchasing and installing an SSL certificate for your website.