Spoiler. if it isn't, it should be

Is your website HTTPS yet?

by Christine Gibbs

HTTP is dead and now it’s starting to stink. So if your site isn't HTTPS yet, read on to find out how you can avoid a big black mark from Google.

 

If Your Site is Still HTTP Read This

This matters to your business, because Google Chrome 56 and Firefox 52 now mark sites that don’t use HTTPS ‘not secure’. This has started with pages collecting login details or credit-card numbers, but it will soon apply to whole websites.

Google Chrome is the world’s most popular browser, so if your site starts being security blacklisted by Google, it’s likely to have a knock-on effect on your business.

This is Google’s latest step to encourage website owners to move to HTTPS. They’re taking a carrot and stick approach, boosting your search rank if you use HTTPS, and disabling certain browser features if your site is not secure.

Too Much Jargon?

 No Idea What we’re Talking About?

Yup. we feel your pain.

HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. All data sent between your browser and an HTTPS website is secured using Transport Layer Security protocol (TLS). TLS offers encryption, data integrity and authentication.

HTTPS provides your website the following benefits:

  • Secure handling of confidential visitor information
  • Greater perception of trustworthiness as HTTPS sites are marked secure in browsers
  • Newer browser features such as geolocation are only available over HTTPS
  • HTTPS unlocks new high performance web protocols that speed up your web pages
  • Google PageRank algorithms use HTTPS as a minor signal
  • HTTP sites are now marked by Google Chrome as insecure
  • HTTP sites cannot see referrer information from secure sites

What should you do if your site is still HTTP?

If your website is still HTTP, make a plan to transition to HTTPS.

Changing to HTTPS is like a switch to a new domain, and requires redirects. If you’re planning a new website build, it makes sense to switch to HTTPS as you launch your new site, so that redirects are handled once.

TimeZoneOne recommends HTTPS encryption for all new sites.

What’s the process for moving to HTTPS?

  • Contact your TZO account manager
  • We will review your website requirements and propose an HTTPS solution, a price, and a transition plan
  • Once you’ve accepted this plan we will conduct an HTTPS review of your site code, add HTTPS performance and security headers, help you obtain a security certificate, and set up 301 redirects to the new HTTPS pages

Your HTTPS Options

Your HTTPS solution will depend on how secure your site needs to be. We outline some appropriate solutions below. Don’t worry if you don’t understand what this all means, as your account manager can explain it to you.

Site Offers E-commerce?

You require a minimum of a standard SSL purchase and dedicated IP.

Site Offers User Registrations/Logins?

You require a minimum of a standard SSL purchase and dedicated IP.

Marketing Site, no Registration or E-commerce?

You require a minimum of Cloudflare w/ flexible SSL. Cloudflare offers a secure connect from the user to Cloudflare. This is fine if no credit card or sensitive data is being submitted.

Other Considerations

If you require a high-performance site, and you’re committed to HTTPS, we also recommend HTTP Strict Transport Security headers for a small additional performance gain.

About the Author

Christine Gibbs

Christine Gibbs

GM New Zealand

I lead the team in the Christchurch office, to drive marketing and business development strategies to grow the New Zealand business.

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