This article has been updated last February 13, 2020.
Paving the way for a safer internet. HTTP vs. HTTPS — what’s the difference, and are you secure?
While browsing the web, you may have noticed some sites being listed as “Not Secure” recently. This is the result of Google Chrome’s update 68. This was part of a series of updates that were in the making for about two! Google’s overall goal for the updates is to move websites towards using HTTPS, rather than HTTP, to promote a more secure internet browsing experience for everyone.
To make things simple, HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) and HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) are the backbones of the entire internet. This is how all data is transferred across the web. As a result, you can probably see why having a secured connection when accessing any given website would be important.
However, this is a really concerning change for many business owners that still have their sites under HTTP. Simply put, no one wants their customers and visitors to be bouncing off of their websites when they see “Not Secure” displayed prominently. Especially when nearly 60% of web users have Google Chrome as their go-to browser (source: StatCounter).
Not to raise any fire alarms, but that is just the start of Chrome’s transition. If you browse the web using chrome — and we’re going to take a gamble and say you probably do —you might have noticed a green lock with “Secure” listed next to it. On the off-chance you have not, check out our URL in the top left of your browser. (From July 2018)
If you are browsing the web using Chrome in 2020, you might have noticed a grey lock with next to the URL section. If not, check out ours at the top left of your browser.
In 2018, there was a green lock indicating the site was secure with HTTPS. Now, we just have a gray lock up top.
Google is making Secure the new norm.
Starting in September 2018, it’s time to say our goodbyes to that trusted green lock. Chrome’s next update will be phasing it out, with the intention of only creating notifications for unsecured websites. In October 2018, Chrome will up the ante and begin displaying “Not Secure” websites in red with a caution sign next to it. (From July 2018)
Nowadays, any site that is not encrypted with HTTPS will have a red warning sign with “Not Secure” next to it. And in some cases, your site may be blocked entirely for anyone who uses Google Chrome. A few years ago, Google was gently nudging everyone to make the switch. Nowadays, it’s a hard-lined approach. Google is essentially saying, “get secure, or get off the web”.
Danger, Will Robinson!!
October 2018 marked the Google Chrome 70 update. Unsecured HTTP sites now display in red with a warning sign. In some cases, they are blocked entirely.
Say hello to a Really Simple solution.
All that said, this wasn’t doomsday. Why? Because despite what may seem like a headache, is actually pretty easy to fix if you’re using WordPress. First and foremost, you’ll be needing an SSL certificate. Acquiring one can be either straightforward or a more involved process, depending on your website’s host. In fact, many hosting sites nowadays already include SSL with their service. Nowadays, if you’re starting a NEW website up in 2020, you probably won’t even have to worry about this.
If you still haven’t caught up — no worries. Here’s a few easy steps to take.
Three Really Simple steps:
- Obtain an SSL certificate. (Let’s Encrypt has you covered for free.)
- Activate the Really Simple SSL plugin.
- Enable SSL with one click.
There are a few last steps to complete the change, including updating your sitemap, webmaster tools, CDN, analytics and social share accounts with your updated URL. If you’re already familiar with WordPress, then this is no problem.
We offer a quick and inexpensive fix for WordPress users. Contact us today, and we’d be more than happy to have a conversation on how we can assist you with it.