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Time To Secure Your Website

Time to secure your website

Important changes for your website.

[ Update: the Chrome version 68 browser was released on 24th July 2018 so all http websites now show as “Not secure” ]

My apologies for the long looking post but it is important that you read it as it could have a big impact on your website and your business.

https – what on earth is that you say ? Have you noticed the “Not secure” indication in the top address box on your web browser when you visit a website ?

http - not secure

Google have been on a mission for some time now trying to encourage all websites to use https protocol which is a more secure system that encrypts all data passing between the web browser and the server. In principle this is a good thing.

In the past, encryption using https was only considered important when transferring sensitive data such as bank or credit card details and was usually only seen on e-commerce or on-line banking type websites.

Google have been steadily increasing pressure online to force this move and they announced that in version 68 of the Chrome browser, due for release in July 2018, all http web pages will display “Not secure” as illustrated above. All other browsers are following suit so it will apply to them as well.

Clearly if a visitor to your website sees “Not secure” indicated on all of your web pages on your site this could at the very least make them nervous about visiting and staying on your site so they could bounce off elsewhere to find another website that is showing as “secure”.

To overcome this situation the website needs to be migrated to use https protocol. As you would expect, this unfortunately comes at a cost.

The first thing you need is an SSL certificate for your server. Usually you can get these from your hosting provider. A few hosting companies provide a free one, others charge. These are also renewable annually.

To complicate the issue, there are 3 types of SSL certificate but we won’t go into this now, if you want to read more about this have a look at this recent article about https on the Scalar Enterprises blog.

From our experience to date, most small businesses (unless they have e-commerce sites) have been opting to use the cheapest option of SSL certificate which allows the visitor to see a “Secure” indication without the additional costs of the more expensive certificate types.

The SSL certificate is just the first step unfortunately. The process of moving from to https means that every URL (e.g. http://www.scalarenterprises.co.uk ) in your website changes so each of these references in your website has to be updated. That is not just page and post URLs but also every link and every image so this can be quite a big task particularly on large websites. There are also a few changes that have to be made to the configuration files on the web server.

The amount of work and cost associated with moving to https is basically dependent on your hosting company and the size and complexity of your website.

Scalar Enterprises would be happy to review your situation and advise on what you need to do and give you an idea of the costs involved. Give Steve a call on 02392 660794 for a chat to see how we can help or email him at steve@scalarenterprises.co.uk.

 

Please share this with others who you think may be interested.

Steve

Steve Wood owns and runs Scalar Enterprises based in Portsmouth in Hampshire. He offers a range of services including Web design, Internet marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO) to small businesses and SMEs in Hampshire and the surrounding areas.

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