Is it Time to Install an SSL Certificate (https) on Your Website?

Now may be a better time than ever to install an SSL Certificate on your website, and if not now, then sometime in the near future would be wise. An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is a digital certificate that encrypts all information passed between a website and web browser, ensuring that all information is secure and private. It prevents hackers from accessing important information, such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, or website login information.



In addition to the security benefits of https, Google will soon be penalizing websites that are not running on an SSL Certificate, giving website owners more incentive to switch their websites to https. In January 2017, Google’s Chrome web browser will begin identifying websites as “Not secure” if they do not have an SSL Certificate. Initially, this will only be for websites without https that are e-commerce, collect credit card information, or have user logins.

The big question to be answered is, will every WordPress site be marked as “Not secure” since they have a built-in admin/login area?

According to posts from Google and various SEO blogs, Google is making changes to their Chrome security notifications in hopes of encouraging all websites to have an SSL Certificate in the future. The Google Webmaster Central Blog states that as of 2014, Google started factoring https into their search algorithm as they rank websites, but for the time being it is a very minor factor in their formula for determining website ranking. However, they may make https a more substantial ranking factor in the near future as they encourage websites to transition to having SSL Certificates.

So, Should You Set Up Your Website With https?

A) Yes, do it now.

B) Yes, do it now.

C) Wait and see.

This year, for all the new websites I have built, I have set them up on an SSL Certificate from the beginning. You can view how the url appears with the examples below.

https://www.basecampbellingham.org

https://www.bellinghamlegal.com

https://www.fstnw.org

Questions or thoughts? Feel free to contact me, John, at info@highwaters.net or 360-961-5033.