Most websites that are not heavily commercial have always been hosted on a non-secure host. Meaning that the HTML code and content was sent out across the internet “in the open”. Anyone could intercept the traffic and see exactly what was being streamed. That has not been a problem to someone broadcasting their story or their products and services. You want people to know what your site is about. As these sites have become larger and more interactive suddenly there are things being passed both ways on a website. Things like passwords and credit information and NAPs (name, address, phone number)…not what you want.
Google has taken it on themselves to clean this mess up. A SSL Certificate (Secure Sockets Layer) is a guarantee that the data flowing to and from a website is being encrypted as it is being sent and de-encrypted at the users screen only. The http:// protocol becomes https:// so that means that the site is on a different server with different configuration.
Users will notice a padlock in front of the URL and hovering over it will give a message “Secure Connection”. This is the guarantee. See the URL bar at the top of this page. A site hosted on a non-secure server will have an I with a circle around it…clicking it will show a message “Your connection to this site is not secure”. Not exactly what you want a prospective customer or subscriber to see.
This change, if done correctly is not a simple task. If done incorrectly your website will have lost links and visitors will find 404 Page Not Found messages. And worst of all Google will devalue your site in search rankings.
Call me or use the form here for a conversation about your site. I have done several in the recent weeks and am sure that October is going to bring this to the “top of mind” for a lot of people.