Starting this July, Google’s Chrome browser is going to start marking websites without SSL as ‘Not secure’.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a widespread, standard technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web browser and a server. If you bank or shop online, you have already used it. A padlock normally shows in the address bar of your browser, with a message like ‘Secure‘. SSL means that any data you give websites is encrypted until it reaches the server where the website is stored. A certificate identifies your website like a signature so people can reasonably trust that you are who you say you are and that they can send you information, and even things like credit card details, safely.
This is good. Without SSL, bad people can snoop on the information you send.
Look at your browser address bar now, and you should see something like this:
This website uses SSL. Green padlock = happy days.
After July of this year, if your website does not use SSL, Chrome will start much more conspicuously marking your site as ‘Not secure‘.
Not only that, but if your website doesn’t use SSL you will be punished in their search rankings. Yup. Google is so keen to see SSL rolled out across the interwebs, they’re using the presence or otherwise of SSL as a factor in how they rank websites.
Fortunately, getting your website set up to use SSL is relatively painless. In the case of a WordPress site like this and most of the sites we host, the steps are:
- Buy an SSL certificate (we’re working on getting these for free through our web host, but for the time being they are heavily discounted).
- Confirm identify and install the certificate for your website
- Tell WordPress to start supporting SSL and ensure that all visits to your website are redirected to use it (this isn’t complicated – a free plugin for WordPress, Really Simple SSL, will do most of the work for you).
Get in touch if you’d like to get all safe and secure with SSL.
Check out Let’s Encrypt for free SSL certificates.