Small businesses, who have never heard of HTTPS, may wonder what the heck it is and panic that they’re not going to be able to keep up with bigger competition for either lack of technical knowledge or lack of budget.
So what is HTTPS
HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is a security measure which ensures all data communicated to and from your website is secure – data is encrypted, can’t be modified or corrupted and is authenticated.
HTTPS is created by using an SSL certificate – which means a qualified, reputable third party has authenticated your site/company and has issued a certificate to say so. The certificate is installed onto your website and your domain url is changed from http:// to https:// (it also gives it the little padlock icon that you may have seen).
How will the Google change affect your website
If you’re already using SSL then hoorah, you don’t need to do anything and your site will be placed higher than other sites without SSL.
For most day to day small websites, up until now, SSL certificates haven’t been ‘needed’ – unless it’s an ecommerce site or holds people’s data, it’s just an added expense which most people don’t bother with. But with this Google change, you may now want to consider installing an SSL certificate.
How much does it cost
Certificates themselves can be bought relatively cheaply (from £3.99+VAT), depending on the needs of the site, ecommerce requires a different certificate to a blog site for example, and can even be installed by yourself if you feel technically confident.
However, do make sure the SSL certificate is bought from a reputable place, and if you’re not technically confident, it’s wise to seek professional help to make sure it is installed properly.