Google Chrome SSL Certificate Update: What it Means for Your Website

Man using laptop

Google has been discussing an impending update which will mark websites containing forms as “Not Secure”, unless they have a SSL certificate (HTTP vs HTTPS). When a consumer attempts to view your website, they will be served with a warning in the address bar which will say “Not Secure” before your URL. This creates significant potential to deter consumers and send them away from your website. It is possible for them to view your website, but, with such a warning, how many people will be brave enough to continue?

So, what does this mean and what does it have to do with you? If a consumer reads the warning and decides to view your website they will be less likely to fill out any of your forms. Why? Because the words “Not Secure” will be fresh in their mind, this in turn will cause a decline in leads, and revenue, for your business. While this may feel like an inconvenience, it truly isn’t. Efforts are being made so that our cyber world is more secure and trust is built with your online customers.

Let’s break down the specifics of the situation because it is vital that business owners understand what is happening.

What is an SSL Certificate?

A website with HTTP presents data through your browser, which, understands the instructions and arranges the data as the website’s designer intended. HTTPS encrypts the website’s data creating a level of security which will protect the user’s information – especially if they are completing a form.

Not secure website error

Websites equipped with the SSL certificate, such as our own, will feature a padlock and the URL will begin with https:// followed by the remainder of the URL.

Secure website in address bar

Basically, to sum it up, you’re telling Google that your website is secure, and it is safe for users to visit and complete the forms.

Chrome Users and Your Website Traffic

As of October 2017 this change will affect Chrome users; these users make up more of your website’s traffic than you realize. Approximately 64% of all desktop computers and approximately 50% of all mobile users are surfing the internet using Chrome. As we’ve learned in the past, Google is a trend setter, so it’s only a matter of time before others follow suit. Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Apple Safari will be rolling out something very similar at the beginning of 2018. These updates will hit virtually all website traffic by 2018.

How do you avoid the warning message?

  1. Host with a dedicated IP address (If your website was built by Brawn Media, this step is all set).
  2. Purchase, activate, and install the SSL Certificate.
  3. Update your website to use HTTPS in the URL.
  4. Check each page of your website to ensure the URL begins with HTTPS.
  5. Update your sitemap and then resubmit to search engines.
  6. Contact Brawn Media These may sound like simple steps, but, unless you are a professional with experience handling this situation, it is easy to make a mistake. The company who built your website should be urging you to make this change, if they aren’t; it’s time to find a new company.

Beginning in October moving forward through 2018, this warning will show for all HTTP websites. To continue gaining business from your website, and for an uninterrupted user experience, it is strongly recommended to make this update.