The address (URL) of some websites start with “https://” rather than the usual “http://” which effectively means that the website is secure as the data being transferred between the user’s browser and the website is encrypted. This is often indicated by the appearance of a padlock, usually in the address bar.
Traditionally this has been used for eCommerce websites, or for those containing sensitive information, such as online banking; but its functionality can be applied to all websites and adds an additional layer of security as it prevents malicious people from listening in to users browsing the website.
Google have recently announced that security of websites is becoming increasingly more important, and so have decided to start rewarding secure websites with higher rankings in search results.
At first this will only affect larger websites (fewer than 1% globally), and will only have a small effect, but Google are trying to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS, and so this is likely to be more important in the future.
It’s interesting, and perhaps worrying, to see how effectively one company, Google, can change how webmasters administer their websites by making a minor change to their algorithms. In this instance however, it can only be for the best.
So does it affect you?
For the majority of people, we would say “not yet”, but for larger websites, those with sensitive information, or for those who are really serious about SEO (search engine optimisation), then we would say “yes”.
What is involved?
From our clients’ point of view, not a lot, we essentially need to install an SSL certificate on their behalf, and this will increase the hosting fees slightly.
For those not hosted with us, or on shared hosting packages, it may be more difficult or perhaps even not possible (not allowed by the web hosting company) but we can look in to this on a case-by-case basis.
How do you find out if it will benefit you?
It doesn’t matter if you’re a client of Webbed Feet UK; if you would like a secure website then we’re always here to help with some friendly advice.