For years now, Google has been encouraging website owners to implement SSL[i] certificates and since October 2017, the Chrome browser (developed by Google and currently the most popular browser[ii]) has a new feature – warning users that their connection between their internet browser and the website server is not secure. The warning will appear on web pages that have any forms such as contact us forms and especially forms requiring credit card numbers, addresses and passwords. As a visitor to a website that does not have a secure connection, completing a form on such a website can be dangerous as the information you send via these forms can be intercepted on its way to the web server thereby compromising the privacy of the data you provide.
How visitors to your site will be warned
When a user navigates to a website which does not have an SSL certificate a warning will appear in the address bar as follows:
When “Not secure” is clicked on, the message below is displayed:
How many site visitors do you expect to complete forms on your website with this warning present? Can you afford to lose these potential sales leads? What quality of sales lead do you expect you will get from visitors who complete the forms despite being warned their data is not secure?
How can one tell if a website has a secure connection?
Use this convenient SSL checker here to quickly find out if your site has a secure connection.
Look in the left-hand side of the address bar in Chrome. One of three icons will be present:
The closed green padlock means the site’s connection is secure and it is safe for you to send information.
Info or “not secure” means the site isn’t using a secure connection. It is possible that the information you send or receive from the site can be viewed or changed.
You might see a “Login not secure” or “Payment not secure” message. In that case we suggest you do not send any sensitive information.
Not secure or dangerous. We suggest you don’t enter any private or personal information on this page. If possible, don’t use the site.
Lastly, look for the S after http. Sites with a secured connection begin their address with https:// sites that don’t have a secured connection begin with just http://
Switch to https or be prepared to lose your place in search results
Google will rank non-secure websites lower on the Google search results page than secure websites. Google has already started to do so gradually in the past, however it is likely that non-secure sites will now see even harsher measures on their rankings if they don’t migrate.
How do I get an SSL certificate?
Three different types of certificate exist, we can help you to get each one.
1. Domain Validation
These certificates validate the domain ownership against registry records. No organisational information is vetted or displayed on the certificate.
Sites with a domain validation certificate displays a padlock icon in the browser address bar, and no company information on the certificate.
These certificates are issued free of charge from Let’s Encrypt and can be easily activated by your hosting company and made active with a few simple changes under the bonnet of your WordPress website. This means that you don’t pay your hosting company anything, but you will be charged by your site development and maintenance team – us. Complete the enquiry form below for info and prices.
2. Organisational Validation
These SSL certificates validate the domain ownership as well as the organisation’s identity. Some organisational information is displayed on the certificate.
Sites with organisational validation display a padlock icon in the browser address bar and some company information on the certificate. These certificates must be purchased from Thawte and a once-off fee from your hosting company will be levied to install the certificate. A once-off fee will also be charged by us to provision the certificate on your website.
3. Extended Validation
These SSL certificates validate the domain ownership, organisational identity and legal existence of the organisation. The green address bar provides the highest level of trust to users that the company is legitimate.
Sites with extended validation certificates display a green address bar as well as a padlock icon in the browser address bar, and company information on the certificate.
As with organisational validation certificates – these certificates must be purchased from Thawte and a once-off fee from your hosting company will be levied to install the certificate. A once-off fee will also be charged by us to provision the certificate on your website.
[i] SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral. Watch the video below for an easy to understand visual explanation