By now you’ve probably heard the news that coming soon Google Chrome will label websites that do not have a SSL certificate installed as not secure.
Google Chrome happens to be my browser of choice. It’s what I use when I’m writing a blog post or coding a website.
Currently, if I’m on a website that does not have a security certificate installed (meaning there is no https prefixing the URL in the browser bar), what I see that Google Chrome has done is added an exclamation mark before the URL like this:
Near the end of January 2017 Chrome is expected come out with its newest version. In that new version it is expected that instead of having a subtle exclamation mark indicating that you are not browsing a secure site, it will be labeled “not secure”.
It’s our opinion here at Web Designer Beauty School that it’s equally important to note that Google will also be using your website’s security certificate (or lack thereof) as a factor in page ranking. That means if it comes down to showing your website versus another website (on a search) and your website has an SSL certificate installed and the other website doesn’t, your website will be given higher priority and rank higher in results. It can also work to your disadvantage if your competitor already has their SSL certificate installed and you don’t. They’re going to get preference in page rank.
In today’s post I’m going to show you how you can easily install a free Let’s Encrypt security certificate using our preferred host, Websavers.ca, on your website so you can be SSL compliant ready when Chrome and Google update the changes and algorithms.
Let’s Encrypt is a great option for those websites that are not accepting and collecting sensitive data like credit card numbers, confidential file uploads, or passwords. If you have any kind of e-commerce installed on your website where people are purchasing a product and not leaving your website to go somewhere else to complete payment or require sensitive data similar to those just mentioned, we recommend reaching out to your hosting provider so that you can determine the best security certificate for your specific needs.
If you have a relatively straightforward WordPress install on your hosting account, and you have access to the Let’s Encrypt SSL free certificate, you’ll be able to use this tutorial to get set up and force WordPress to always show your site as secure.
There are generally 4 steps to installing a Let’s Encrypt certificate.
- Installing and activating the certificate on your domain
- Forcing the WordPress Administration page to use https
- Forcing all the other posts and pages on your website to use https
- Checking to ensure each page on your website has secure content (and fixing those instances that do not)