One of the less than fun things about having a business website is that there is a whole bunch of background technical stuff that probably isn’t really your forte, but that you kind of have to understand and keep up with – at least a little bit.
I’m going to try to be as non-techie as possible here but there are some technical details you should know about, so bear with me!
Do you know what an SSL certificate is?
No? Don’t worry.
Yes? Awesome! You’re ahead of the game.
Either way though, it’s something you need to make sure is updated sooner rather than later.
Very basically, an SSL Certificate allows you to create a secure connection between your website and the browser of someone visiting your website.
When your website address starts with HTTPS, you have an SSL certificate in place. When it only starts with HTTP, it means you do NOT have an SSL certificate installed.
So what’s changed?
As of last year, the Chrome browser now marks all websites starting with HTTP instead of HTTPS as ‘not secure.’ If you didn’t know, no biggie. You know now and we’ll help make sure you’re covered.
Many website hosting providers (e.g., Siteground, who I use and love) will make it pretty straightforward for you to add a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate to your hosting account.
Ask your website developer for support.
I highly recommend you reach out to your website provider/developer to support you in making this change if you haven’t already made the switch.
You’ll want to be certain that your original HTTP site is properly redirecting to the HTTPS version. Plus, some hosting companies, unfortunately, do NOT make it as easy to change.
Are you on a Site Builder like Squarespace or Wix?
If you’re on a site builder like Squarespace or Wix, you should reach out to them directly to see how they’ve implemented this change and if there’s anything you need to do on your end.
I’m not entirely sure how website builders like Squarespace have handled the switch to HTTPS, though I believe they’ve taken care of it for most of their clients, so if your website still shows a URL with HTTP instead of HTTPS, I would advise you to contact your website platform provider for more details.
Update your Google Analytics & Search Console
When you do make the change from HTTP to HTTPS, don’t forget to update your Google Analytics and your Google Search Console so that both of them are set to track the HTTPS version of your site rather than the HTTP version.
Do you have SSL in place but still no padlock?
In some cases, depending on how your website is coded, you may find yourself in a situation where you’ve switched to HTTPS but your website is still not showing a padlock next to the website URL in your browser.
If this happens to you, it could mean you have insecure items on your site that need fixing.
You can use this website to help find insecure items on your website, but most likely it means your developer will have to go in and fix those items.
Don’t you love that you are becoming more tech savvy as you manage your website?
Even if you don’t, you’re becoming increasingly empowered to make sure your website is working for you the way it should.
And even if you feel like this is a bit of a pain in the bum to have to deal with, these changes are super important, and will ultimately create a better experience for your website users.
Plus, having an SSL certificate is actually an SEO factor, and who doesn’t want a way to improve their SEO?