Do I need an HTTPS site?

Most website addresses begin with HTTP. Most people don’t really know what that is. Have you noticed that little “padlock” icon that shows up in your browser when you’re shopping online? That is an indication that the website you’re using is secure, encrypting the data flowing between you and the server. It keeps cyber-thieves from stealing your credit card number. If you look at the website address, you’ll notice that it is HTTPS.

So, what difference does the “S” make? How does it affect your website and business? And is it necessary?

Ecommerce and banking websites have been using HTTPS for years, for obvious reasons. Now the benefits are spilling over to other types of websites as well. Should you care? Probably.

According to Google:

Security is a top priority for Google. We invest a lot in making sure that our services use industry-leading security, like strong HTTPS encryption by default. That means that people using Search, Gmail and Google Drive, for example, automatically have a secure connection to Google.

Beyond our own stuff, we’re also working to make the Internet safer more broadly. A big part of that is making sure that websites people access from Google are secure. For instance, we have created resources to help webmasters prevent and fix security breaches on their sites.

As with most trends...if Google is doing it, you can expect it to proliferate. Google is moving toward “HTTPS everywhere" and encouraging companies to do the same.

There are many factors that influence your ranking in search engines, but is one of them a single letter in your URL? Google says it’s a “light ranking factor.” This means that good content is still more important, but you should not ignore the push from Google. If they start to see a difference, it’s only a matter of time before it is more than a light factor. Learn more about search rankings here.

What is Keystone’s role and is the transition necessary?

Keystone is on the front lines talking with clients weekly about security, search, responsive design, IT issues, marketing, web design, etc. To tackle all of this in a planned and purposeful way, we have developed hosting packages that address many of the small business needs that we see. HTTPS is part of one of our new packages. This means that Keystone can do the leg work to make your site secure!

You’re asking, “Is it necessary?” For rankings? No for now. But that doesn’t mean that it won’t be in the near future. For safety? Yes. The web is moving to a safer environment and Google is leading the charge! It’s only a matter of time before HTTPS is the standard, and all others will be regretting that they did not keep up.

Questions about all this webmaster jargon? Call us, and we can chat.