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Progression of HTTPS Protocol Adoption
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We would like to make you aware of upcoming changes Google is making to website security, taking effect in July 2018, regarding the use of HTTPS (secure certificates). 


The Progression of HTTPS Protocol Adoption 

For the past several years, Google, along with other WWW leading organizations like W3C, have been working to move towards a more secure web by encouraging the use of HTTPS encryption for all websites. Benefits of having a secure website include:

  • Developing trust with your visitors by proving that you own your website.
  • Encrypting transmission of data between your visitors and your website.
  • Deterring hackers from potentially altering web page data being displayed (like showing unwanted ads) or collecting browsing activity data from visitors.
  • Receiving a small, but notable ranking boost in Google.

Currently when a HTTP web page loads in Chrome, a subtle, non-secure warning icon displays in the URL bar at the top of the browser. On pages with online forms that transmit data, a visitor will see the text, "not secure", appear along with the non-secure warning icon. Some mobile devices even display a stronger indication, highlighting the entire URL address bar as red. 

With the upcoming July 2018 release of Google's browser, Chrome 68, sites without HTTPS will show both the non-secure warning icon and text on all pages site-wide. This is Phase 3 of 4 of Google Chrome's project to move to a more secure web: 


In Phase 4, targeted release date not set yet, this same warning will more become prominently highlighted in red: 


Chromium Security Project timeline and details can be found here: https://www.chromium.org/Home/chromium-security/marking-http-as-non-secure  

According to StatCounter's data, Chrome is hands down the most popular browser used worldwide to date. Other popular browsers such as Mozilla's FireFox and Apple's Safari have indicated plans to follow Google's lead to display non-secure warnings for HTTP sites in future releases of their browsers. 

Having browsers inform visitors that your site is not secure will definitely have effects on the perceived credibility of your company or organization and website traffic volume. 

Recommended Action to Take  

Our recommendation is to migrate to HTTPS for your website - if not by this July, then sometime this year before Chrome and other browsers increase their visibility of warning signals.

Web Solutions Omaha can purchase and install a Comodo Instant SSL secure certificate for your website. The cost for 1 domain is $250 for 2 years, and the process can be completed in as little as one business day. 

(Note: For our clients who already have HTTPS on portions of their website, we recommend reconfiguring the secure certificate to apply HTTPS to the entire website. Contact us to discuss a SSL reconfiguration option.) 

Additionally, if you have a Google Search Console account for your website, you will need to update your property in that account to notify Google once you've migrated to HTTPS. 

Please let us know what additional questions you have, or if we can get the HTTPS migration or conversion process started for you.