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You have until July 2018!

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It’s now official!  Effective July 2018, Google has made the public announcement!

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HTTPS secures the connection to the website you are visiting. I’m sure you have seen this in action; look at the address bar in the browser and find the lock icon on the left-hand side. Is the lock closed? Then the connection is secure. Time is running out and you need to get your website secure!

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Google’s Chrome browser will mark non-HTTPS sites as ‘not secure’

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After years of pushing for ‘secure by default’ web sites, Google will identify insecure sites in the Chrome browser beginning mid-Summer.

This move will coincide with the release of Chrome 68 and will look like this in a user’s browser:

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Specifically any page where you collect data, so your contact page and any others pages with forms will be flagged as insecure and a visitor will be warned not to part with information!

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Google has been pushing webmasters to make the change to non-secure web sites a for years now – including hinting at small rankings boost to further incentivise the shift. The campaign has proved successful.

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When you type in a URL in the search bar, your browser asks the site for its IP address – for instance 145.239.6.191 . This number is the actual address that a site gets online. The browser connects to this number in the hopes this is the correct site. This is all done in plain sight and there is no encryption to be seen, so everyone can intercept this traffic. So when you want to log in to a site that you connect to via an HTTP connection, the data you enter – username and password – is sent in plain text. Trust me, that’s really bad. Think about what would happen if you’d connect to your bank this way.

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HTTPS secures this process. HTTPS encrypts the connection between the browser and the site, therefore making sure that no one can intercept the data sent between those two. Every site that wants to secure itself needs a so-called SSL certificate.  The browser checks the certificate of the site and verifies its legitimacy with the company that issued it. If you want to see who issued the certificate, please click on the lock icon. By using HTTPS, sites not only secure your login procedure and personal data but also what you do on a site and which sites you visit.

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Besides securing the web, HTTPS is necessary for sites that want to upgrade to a new, safer and much faster internet protocol called HTTP/2. HTTP/2 includes different new technologies that make sites a lot faster to load. All of our hosting packages take advantage of HTTP/2, making us about 20% faster than most hosting companies.

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How do I switch?

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Because it’s important that your data is safe, we took steps from 2016 to ensure that we have SSL-certificates across our own websites and our clients websites. You have to switch now and there are a few things that you need to take into account to ensure your website fully works as intended once you’re done.

  • You need to change all your internal links. This also means updating links to assets (where necessary). Make sure to go through your theme and alter references to CSS, images and JavaScript files. Additionally, you can change all your links to start with // instead of https://which will result in protocol-relative URLs.

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  • Ensure your CDN supports SSL as well. We make use of MaxCDN, which allows you to easily set up SSL on your CDN subdomain.
  • There are various levels of SSL that you can choose from, each with their own pros and cons.
  • Ensure you have a canonical link present in the <head> section of your website to properly redirect all traffic coming in from http://to https://.

Google also published a handy guide on how to move to HTTPS without massively impacting your ranking, which can be found here.

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How does this influence my rankings?

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Moving from HTTP to HTTPS can influence your rankings slightly if you don’t plan accordingly. However, after you switch over to HTTPS, your rankings will actually improve over time. Google announced in 2014 that having an SSL certificate will be considered a positive ranking factor, so it’s worth the investment.

To make sure Googlebot can re-index your website more rapidly after the move, make sure you migrate to https:// during low-traffic hours. This way Googlebot can use more of your server’s resources. Just take into account that a medium-sized website might take a while to regain rankings. Have a sitemap? Then Googlebot might be able to recalculate and re-index your website even faster.

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We have managed the SSL migrations of dozens of wedding business now and it’s not always a straightforward process.

There are the scare stories:

  • My website broke when changing over https:
  • I lost my rankings in Google
  • All my social shares disappeared
  • Links are broken throughout my site
  • I have mixed content issues
  • http://mysite.com doesn’t forward correctly to https://mysite.com

We will make sure the job is done properly for you. With over 10 years of SEO experience, your website and rankings will be in very safe hands.

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I’m confused?  That’s Where we come in!

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Depending upon the theme and plugin setup of a site, a migration from HTTP to HTTPS can be quite an undertaking.

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Over past 18 months we have successfully managed the SSL migration process for dozens of wedding businesses in UK.

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Reassuring Peace of Mind

Let us do the hard work for you and protect your SEO rankings in Google!

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A few years ago, switching to HTTPS was a major undertaking. Some big sites waited years to do it because it came with several challenges, like speed issues and the cost/benefit issue. These days, while still not easy, it’s manageable and now imperative for all businesses online! If you’re planning to make the switch to HTTPS in the coming weeks, consider employing us to manage the process for you. We have 100% track record and several reviews from clients to back it up!

 

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Our Managed SSL Migration includes:

  • Taking a full backup prior to doing the SSL migration
  • Checking the global prorogation of your SSL certificate
  • Running a full database ‘find and replace’ for http:// to https://
  • Full 301 redirect trace, securing your SEO and rankings
  • Configuration of Google Console for https://
  • Configuration of Google Analytics for https://
  • Amendments to Google My Business
  • Client report detailing the work carried out

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Published by Jason Noblett

Internet Marketing and WordPress have been my life for the past 10 years! Doesn't time fly when your having fun! :)

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