There’s a lot of buzz about SSL at the moment, and you probably have a lot of questions! What is SSL? Do I need it? When is it coming? (And why did GoDaddy call and tell me to buy one?)
As your website provider, we are experts in the industry, and it is our job to stay on top of these changes and make sure you know the real deal about what’s changing. It’s also our job to clear up misinformation and protect you from third parties who are willing to exploit misinformation and fear to make a profit.
Here’s the scoop on SSL and what to expect in the coming months.
SSL means Secure Sockets Layer, and it’s one kind of encryption that websites use to keep private data secure. An SSL certificate is added to your website to encrypt the site, tell browsers who you are, and give a reassurance that all is well. It creates a security bridge for any information in the transmission to be transmitted safely, and guarantees that there are no uninvited visitors listening in.
SSL is not new. Whenever sensitive information is processed (like personal client info or credit card data), pages are encrypted with SSL. Until now, you’d pretty much only see SSL on pages that process secure customer data or financial information – like when you fill out a form or buy something online.
You can easily tell if a website is SSL secure because the URL will begin with HTTPS (the S is for “secure”) and have a lock icon next to it. We all have been taught to look for the lock before we share sensitive information. The lock indicates that the information on the page is encrypted, so a hacker cannot steal that data as it passes over the web to the merchant or website owner.
PhotoBiz already uses SSL wherever you capture customer data or payment information on your forms and in your store. We have used SSL security to protect your sensitive data for a long time, so don’t worry. All of your customer data and transactions are safe and have been SSL secure.
You have always had SSL security exactly where you need it.
Security is good. Privacy is awesome. And so, Google has made it one of their primary objectives to get every website to use SSL. The initiative is called “HTTPS everywhere” and the idea is that it will make using the internet safer for both consumers and business owners.
In order to make everyone very aware of this effort, Google has started showing alerts in Chrome to you show if a website you visit is HTTPS or not.
In the URL bar, HTTPS sites currently show a green lock beside the web address. Eventually, this will be phased out to only show the web address.
If you click on the lock icon, Chrome will display a message like this:
HTTP sites are currently indicated like this:
In October 2018, Google is expected to release Chrome 70, which will begin to display HTTP websites with a red symbol next to the web address.
More info from Google: https://security.googleblog.com/2018/02/a-secure-web-is-here-to-stay.html
Our goal is to make sure that your website is future-proof, browser-proof and hacker-proof. We want to continue to deliver the very best web technologies so all of our clients can build the best sites possible!
The PhotoBiz team is working hard to make SSL available to align with Google’s push for universal SSL security. It’s not as easy as adding an “S” to your domain name! Many pieces have to come together to develop site-wide SSL that will be cost effective for our clients, automatic in behavior, and readable by all browsers. These changes have to be made with great care so we can preserve the integrity of your data while ensuring you and your clients have hiccup-free experiences.
We are on track to get this completed, and our goal is to have SSL ready in the early 3rd quarter (this fall) before Chrome 70 is released.
We are working hard to accomplish this as quickly as we can with the lowest cost to our clients. We will keep you updated on the status of the project and we will keep you in the loop on a specific deployment timeline.
Our SEO experts have not seen much evidence of website rank being affected positively or negatively by having or not having an SSL certificate.
Back in 2014, Google said that HTTPS could be considered as a very weak ranking factor, affecting fewer than 1% of global search queries. However, Google has stressed time and again that having high quality, engaging content is their primary and single most important ranking factor. All things being equal, SSL status is likely only used as a tiebreaker.
Saying you will lose rank is a scare tactic that some web companies are using to try and get you to buy SSL certificates at a very high price. Web hosts like GoDaddy and others know that these alerts look scary, and many are willing to capitalize on that fear and lack of knowledge for their own profit.
Does it look like this?
What’s happening here is an HTTP website was entered as HTTPS instead, and the browser became confused. You can still proceed to the site by clicking ADVANCED and then “proceed to site” at the bottom of the message it shows you.
If you have just moved your website to PhotoBiz, it’s possible that your Google links need to be updated. Republishing your sitemap will submit your new site to Google and fix this problem more quickly.
It’s good to remember to share the correct address of your site, now that browsers are being picky about HTTP and HTTPS. Always copy the URL out of the bar to make sure it’s the right one and check your links before you share them.
Remember that all of your forms and store ARE secure and do use HTTPS already. So if you share a form, it’s easiest to use the built-in sharing option. This will ensure you always send the right address and there are no problems.
How to share a form