In April of 2015 Google announced that they would give search rank preference to sites that were mobile friendly (responsive, you can use Googles test page to check your site) and that had a secure certificate. Secure certificates create a “Secure Sockets Layer” or SSL- the lock or green bar, or HTTPS you see in the browser address bar.
Installing SSL’s can be a pain, and it’s another product domain registrars and hosting companies and the certificate issuers can charge you more for. Our solution at Next Wave Hosting is to become a partner with CloudFlare– that provides a workaround that provides SSL without a certificate and without additional cost to our clients.
But- if you want to learn the reasoning behind Google’s move- you can watch this 45 minute video where two of their engineers explain it pretty convincingly without getting too geeky.
They want your site to be Secure By Default.
Their three main reasons for HTTPS:?
- People can’t listen in on conversations between your visitors and your site,
- They can’t tamper with the data
- They can’t impersonate the destination.
They also provide tips on installing secure certs and where to get them, and most importantly- how to fix your existing site so that your content and links all display properly.
We found the Search and Replace plugin for WordPress very handy. We had to look for hard coded internal links to
and turn those into relative links (within a site a link doesn’t need the full domain),
The lack of a leading slash means “Inside the current directory is a sub-directory named test, and inside that directory is a file named index.php“.
All of our video content- such as youtube.com links and the newer shorter ones youtu.be both had to be found that were http, and changed to https to properly display.
While all this may seem like a lot of work for you, in the end, you’ll be rewarded with higher search rank, peace of mind, and your customers will be more confident about their experience on your site.
If you need help moving over to HTTPS feel free to contact us.