You may have noticed more sites are starting to use SSL certificates for more than just ecommerce sites.
Using SSL certificates with WordPress could put your site ahead of the competition. Many visitors are looking for HTTPS and the lock symbol in their browsers in order to feel more secure when simply browsing a new website.
With more of your visitors putting security first, now is the time to think about implementing SSL with your own WordPress site. Your visitors and even the search giant, Google, will appreciate it.
SSL Isn’t Just For Ecommerce
Until recently, you typically only saw SSL certificates on ecommerce sites or sites asking you to log in. Basically, they were only used when personal data might be transferred. While visitors should never enter user credentials or shop without first checking for HTTPS and the lock symbol, they’re starting to want a more secure browsing experience on every page of a website.
As of June 2016, 30% of all Google search results had implemented SSL. It’s predicted that in another 16-17 months, that number may jump to 50% or more. This shows a trend towards creating a safer experience for online audiences.
Google’s View On SSL
Why is there a sudden shift in SSL certificates? Google. In 2014, Google announced a small algorithm change that would affect how HTTPS websites ranked. At the time, this was only a very light ranking aspect and didn’t really affect many search results. However, the change alone was enough to encourage many sites to make the switch.
Google’s not done, though. In 2017, anyone using the Google Chrome browser will see a warning about sites that collect login data or credit information, but don’t use HTTPS. Users will be warned that the site may be unsafe. This is just phase one in a gradual change that will eventually warn about more HTTP only sites, whether they collect personal data or not.
Using SSL Certificates With WordPress
As you can see, Google is determined to create a safer Internet. While it’s not a major problem for site owners right now, it could become one in the near future. Whether your WordPress site allows visitors to shop or requires them to log in, switching to HTTPS could be beneficial. The biggest question you probably have now is where should you start.
The first step is to purchase an SSL certificate for your site. Some web hosts include a free SSL certificate while others provide the option to purchase one. Comodo, DigiCert and GlobalSign are just a few options available. An open source option is available for free, but WordPress.org still recommends a paid certificate.
Once you’ve purchased an SSL certificate, you can ask your web host to install it for you. You’ll also need to change your WordPress Address and Site Address under General Settings in your WordPress Dashboard to HTTPS versus HTTP.
Secure Today For A Safer Tomorrow
SSL provides a more secure connection for your visitors. Whether they’re searching for something on your site or entering their credit card to make a purchase, they want to know your site takes their privacy seriously. Help them see that you do by using SSL certificates with WordPress.
Google’s changes may not affect your site right now, but the trend is shifting. Think of it like mobile-friendly sites. This was only a trend five years ago, but now it’s vital to boost your ranking. Make the change today to a more secure site for a safer experience for your visitors and to stay on top of Google’s changing algorithms.
Need help making your site more secure for your visitors? Contact Darren today to find out how to get started.
Image: Sean MacEntee