As a website owner, one of the worst feelings is seeing a website you have invested so much time and resources being labeled as “Not Secure.” Google Chrome leads the pack in alerting its users that a website is not secure when they enter any data into a site that lacks an encrypted connection. E-commerce websites are worst affected as they contain personally identifiable info like passwords and credit card input fields. Other browsers like Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer have followed suit by giving users similar warnings in the URL bar when they are on a website not secure. The warnings have been getting increased public attention. WordPress website owners are moving fast on adding SSL certificates to secure their sites. We are headed towards a future where HTTPS page encryption will be a standard requirement for all web pages. Ultimately, this move will make the internet a safer place for you and your visitors.
If your browser shows a website not secure warning, no need to worry, but be ready for some work. This guide is intended to aid Web Developers to update their websites to fix this problem.
Before we dive right into the steps you need to take, let’s start off with some basics.
What Is The Meaning Of The “Not Secure” Warning?
WordPress websites are served up over HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) protocol. HTTP is a standard way that your PC communicates with the site you’re browsing. A site that is secure utilizes an SSL certificate that is responsible for changing URL to HTTP. An SSL certificate tells your visitors (and their browsers) that you are who you say you are.
When you receive the website not secure notification on your site, what this means is that part of the content being loaded is coming over without encryption. When the communication between your computer and your browser is in the open, the transmitted data can be viewed or tampered with. Once personally, identifiable info is in the hands of cybercriminals, they will use the info to perform identity theft, make fraudulent purchases or even empty bank accounts. What the added security does is simply protect your computer’s communication by providing end-to-end encryption. This makes it harder for your ISPs, hackers, Government and other malicious parties to sniff or eavesdrop the data as it traverses the web.
In recent times, more and more WordPress websites have started implementing SSL certificates on their websites. HTTP combines with SSL to create HTTPS. SSL certificates help to secure data going to and from the websites. This, in turn, protects your privacy and builds a more safe and secure web experience for all parties. I suggest reading one of our previous articles about the reasons you should use an HTTPS Encrypted Connection and convince yourself of its importance.
How Will The “Not Secure” Warning Affect My Site?
For starters, when your website visitors get this website not secure warning, it will impact public perception which will result in lost consumer confidence and online conversions. The warning will raise their concerns about the non-secure nature of your WordPress site. People are more protective of their privacy and information online these days more than ever. Some may assume that your website is hacked or perceive it as vulnerable which will adversely impact the bounce rate of your website. Another way this warning can affect your site is in rankings. Websites with SSL certificates have a better chance of being ranked higher than those without.
How Do I Solve The “Not Secure” Warning?
There is no shortcut that will help you avoid this warning. The only way out is to face the issue head-on by getting a secure certificate through your hosting service. WordPress has been on the frontline urging its users to migrate to HTTPS. Pages with forms for users to fill information should be given priority. Consider migrating your entire site from HTTP to HTTPS to make it future proof against the impending Red Flag warning that will affect all non-HTTPS websites.
Depending on your needs, you can pick your preferred level of SSL certificate. The 3 levels are:
• Organization Validation
• Domain validation
• Extended Validation
Many WordPress hosts use Domain level validation via Let’s Encrypt. The other two validations may require you to purchase paid SSL certificates. SSL certificates used to be pretty expensive a few years ago. The introduction and adoption of free options led to a significant drop in their prices. Additional features that come with paid SSL certificates include receiving a security seal and greater warranty. WordPress website owners running e-commerce website should highly consider investing in paid SSL certificates. If you purchase a certificate, take note of the expiry date and renew it in time. Failure to do so will result in a red flag that will affect your website’s credibility.
At WPlook Studio, we have bespoke hosting services and we provide a FREE SSL certificate! We have the experience and expertise to help you host a website that will help you realize your online goals. With an impressive 99.9% Uptime Guarantee, you will never experience a lagging site with us. Just choose a plan that fits your budget and needs. We have three reasonably-priced hosting plans namely Starter, Professional, and Premium. What’s better is that our 30-day money back guarantee means that you will receive a full refund if you are not satisfied with our hosting for whatever reason, that’s how confident we are about our services. We have a friendly and knowledgeable support team to provide expert advice.
What Will Happen When I Migrate From HTTP To HTTPS?
It goes without saying that you will have to dig deeper into your pockets to purchase an SSL certificate. Consider this an investment if you are running an e-commerce website as it will give your users confident in your secure website.
1. Migrating to HTTPS means new URLs. Your rankings and traffic may decline as search engines treat this as a site move. It will take some time before search engines crawl your website and reindex the new pages.
2. Be ready for broken links. A change in URL means that all internal and external links will need some work to redirect them to their respective new HTTPS URLs. Update your site’s URLs to reflect the new HTTPS URL.
3. Failure to add the HTTPS property to your Google Search Console may lead to loss of vital data.
There you have it, you now understand why it’s in your best interest and that of your website visitors that your site has an SSL certificate. The website not secure warning started with websites containing passwords and credit card input fields, but soon browsers will trigger a “not secure” warning even to websites that don’t contain sensitive input fields. Now that Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer and Firefox are geared to marking all HTTP sites as non-secure in the long-term, today is the best time to install an SSL certificate from a trusted certificate authority to make your website compliant with these browsers’ noble initiative.Encrypted Connection, Security, Site Speed, SSL