23 April, 2018
If you haven't switched your domain to run over secure sockets layer (SSL) yet, it's worthwhile giving it some priority.
You can tell if a web site is running SSL by looking at the browser address bar - the address should start with HTTPS:// instead of HTTP://.
HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol while HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure.
If it has been implemented correctly, there should also be a little unbroken lock icon just to the left of the start of the address.
You may have noticed more domains switching over to HTTPS in the past year or two - and you can expect to see a lot more of them changing to using SSL in the time ahead.
Using SSL provides added security - it establishes an encrypted link between a web server and a site visitor's browser, ensuring that all data exchanged between the two stays private. It also acts as a visible flag to your visitors and customers that you take security of their information seriously.
There's another very good reason for considering to make the switch to HTTPS sooner rather than later. Google has said for quite a while that it smiles on SSL enabled sites and in the time ahead, it will make it clearer in its browser (Chrome) what sites have this security feature and which sites don't. Other browsers such as FireFox and Edge are and will be doing the same.
With regard to Google, whether your domain is running over HTTPS or not will have an impact on your rankings - and may already be having an effect. If you're still stuck on HTTP and have noticed a drop in the past year or so and can't find the cause, this may be the culprit. Take a look at those above you in rankings - are they HTTPS sites?
To enable HTTPS for use with your domain name, you'll need to purchase an SSL certificate and install it - but you'll also be required to carry out a few important changes on your site. Depending on the complexity of the migration in your circumstances, it may be wise to enlist the assistance of a web professional to help you with the work or take on the project entirely.
You can learn more about making the shift to HTTPS here.
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