Many website owners got a message in their Google Webmaster Tools (AKA Google Search Console) regarding a new “feature” that the Chrome web browser will contain. Chrome will now notify its users if a website is not https (ssl) and the website has any input forms on it. A simple contact form counts, so this will affect most businesses.
Don’t fret! Converting your website to SSL (HTTPS) is likely a pretty painless process. Some of you it will be painful for. I break down the simple process in the following video:
Hi. David Hood here, the Dallas SEO Geek, and this video is about Googles https Chrome warning. Basically, in October of 2017, users who are using Chrome, if they go to a website that isn’t https and it fulfills certain types of conditions like input type text, so basically if there’s a contact form or input type equals email, any sort of form at all, it seems like they’re going to show an error, or not an error, a warning. This is definitely not something that you want to do.
The good news is, this is a very easy fix. There’s a lot of tools now that can make this really easy especially if you have word press. It also kind of depends on your host. Some hosts are much better about this than others and some hosts, they might not charge you at all and some hosts they might charge you a small fee. I don’t envision this being really expensive although some hosts might try to charge a lot of money. If they do you might want to consider switching to another host if that’s what you want to do.
That definitely, I mean, there’s a significant amount of people that use Chrome as their major web browser and so this is something that you don’t want to get. You probably got this message and I was able to change this very easily with about five to 10 minutes of work and everything works fine so far. It hasn’t really affected my rankings. There are some additional steps if you don’t have WordPress that you need to check up on because unfortunately, without WordPress there’s some issues that can happen where not having the right 301 redirects, old pages to new pages and stuff like that can affect how things are going. I can’t speak on the full range of issues from http to https. Make sure that you talk to your developer about this.
All the other parts of it are actually very simple and typically not expensive. Beginning of October 2017, website that accepts form information so a contact form anywhere on the website, better just go ahead and switch over. Technically, it is a ranking factor. In my experience, it has not really affected rankings at all but maybe it affects it by a smidge. You might as well go ahead and do this and this also gives a little bit more confidence to your visitors, a small, a very small amount. Most people I think don’t even notice this.
Okay, so it’s an easy process. If you have something called a cPanel for your hosting which I hope you do because any good host has cPanel. Then there’s typically something called Let’s Encrypt. Again, this can change so contact your host. Usually, it’s very easy. Then you issue it to your domain, to your domain.
Then, with WordPress, there’s a plugin called Really Simple SSL. You just install this, takes a second. You activate it and boom, you’re done. You don’t have anything else you do and everything should run smoothly from that point forward. That’s WordPress. This is just one of those things where WordPress has other options. With other CMSs, Contact Management Systems, I can’t comment on those. I don’t have the experience with those. There’s just too many possibilities in terms of what could go wrong. Again, I would contact your web developer for those specific issues.
Then what you do need to do is you need to update Google Analytics and Google Webmaster tools. Those are pretty simple as well. In Webmaster tools, it’s a separate URL, the https, so you add a new one. In Analytics there’s a couple of boxes and there’s quite a bit of online tutorials on how to do this. There’s like two different boxes that you need to check, that you need to change from http to https in your settings of your website. Then you should be good and you shouldn’t get this error and pretty much instantly, you should be fine.
Please let me know if you have any questions. I haven’t experienced any problems with this but I know that a lot of other people have and that weird things can happen especially with custom content management systems or hand built websites. That’s one of the reasons why I do highly recommend WordPress. WordPress is just … there’s a lot.
Some companies might have to spend thousands of dollars to do what this free plugin did in five minutes and in might take them a month or two. Thousands of dollars versus … This is one of the benefits of WordPress, and WordPress can be very secure. That’s one of the downsides that a lot of developers are, “Ah, WordPress can be hacked.” Yeah, but there’s some simple ways to make it so that it’s very hack resistant. That’s beyond the scope of this.
Please let me know if you have any questions or probably better to ask your host first and your web developer, but just know that this is something that if you don’t have https that you almost certainly should put on your site very soon, and it can happen very quickly so wouldn’t worry about it being like a really complicated process. Hopefully, I’ve broken it down and made it less scary and very doable for most business owners even on a budget. Sometimes it might even be free. If you have WordPress and you have a good host, it could be free or very inexpensive. Thanks for watching and have a great day. Bye.