As of October 2017, Google’s Chrome browser will begin showing a security warning to your site’s visitors when they enter text on a page form that happens to be on a page with HTTP. The warning will also appear on all HTTP pages browsed in Incognito Mode. This can, and most likely will have a drastic effect on conversion rate as well as overall user experience. Would you continue putting your personal information a site if you knew your data weren’t secure? The answer is probably not. Now, you should have already gotten an email from Google if your site falls into this category, and ideally, you’ve already taken action to secure the site. If not, don’t fret; you still have options!
There are, however, a few things we should talk about first.
What exactly is HTTPS?
Essentially, HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is a type of communication protocol on the internet that protects the data between a user’s computer and the website they are visiting, regardless of the content on the site. To make sure your site is protecting your users’ data, you need to enable what’s called an SSL (secure socket layer) certificate on a hosting service capable of supporting it.
What will the warning look like?
At first, the warnings will only show up on sites or pages using any form field that are not using HTTPS for users on the Google Chrome browser. If you see a green padlock with HTTPS next to it, you’re covered! If not, and you begin typing text into a form field, it may trigger a security warning. This applies to email subscriptions signups, newsletter signups, checkouts, and donate buttons, among others. Though the warnings only apply to what we’ve outlined above, it is extremely likely that Google will begin to require HTTPS for all pages browsed on Chrome, even those without forms, and you can count on other web browsers to follow suit sooner or later.
What can I do now?
You can do several things. First check with your site host or the company running your CRM to see whether or not they include hosting. There may be low cost, or in some cases, free options available to you. If they don’t, you may have to go through a third party to get your SSL certificate. While many hosting services offer this security certificate for a fee of ~$100/year, 51Blocks believes there is no reason to be paying for something so ubiquitous, which is why we offer it for free to all clients who host their sites with us. Contact the team at 51Blocks today and we can help make sure your site is secure, fast, and regularly updated.