It’s now 2022 and there are very few websites around without SSL encryption. As old http websites reached their end of life, they have been automatically replaced with sites using a free, Let’s Encrypt SSL. When creating a new website on a modern server, this is usually done by default.
Since there are a few old http sites still out there, I’m thinking this post is still worth keeping, at least for another year or two. I will say, for a while there I had ton’s of requests from customers needing me to fix their SEO problems. It turned out, there were many developers converting sites from http to https without any consideration for SEO whatsoever! Unfortunate bloggers hired the hacks to do their work on the cheap and it ruined their SEO! It turned out to be good for me and I’m thankful for the business these dummy developers created for me.
NOTE: Notice below, the CAUTION I wrote about SEO when I originally published this video. I love it when I prove myself right!
Original Post about Why Our Blogs Needed an SSL
When it comes to blogging, why would I ever suggest getting an SSL Certificate for your blog or website? I publish blog posts for a number of companies and none of them have a SSL Certificate. It’s always been my opinion, and that of many other professionals, the only reason for obtaining an SSL Certificate is if collecting sensitive information such as credit card information, social security numbers, or the like. Well folks, be warned because thanks to Google times are changing, yet again!
SSL Certificate UPDATE 2018: Nowadays, it’s no longer an option to NOT get an SSL. In fact, if you don’t have a properly installed SSL on your website, users using the Google Chrome browser will see a notice stating, This Site is Insecure! Time to get moving on this ASAP.
Thankfully, our friends over at Google have very decided to do their part to help make the internet safer for all. They now give ranking priority to those websites with SSL certificates over those without. In fact, if you are collecting any information on a form at your blog, you will need a SSL Certificate. If you use WordPress, you always have a login form and therefore you are collecting information, even if it’s your own. Most blog site also have a comment form, requiring email addresses. It doesn’t matter if it’s only names and phone numbers and no credit card info! If you want to continue ranking high, start thinking about getting your SSL Certificate. For your pleasure, here’s the Google Webmaster post titled HTTPS as a Ranking Signal.
Before you start jumping up and down and run off to grab your SSL certificate for your blog, just sit back and take a breath or two. There’s no rush with this and at this time, there’s only going to be a very slight affect on your rankings, if any. Not enough to worry about or rush in to do anything drastic! All we need to do right this minute is be aware of what is going on with SEO and Google. Make no mistake about it, having a SSL certificate, even for your simple self hosted blog is going to be a necessity in the future. In fact, some say SSL certificates will be the norm on all sites in the future.
CAUTION: It’s critical, when converting your site to https to hire a developer that can do this without destroying your existing SEO. You will need to redirect all your traffic from http to https. You’ll also need to edit your Google Search Console properties so it knows which is your preferred url. I can’t express enough how important it is to get this right!
I know some of you are wondering what an SSL is and what’s the difference between https and http, but don’t worry about that right now. In a nutshell, SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer and is a way of passing encrypted packets from 2 end points. Using SSL enables your site to communicate with another without others being able to understand the encrypted code being passed through. It can be a little bit complicated, but it really isn’t. Just keep your eye on this site, and I will follow up with a post to include a simple explanation, along with a screencast showing instructions on how to get a SSL Certificate for your simple self hosted blog. If interested in web design services or need help obtaining a SSL Certificate and transforming your site from http to https, contact us today for a quote.
Remember, there’s no rush so take a breath and relax. Please leave a comment with your thoughts on this topic, Why Get an SSL Certificate for Your Blog.