Google today announced that using HTTPs is now a ranking factor. Put another way, if you don’t use HTTPs on your website you’re missing out in the SEO department.
A very small proportion of websites use HTTPs as, although HTTPs protects the data travelling between a web server and the website visitor, it can be complicated and expensive to implement. For those of us that work primarily with small and medium sized organizations, this is a very significant announcement by Google due to the cost concerns in implementing HTTP over TLS.
Note: following this article we’ve created a guide to quickly and easily setup HTTPs for WordPress.
Does HTTPs make my website more secure?
Whilst I understand that security is paramount, the vast majority of websites are informational in nature; for example most small business websites are brochure type websites that are there to give information on such things as opening hours and services provided. I’m not convinced that it’s all that important for my local veterinarian to be delivering their web pages over HTTPs as is a hacker really going to waste their time intercepting and amending information about what brands of dog food my vet sells? Keep in mind that HTTPs does not protect against website being hacked; it is only concerned with data being safe in transit from the webserver to the browser.
Google however does believe that every website and blog should use HTTPs so they’ve added it as a ranking signal.
How to use HTTPs with WordPress
If you have a WordPress website then there are two sides to enabling HTTPs on your website;
- You need to apply for, and enable an SSL certificate on your webhost (prices at about $50 at good webhosts). You may also need a dedicated IP address but your webhost will be able to advise.
- Your WordPress website will need to be configured to deliver your content over HTTPs.
Ultimately, it seems that we’re all going to need to deliver our website content over HTTPs for SEO reasons. If you need assistance with moving to HTTPs contact us as we’ll help with your WordPress HTTPs needs.