As if there wasn’t already enough for website owners, designers and developers to think about when planning a new website, Google has announced that it’s going to be making a significant change to the way its Chrome browser informs its users about the security of the websites they visit. Chrome will now mark all non-HTTPS websites as non-secure, and tell users in a box next to the address bar that the site is insufficiently secure, and therefore untrustworthy, in its eyes. Unlike previous editions of Chrome, where such warnings were only triggered when users took specific actions such as submitting a form or entering a password, the alarm will now show on all types of websites, even simple information based pages that do not require any data or personal interaction from the end user.
This change probably means that the hands of website hosts and developers will finally be forced and the vast majority of websites will have to move to HTTPS. Google has also made it clear that non-HTTPS sites will begin to suffer in its search results pretty soon, and, once again, this is not a risk that many website owners and operators will want to take.
Thankfully, many initiatives have come about in recent years that significantly reduce the cost and complexity of moving a website to HTTPS, also known as SSI. It’s worth trying to find out if your chosen host has an easy option that will take on board the hard work for you when it comes to this particular task. If they don’t, some self-service options will allow you to make the changeover with a minimum of fuss. Most of these will also offer a checklist for you to run through once the job is complete so you can avoid common pitfalls and mistakes.