Updated 25 July 2018
The short answer is "Yes" if you have, or wish to have, an enquiry form or any other form on your website that takes personal data, such as visitor name, email address etc.
The new GDPR legislation is now enforceable, and any sites that have a form that doesn't have an SSL could be fined, up to 4% of your annual turnover.
Google states that the current setup, in which HTTPS websites are given a green “Secure” tag, does not make it obvious enough that non-secure (HTTP) websites are unsafe. Their new update will put it right in their face, causing many to second guess their intention to remain on your website.
For now, this will only affect websites that attempt to collect data (eg if you have a contact form on your website), but Google will soon extend this to all “old-school” HTTP sites regardless of their function.
This update is in line with Google’s mission to improve user experience across all their products.
Google has been pushing the benefits of HTTPS for years, so this update makes sense. It’s no secret that sites with secure certificates have been getting an SEO boost. It was only a matter of time until Google forced everyone to comply.
When you consider past updates that penalized duplicate content, keyword stuffing, backlink schemes and other grey/black hat SEO techniques, it becomes clear that Google wants to kill anything disruptive to the user’s ability to retrieve the information they’re looking for (and to safely submit their information back).
In all previous cases, those who predicted or reacted quickly survived the changes – and many even benefitted from them. We expect the same story here.
IS THIS A BAD THING?
Only if you ignore it!
Most will see this as a hassle. Some will see it affect their website traffic, and they might not even know why. As an accommodation provider you need to instill confidence. A big warning sign built into the browser that basically tells people they’re in an unsafe place is about as bad as it gets when it comes to keeping trust through to the booking point.
With an SSL your users will be more confident to remain on our site because they’ll see the “Secure” tag. Plus, many owners already run their sites on HTTPS for the SEO boost. It’s a good thing overall.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T ACT?
The first rollout (this is already happening) looks like this: (on Chrome)
But before long, the messages will become even more frightening to the user – even if the page does not request sensitive information:
CAN I IGNORE THIS UPDATE?
Probably not, but it depends on your traffic source. If you get bookings via your website, then the answer is a pretty straightforward 'no - you can't ignore this'. Chrome is used by more than half of all internet users (market share is over 55% and growing). That’s not a small slice… that’s most of the pie!
This will affect any website not using an SSL certificate.
Even if only one page on the entire domain requests information, the entire site will likely be flagged as “Not Secure”.
BUT I’M JUST A SMALL WEBSITE! DO I STILL HAVE TO UPDATE?
Yes – this has nothing to do with size. The update is about secure connections and data transfer, not the quality or purpose of the websites in question.
Even if you aren’t asking for payments via your site that require credit cards or passwords, you can bet that the HTTP red flag monster is already hiding under your bed… and you’d hate to wake up with a site warning because Google decided to slap you on the wrist out of nowhere.
I JUST FOUND OUT ABOUT THIS. WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?
You just need to get an SSL certificate. We can add one for your website for just £59.99+VAT for your first year (as this includes our charge to install and fix all coding / photos that aren't http in your website) and then the cost is just £49.99+VAT per annum thereafter.
HOW DO I SET UP HTTPS?
Visit this link to order: Click Here
We'll get it added to your website quickly and efficiently. (Existing customers only)