A little while ago, we wrote about how Google Chrome, one of the world's most popular web browsers, was going to start flagging non-HTTPS served web pages as 'Insecure'.
HTTPS uses an encrypted connection between the website and your computer/laptop/phone etc. making sure that it is very difficult for anyone to intercept any data sent between the website and yourself. For any data submission (such as a contact form or online store login), and even more importantly for websites where you can buy online or create accounts with personal data being held, having a HTTPS website has been essential for many months.
From October 2018, the browser will be going even further than it currently does - so far that it will no longer even be marking HTTPS websites as secure - instead it will be flagging non-HTTPS websites as 'Not Secure' and even further by flashing these words in red when you type any data into a non-HTTPS website. That may be as simple as a contact form...something common to almost all websites.
What this means for website visitors using a non-HTTPS website is that they may be concerned about entering their information into a contact form, and the bottom line there is that your business may lose customers. It really is as simple as that.
Think what you may of the big players like Google, but their action in this area is gradually making areas of the Internet safer for all involved.
Over half of websites are now running via HTTPS, and for our own clients, every single one of them was set to use HTTPS a long time ago when Google first started to advise of their plans. It was a long task to go through each and every one of our website designs, enable the SSL certificate and also then force the website to always present the HTTPS version, but well worth it. Many web design companies are still not offering HTTPS by default, and even those that do are not forcing the use of HTTPS - that means that it is still possible for a visitor to view the non-HTTPS version of the website.
We took this step at the time knowing that the requirement for having a secure website was going to become such an important factor, and we continue to provide the same configuration for every single new client we work with as well.