Google Now Requiring HTTPS
Starting October 2017, Google chrome users will see a security alert on any page with a form if your site is not HTTPS. Firefox users are seeing similar error messages (see Syracuse.com above in firefox)
So if your site is not yet https://(yoursite).com, then you should start to move in that direction (Side note: Moving to HTTPS will slightly help your SEO as well).
Moving to HTTPS – Punchlist
The move to HTTPS can be a complex one, especially if you have a complex web infrastructure. However, some hosts are unusually helpful in the process, and that can save a lot of time. Here is a quick punchlist of items to remember:
- BACKUP EVERYTHING – Can’t stress this enough, if your site goes down, be able to roll it back immediately.
- Don’t work on live – This is huge as well – don’t make these updates to your live site, work on staging / test server first, work out all the kinks.
- Purchase & install your SSL Certificate – This provides the backbone security, and will need to be renewed either annually or every few years (usually purchased through your host. For WPEngine customers, Base SSL is free).
- Update all of your site’s links to point to HTTPS – If you switch to HTTPS, and you have links still pointing to HTTP (e.g. http://mysite.com/products), you’ll LOSE SEO rank. Even though the visitor will be redirected to the right ‘https’ version of the page, your site will lose SEO in the redirect.
- Update your theme files – Update absolute paths in your theme files (this may require the help of a developer, but it may not, depending on your site)
- Update all links in your site database
- TEST, Test, Test! – Test all pages on the site to make sure they’re https and that all elements on the page are HTTPS. If the page is not secure – you will see a message like the image on the top of this page. If it is secure, you will see a lock icon and it will read “Secure”.
- Enforce HTTPS – After above is complete, make sure all visitors are redirected to the proper, https version of all pages regardless of where they enter.
- Update the Search Engines – After the site is working well on HTTPS – make sure to update Google, Yahoo, Baidu and any other engine that is of importance to your strategy.
- Update the world’s links (social media, Google My Business, Your Email Blast links, etc) – Make sure all links “coming back to you” are pointing to https://yoursite.com
- Moving to HTTPS on WPEngine: more info
- Moving to HTTPS on Pantheon: more info
- Moving to HTTPS on MediaTemple: Not fun, may need help from non-wordpress hosts.
There’s no way I’m doing all that.
Lol if that’s too cumbersome, we can either help or get you to your host who will help you.