Google has announced a deadline of July 2018 to upgrade to “https”. Chrome will begin warning users if a site is unsecured. How does this affect your site? Well, over 50% of Internet browsers worldwide are Chrome, meaning this change may have a significant impact on websites without an SSL certificate. A warning will affect how secure visitors to your site will feel and cause some visitors to leave a site. This will negatively impact a sites bounce rate, advertising impressions, affiliate clicks and eCommerce sales.

How Will Chrome Warn Visitors Of Unsecured Pages?

According to Google’s security blog.
The warning will be shown in Chrome’s address bar, indicating that a website is “Not secure.” All http websites will show this warning. Google’s announcement was firm in pushing their “A secure web is here to stay” initiative.

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“Chrome’s new interface will help users understand that all HTTP sites are not secure, and continue to move the web towards a secure HTTPS web by default.” –

Will Chrome Show Warnings On Mixed Content Pages?

Google’s announcement did not explicitly address whether mixed secure/unsecure web pages will trigger the warning. But it may be safe to assume that these kinds of pages that display a mix of secure and insecure content will trigger a warning.

According to Google, Chrome’s Lighthouse web page auditing tool can identify what web page elements are triggering a mixed content warning:

” Mixed content audits are now available to help developers migrate their sites to HTTPS in the * latest Node CLI * version of Lighthouse, an automated tool for improving web pages. The new audit in Lighthouse helps developers find which resources a site loads using HTTP, and which of those are ready to be upgraded to HTTPS simply by changing the subresource reference to the HTTPS version.”

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Perhaps the most valid reason for waiting has been technical issues. When upgrading to HTTPS there can be mixed content issues. A secured web page with links to assets (such as JavaScript or CSS) while using an unsecured URL, may or may not generate warnings. Your web design and development firm should be able to assist with this change These are issues that a site publisher needs to consider against possibly losing traffic and revenue. For those who have been sitting on the fence, there is now a date set, July 2018.

All websites providing professional services and selling products should upgrade to HTTPS. This is no longer a consideration limited to eCommerce sites. The warnings will cause site visitors to begin reacting negatively to warnings on sites that have not upgraded, which will affect advertising impressions, lead generation, and potential sales. July 2018 is the deadline for when warnings will begin to show to Chrome users. Contact an experienced web development firm to help your company through the process.

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Brian Winum