Unless You Act Soon, Visitors Won’t Find Your Site

By John R. Aberle | Internet Marketing

Feb 22
Screen shot of Chrome notice of Aberle Enterprises as insecure

Three weeks ago, I warned you about the upcoming changes Google was making to Chrome to force websites that are http:// only to get SSL (Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificates and become secured sites with https://.  Since then Firefox joined Google in putting up warnings about a site’s security. Microsoft Edge/Bing/Internet Explorer also issues warnings about a site’s security. The problem from a small business owner’s perspective or that of a solopreneur or entrepreneur is that their actions are headed towards blocking access to a site that is not secure.

Information Notices about Security

A few weeks ago, Gina Gaudio-Graves on a Directions University Bachelor’s Call, mentioned Lisa Vaas’ article on Sophos’ NakedSecurity.com, “Google to slap warnings on non-HTTPS sites.” These warnings and notices look like the following:

Screen shot of Chrome notice that Aberle Enterprises as insecure

The circled “I” notifies the searcher that there is information available about the security of a site.

At that time, I optimistically indicated that I would be making my sites secure. I had no idea what all would be involved. As is typical of me, I do my best to walk the talk so that meant before I posted this issue of my blog posts, I had to, in fact, get my SSL certificate for this site as well as for my other domains.

Screen capture of a Chrome warning that Aberle Enterprises is an insecure site.

Chrome warning that Aberle Enterprises is an insecure site.

Let’s Encrypt’s Free Certificates

If you choose to do the installation of the certificates yourself or to just get the certificates and pay your hosting company to install them, you can get SSL certificates free from the consortium, Let’s Encrypt. Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority brought to you by the non-profit Internet Security Research Group (ISRG).  The members of ISRG include Google, Facebook, and numerous other organizations large and small.

Rather than just get the certificates, though, I decided to take advantage of this change in my sites to switch website hosting companies and themes. I bought Thrive Themes, which my mentors, Gina Gaudio-Graves and Jack Humphrey have recommended. Although I haven’t yet used them for posting yet, I am thrilled with the training. In the process, Shawn Melaugh highly endorsed WPX Hosting. I liked what he had to say so went with their web hosting.

WPX Hosting offered several advantages:

  • They included moving your websites to their hosting for you.
  • This also included moving the email accounts there.
  • And they included installing free SSL certificates for each site.
  • Shawn benchmarked their performance which showed a significantly faster performance for site loading.
  • If you go through Shawn’s Thrive Themes, you can also get 1 year of free MaxCDN as well. All I’ve figured out is that it is another way to improve the performance of your sites so I asked for it as a free bonus is a benefit, right.

While more expensive than HostGator, with all these gains which I have been wanting, I am delighted. By the way, WPX Hosting’s customer service is extraordinary.

Screen Capture of General Settings for Aberle Enterprises is now a secure site with blacked out site names

Aberle Enterprises is now a secure site

Checklist for SSL Certificate Implementation

Another part of what has caused me to miss two issues of weekly posts is that getting the SSL certificates is only the start. You need to make a bunch of changes:

  • On your WordPress blog’s Settings, change the URL from http:// to https:// – If you are using something other than WordPress.org, you will still need to make these changes. However, I have no ideal of where.
  • You need to change Google Analytics and Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) to reflect your move to https:// – assuming that you are using Google Analytics to help you monitor activity on your blog.
  • You will need to change your site URL on your various social media profiles
Screen shot of Aberle Enterprises address now https

Aberle Enterprises address now starts with https.

The list is far more extensive than this. Check out this KeyCDN.com’s article that Jack Humphrey posted in the Directions University Bachelor’s Community’s Google+ community: Complete Guide – How to Migrate from HTTP to HTTPS. Alternatively, WPX Hosting recommends the WordPress plugins, Really Simple SSL to catch and change most of the URLs on your site. I do have a couple that I will need to manually change, but this certainly simplifies my life.

Google, Firefox and Microsoft Edge/Bing/Internet Explorer are serious about making the Internet more secure. It’s to protect you and your sites from hackers taking over and messing with your information. It’s to protect your customers from having their passwords and financial information grabbed.  It will further help you rank better in SEO (search engine optimization). In fact, it looks like when Google and the other major browsers fully implement these policies, you won’t be able to show up in search at all if your site is unsecured.

So, for your own sake and to protect the ability of searchers to find your site, take action immediately to make your website secure. Whether you choose to go the free route with Let’s Encrypt or a more robust SSL certificate from commercial sites selling SSL Certificates or whether you chose to do the installation yourself or use a hosting company like WPX Hosting who will do the installations for you, do something to make your site secure now!

Open your heart in selling,

John's digital signature written with mouse

John R. Aberle

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About the Author

I have a strong love for small businesses, especially brick and mortar companies. After an 18-year career in sales and marketing, I started my own service company, which I grew in both sales and profits for the first five years. In my sixth year, the bottom dropped out of the printer market such that it made more sense to sell my assets and return to Southern California. There I went to work for an international small business consulting company. I spent over three years on the road with them helping small businesses to become more profitable and better managed. I then started my own company specializing in sales and marketing consulting, coaching and training. My emphasis is on heart-centered, relationship selling that empowers prospects to make their own choices.