Google announced last week that starting in July 2018, Chrome will mark all HTTP sites as “Not secure”. This will coincide with the release of Chrome 68.
Are you an Odysys website customer? No worries – you’re all set! All Odysys customer websites are HTTPS secure.
Example above: In Chrome, the address bar will display “Not secure” for all HTTP pages.
It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see that a “not secure” message will impact conversion rates. Translation: if your website is not HTTPS secure, potential guests will turn away from your website.
The message from Google is clear: Upgrade your website to HTTPS before July.
What Is HTTPS?
HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) is the protocol for passing information between web servers and clients. HTTPS is a secure connection, whereas HTTP is not.
Example: When a website is HTTPS-secure a visitor to the site will see a message/icon like this in their browser
Benefits of HTTPS include:
- Data protection
- Increases the “trust” signals for your site visitors
- Faster site/page load times
- Google uses HTTPS as a positive ranking signal
Why is This Push for HTTPS Happening?
Google has been incentivizing website owners to make their websites “HTTPS secure”. For a while, Google has hinted at giving HTTPS sites a ranking boost. The actual impact on rankings was inconsequential for most. But it did push website owners to start switching to HTTPS.
Still, for innkeepers & hoteliers, there was little actual reason to make the switch. The hassle was high and the risk was low, and nearly all commercial booking engines, where the reservation/transaction takes place, are HTTPS secure.
Things got more interesting last summer. Google stated that Chrome would start marking some HTTP pages as “not secure”. As a result, Odysys upgraded all customer sites to HTTPS at that time, and every new Odysys website is now HTTPS. But there’s been little impact to site owners of HTTP sites. Until now.
A More Secure Web is a Better Web
The altruistic stance from Google is that a more secure web is a better web. And to that end, it has been working. According to Google, as of February 8, 2018:
- Over 68% of Chrome traffic on both Android and Windows is now [HTTPS] protected
- Over 78% of Chrome traffic on both Chrome OS and Mac is now [HTTPS] protected
- 81 of the top 100 sites on the web use HTTPS by default
“HTTPS encryption protects the channel between your browser and the website you’re visiting, ensuring no one in the middle can tamper with the traffic or spy on what you’re doing. Without that encryption, someone with access to your router or ISP could intercept information sent to websites or inject malware into otherwise legitimate pages.” – Russel Brandom, The Verge
How to Upgrade Your Website to HTTPS
If you’re an Odysys Website customer – you’re already set. HTTPS/SSL is included in your subscription.
Otherwise, if you’re a DIY type – you can check out Let’s Encrypt. Or you can contact your domain hosting provider about it (i.e. the place you buy/renew your domain – like GoDaddy, eNom, Network Solutions etc.). There’s typically an additional fee for this type of service from your domain hosting provider. That’s the cost of doing business in 2018.
Learn more about HTTPS along with the other top 5 things innkeepers & hoteliers need to know about online marketing in 2018.