In 2015, Google announced that it was going to gradually implement steps to make the Internet more secure and user-friendly. That’s the good news for all of us.
The not-so-good-news for all of us business owners is that we have to make changes on our websites to fit the Google criteria.
What happens if you don’t?
If your site is not mobile-friendly, Google will give you negative points in their algorithm to keep you from ranking high in search results.
Yes, I said Google will punish you in all search rankings. StatCounter reports that Google has 92.19% of the search market.
If your site is not secure, Google will show a warning to all visitors advising them that your site is not secure. Then Google will give you negative points in their algorithm to keep you from ranking high in search results. Who wants to show up on page 193 of the search results?!
So… how do we meet their criteria and how fast can we do it!!
Criteria #1 – Your Website Must be Mobile-Friendly
Mobile-Friendly means your site re-sizes to fit a smartphone screen or a tablet or a 42” monitor. Another term for it is “responsive.”
If your site was built in the last 5+ years by Your Computer Lady, it is responsive. That’s all we’ve built for years. Not sure? Look at your site on your phone or tablet. A responsive site will re-format to be useable on a mobile device. Still not positive? Ask me.
If your site isn’t responsive, call me. Let’s figure out how to convert it. We need a plan!
If you have a WordPress site, we can probably add a new theme that is responsive to your site. It’s not the click of a button, but it is easier than a new site. If you have another type of site (GoDaddy’s Website Builder, SquareSpace, Weebly, etc.) we’ll have to carefully analyze your options.
Criteria #2 – SSL Certificate
In non-computer English, an SSL Certificate is issued by your hosting service to verify you have 256 bit encryption. It is a way to ensure that websites are handling personal data and sensitive information as carefully as technically possible.
Currently, Google will mark any site asking for password or credit card fields, as “Not Secure” if they don’t have an SSL Certificate. If the site has an SSL Certificate, you’ll see HTTPS: in the address field (the site URL).
Gradually since 2017, Google has been adding new situations where they will mark your site as Not Secure.
The most common situation – when you ask someone to opt in and share their email to receive your newsletter.
The next phase will be any website without an SSL certificate will show poorly in search results. Don’t wait until the last minute. Let’s do this now.
- My preferred hosting company – GoDaddy sells an SSL Certificate for $74.99. Other hosts charge varying amounts. Your certificate needs to come from the company where you have registered your domain. A standard SSL certificate covers you if you have a shopping cart on your site. You only need the expanded SSL certificate if personal information is stored on a personal computer, a website database and/or the hosting server.
- Your Computer Lady will manage the process, verify the implementation and fix any errors created on your site for $90 per site. There is a high probability of some data or images not functioning properly after the SSL certificate is applied to your site. (See the detailed process below.)
So your cost would be $90 plus the actual cost of the SSL certificate.
Call me today and I’ll help you make a plan to make these changes as cost effective and time efficient as we can.
Want to know more?
Here are some key articles.
SSL Certificate Process
|1. Hire YCL to handle the set up of your SSL certificate.||
|2. YCL purchases 1 SSL Certificate for each website you have.||
|a) SSL should be purchased from the same provider where you have your hosting service.|
3. Confirm that you have a domain email and that you have access to it. To get an SSL certificate, you must have a domain email.
· You can get a domain email via GoDaddy using Office 365 for $4.99 / month.
· You can get a domain email via Google using Gmail for $5 / month.
|4. Back up the website. (YCL hosting clients will already have a daily backup.)|
|5. Activate the SSL credit and indicate which site you want to use the credit on.|
|6. Verify ownership of the domain|
|a. Provider will send an email to the Registrant’s email requesting verification.|
|b. Click the verification link in the email.|
|7. If your service provider is GoDaddy, they will apply the certificate to the site for you at this point. With other providers, the process varies.|
|8. Your Computer Lady will download a plug-in that will check all content, images, graphics on your site to be sure the SSL has applied to all pieces of your site. We have a backup in case there is a big problem.||
|9. You will see the HTTPS: on your website URL.|
|TOTAL COST FOR 1ST YEAR OF SSL CERTIFICATE||
$90 + actual SSL fee
SSL Certificates are good for 1 year. In the future, however, all you will need to do is renew the certificate with the provider.