January 19th, 2018
If you own a website, you may have become aware of some changes that have taken place recently when people visit your page.
In many browsers, there are now notifications that indicate the site they are on is now “Not Secure”. Any user with a Chrome Browser, now sees this message. Chrome is owned by Google.
QUESTION: What is happening?
This is a Google change. Google is now using its size and influence to make anyone that has a website conform to what it thinks it should be, “or else”. The “else” being that Google will tell visitors to your site that it’s “not secure”.
QUESTION: Why is this a problem?
Because somebody visiting your site seeing that message, can interpret “Not Secure” to mean anything they want.
Google does not take the time to educate your visitor and clarify what it means, which means that innocent website owners like you and me, can be losing customers and clients right and left.
Think about it, the words “not secure” might mean any of the following to a visitor or client:
“This site has viruses, I’m not dealing with an unsafe site”
“This site may be easy to hack, are they going to get my passwords, steal my credit cards and ruin my life?”
Therein is your problem. Clients may translate Not Secure as “Unsafe”.
Would you go over a bridge that was “not secure”? No, because we interpret that to mean “it’s not safe”.
So, this website message is a problem and it could be working against you.
QUESTION: So, why is Google doing this?
The answer is a complicated one but what it basically amounts to is Google has certain types of pages that it is now expecting people to start using which have additional security encryption.
To be fair to Google, this is not a bad thing especially if somebody is using their credit card on your page. All of us want security, and with recent issues in our headlines, we are all more aware of the need for online security than ever.
The problem is Google does not treat you and I differently that it views a virus inducing web site. It doesn’t say to your visitor “there are no viruses here or hacker risks”. It paints all of us with the same broad brush.
QUESTION: How do we make it go away, where Google tells visitors our site is “Secure”?
Simply put, the rules of the game have changed. Now all your pages have to be converted to a new format. In addition, Google expects you to have Secure Site Licenses.
QUESTION: I want to fix this. I don’t want Google telling visitors to my site that my site is not safe. I don’t want to be losing clients and potential customers because of this! What can I do?
Most site owners do not have the technical knowledge or understanding to address what Google is telling people, so in one form or another they are having to turn to experts to come in and do the work.
Because of this being a relatively new development (it’s only taken place in the last month) most site owners are not even aware of the potential damage that is there.
Simply put everything has to be changed, until Google says this is safe. This could range from sites your site links to the fonts, or even not having a certificate that tells Google your site is safe, on every page.
This blog is both to educate you, and inform you that we can come and look at your site and change it. For most people, there really is no other option, it has to be fixed.
QUESTION: Why didn’t you build my site right the first time?
It’s a fair question but there isn’t really a connection. Google’s change has affected millions of people, if we had built your site like that from the start the expenses would’ve been so cost prohibitive, and at the time there were no problems.
When you bought your home, did you need bulletproof windows and steel doors? Most of us do not, and so we only build what we need for that time.
Most of us were not in the area where we were processing customers credit cards directly on our site and things of that nature, and those that were using somebody else that I already had those security measures in place. Simply put there was no problem.
Simply put, nobody could’ve seen that coming without a crystal ball.
QUESTION: OK I get it now, we need to get this fixed how can you help me?
That’s the important thing to this, this is not a marketing blog, this is not trying to just take additional money, this is a problem that affects everybody, it even affected us, and luckily, we do have the website experience, knowledge and know-how to do those fixes. They were not easy but they were necessary.
In doing so, we realize that we have thousands and thousands of website clients past and present, and all of them are being affected.
Now, let’s reiterate. Someone is going to have to fix your site. This problem is not going to go away.
Somebody that you trust with access to your site and all of your sensitive information on your pages, somebody is going to have to get in there and fix it.
Every client’s website is different, but the one thing they all have in common is we built them, and, if you have no one else to help, we can come in and fix it, so Google isn’t scaring off your customers.
QUESTION: Will it cost me money?
If you want the messages to go away…
Yes. It cost us time/money to fix our own website and it is going to cost you money to bring your website up to Google’s standards as well.
Now that said, everybody’s website is different. Different number of pages, different elements that the website may have, that Google is throwing a flag on, none of these things which existed as problems before.
What we can do is go in and see where the flags are, and step-by-step fix them.
The first thing we would have to do is take a look at the work that needs to be done and then provide you a quote, to do so.
The good news is, we have tools that will allow us to see the issues in your website, so that we can provide you with an accurate quote. Also, as you are our client, we know how to take care of it, and we are familiar with you.
This works in your benefit because you don’t have some impartial stranger coming in that doesn’t understand the underlying importance of your website. The people that built your website are the people that can best understand the changes that Google is forcing all of us to make, to change that dreaded “Not Secure” message to “Secure”.
Either way, you need to be aware of this change and whether we do it or someone else does it, you’re going to want somebody in your corner that’s going to address this and get it fixed.
If we can help you out, let us know and we can take it from there.
The world is not getting easier; doing business on the web will continue to become more and more challenging and it is these challenges that we are all going to have to work together to address and remain viable both now and in the future.