google 2018 https update

There’s an update from Google Chrome that may change the way your website shows up online. For those who’ve already added an SSL certificate to their site and made the upgrade to HTTPS, you’re in the clear.

But if you haven’t made the switch, this is something you’ll want to pay attention to.

Starting in July 2018, Google’s Chrome browser will alert users that a site isn’t secure if it doesn’t have an HTTPS connection. Since Chrome may very well be the most popular web browser out there, this alert is something you’ll want to take seriously.

However, if you’re a HostGator customer who doesn’t have a SSL yet, there is no need to worry about this change. HostGator customers without a SSL certificate will be receiving a free one this July to comply with Google Chrome’s new requirements. This free SSL applies to all plans. For more information on how to take advantage of the free SSL visit our Knowledge Base

Curious about the change? Below we look at what this new HTTPS warning actually entails and how it’ll impact the future of your website.

HostGator SSL Certificate

Google’s Move Towards a Secure Web

Google has been taking security and HTTPS seriously for a while. When you think about it, it makes sense.

Google wants to provide its visitors with the most relevant, secure browsing experience possible. When users feel safe on the web they’re much more likely to come back and utilize the services that Google offers.

A better user experience equals a more satisfied user base. The same goes for your website.

Google has already been giving secure sites preference in the rankings since 2014. Therefore, sites that have a secure HTTPS connection, as opposed to the standard HTTP connection, should get a slight rankings boost.

This Chrome update is the next step in the charge of an HTTPS focused internet.


The Impact of the Google Chrome Update

Google has been rolling out this update for quite a while. You’ve probably noticed sites that have a secure “lock” icon in the upper left hand corner of the search bar.

ssl website with secure lock in chrome browser

To users, this shows that your site is secure and can be trusted to safely process information.

HTTPS can be incredibly valuable for your site as it creates a secure channel between the browser and the website.

A secure connection is a must-have for sites that process personal information like an eCommerce website. However, this lock icon hasn’t been very effective in encouraging non-eCommerce website owners to adopt the new HTTPS standard. The new Chrome update can be seen as a hard push towards forcing website owners to adopt HTTPS.


How Will This Warning Affect Your Site?

If your site doesn’t have an SSL certificate installed by the time the HTTPS update is released, your site will display as “not secure” when accessed by the Chrome browser:

2018 google https update

You might not think this is a big deal. But, imagine you open up a brand new site from the search results and the first thing you see is a page that says, “This page is not secure.”

Chances are, you won’t stick around, or come back to the website. We’re not just talking about losing the trust of new visitors, but also compromising the trust of your existing visitors.

Fortunately, there is a way you can avoid this scenario.


How Can I Avoid a Security Warning?

The only way to avoid this warning across your site is to install an SSL certificate before the update takes effect. At HostGator, we can help you prepare for these Google Chrome changes by providing all HostGator customers with a free SSL certificate!

This is a fully functional, digital certificate, that is recognized and trusted by 99.9% browsers and devices. By having this certificate, you will avoid a ‘not secure’ warnings when people visit your site.

Additionally, we have paid SSL options for customers looking for additional features from their SSL certificate.  

Secure Your Website Today with SSL

Hopefully, you have a better understanding of the latest Google Chrome update and how it’ll affect your website and user experience moving forward. Our current customers should keep an eye on their inbox for a notification that their account is ready for a free SSL certificate.

Not a HostGator customer? You can sign up for a hosting plan on our website!

July Update: Please note that the free SSLs will be rolled out gradually. If you don’t see the free SSL added to your domain quite yet, it will be added over the next couple of days. 


Kevin Wood writes about technology and human potential. You can find him at his virtual homes Wooden Writing and Counter Culturist.