On the 23rd July, websites that do not have an SSL certificate will be more noticeable than ever in Google Chrome.

So, what does that mean? Essentially, Google will be reprimanding sites that are not SSL certified when viewed in their Chrome Browser (which accounts for over 60% of desktop and mobile web usage).

If you take a glance at the address bar in Chrome, a security status is displayed, which currently, if the site is SSL certified, shows text and an icon that represents the site is secure. The address prefix will then be https:// rather than http://.

Screenshot of Google homepage showing a secure connection
Screenshot of Google Chrome Address bar
A close-up of the Google Chrome address bar

If the website doesn’t have an SSL certificate, there’s not too much to worry about (yet). A rather undetectable “not secure” in grey is displayed instead.


Starting from 23rd July, Google will be making these changes for non-certified sites:

Screenshot of Google Chrome address bar showing a Not Secure notice

As you can see, a not so pretty and much more concerning red “Not Secure” and warning triangle icon is visible. Definitely something that would discourage customers from staying on your site and get in the way of establishing trust straight away.

So, what’s the fuss about? What is an SSL certification?

Simply put: An SSL certification means the connection from the users device to the website is protected. And any information that is entered in to the site (emails, passwords, phone numbers & credit cards) will be unreadable (encrypted) from potential snoopers.

Why you should get your site certified

We highly recommend the installation of an SSL certificate on your website. With Google’s new approach to SSL, and Google Chrome standing as the most popular browser, it’s only prudent to keep up to date with online security.

The biggest reason you should get one installed goes back to a point that was touched on earlier: The majority of potential customers (based on browser share) are using Chrome. This means the majority of initial impressions will be seriously tarnished by the prominent red “Not Secure” warning. The last thing you need when trying to attract and convert customers!

In addition to changes coming in to effect with Chrome, other browsers shouldn’t be forgotten either. Safari & Firefox currently display a similar, grey insecure notice, while Microsoft Edge gives a little more of a human message, “Be careful here” – which would definitely put off nervous surfers! We’re sure they’ll all soon follow suit with the bigger, bolder warnings.

Ultimately it comes to Google’s search algorithm. Since 2014 Google have been calling for “HTTPS everywhere” and have gradually added weight to the algorithm for sites which use secure, encrypted connections. Once the Chrome change comes in to effect, it’s highly likely websites that have SSL certificates will see a favoured listing when it comes to search position, featured snippets and other search tool categories such as images, shopping and news.

We’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web - Google

How to get your site SSL certified

The process to getting your site SSL certified is simple, yet implementation will need to be carefully planned and rolled out. All good hosting providers will offer installation through their admin control panels. In terms of cost, SSL certificates typically start at around £60 per year, however more & more providers are offering free certificates from the third-party supplier, Let’s Encrypt.

If you wish to find out any more information about SSL certificates and how we can help, please get in touch with us.