In order to continually improve LeaseLabs tech and our suite of digital products, making the switch to HTTPS as a standard feature of our website offering is a no-brainer. Two direct HTTPS benefits are 1) a more secure site for your users, and 2) a small boost in ranking, with the possibility of HTTPS becoming a larger ranking signal in 2018.
So, what happens if your website is not currently SSL protected? Don't fret. While implementing SSL is a positive step towards security and improved SEO, it’s not an immediate action item that will cause dire results if not completed tomorrow. Do your due diligence, talk to your website provider, and open up the conversation about making the switch to SSL.
Take a look below at the LeaseLabs HTTPS frequently asked questions.
1. What’s the difference between HTTP and HTTPS?
Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is a secure version of HTTP. HTTPS allows the communication between your web browser and web server to be encrypted and secure. HTTPS is often used to protect online transactions like online banking and online shopping forms. Web browsers, like the Chrome example below, have begun to notify users of a secure HTTPS connection with a green padlock icon.
2. What is SSL?
The “S” in HTTPS represents “Secure Sockets Layer” that encrypts all communication within your browser. An SSL protocol is used in common web applications like email, instant messaging, and banking transactions.
3. Why do websites use SSL Certificates for their websites?
Most commonly SSL Certificates were issued as a way to guarantee that the information a user may be viewing and/or submitting on a website is secure (encrypted) from outside sources. SSL certificates in the past were used on eCommerce, portals & network sites where users would be entering sensitive information that needed protection from identity thefts. As the internet has evolved, so has the need for security across the web.
4. What Does SSL provide LeaseLabs website users?
- Privacy: SSL ensures a private, encrypted connection with data unreadable by everyone except the destination server
- Authenticity: The identities of the communicating parties are authenticated. This means you can be 100% positive your information sent across the web is not received by an imposter
- Integrity: Data communicated between parties are checked using a “message authentication code” to prevent undetected loss of data during transmission
5. What is the immediate benefit of an SSL connection on your LeaseLabs website?
Improved search engine optimization. In 2014, Google announced sites using a secure, encrypted HTTPS connection will begin to see a light boost in ranking, affecting fewer than 1% of global queries. This slow rollout allowed website owners to begin the process of researching and implementing a secure connection on their sites. Fast-forward to today, online marketers have seen a significant rise in ranking factor by optimizing sites with HTTPS, as reported by MOZ.
6. What are additional benefits of HTTPS on LeaseLabs websites?
- User information is encrypted and cannot be intercepted
- Website visitors can verify you are a registered apartment community and that you own the domain
- Website visitors are more likely to trust and complete website actions from sites that contain an SSL certificate
7. How will my site be affected by Google's recent warning to HTTP website owners?
Back in August 2017, Google sent out email notifications to Search Console users stating that beginning in October 2017, Chrome will mark http pages with forms as "not secure", further addressing that "any type of data that users type into websites should not be accessible to others on the network."
Below is an example of how HTTP pages with user-entered data will display.
What Are Next Steps?
Hold tight. As of today, the LeaseLabs team does not need any immediate action from you to begin the process of migrating your website(s) to an HTTPS connection. Further details on our secure website offering update will be released in the coming weeks. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to your dedicated Account Strategist for assistance.