Caution! Slippery When Wet!
The sign, often used in public places, warns people to take care. The floor is wet, therefore slippery, increasing the risk of falling. This warning sign catches people’s attention and helps prevent accidents.
The internet also has warning signs. As fraud increases, the internet community has bumped up their concerns about safety. As a result, internet browsers now warn people whether a website is safe or not.
If a website is safe and secure (featuring an https:// in the URL), the browser shows a lock:
If a website is not secure (featuring an http:// in the URL), the internet browser will show some type of warning:
These signs tell a visitor to your website whether your website is a safe and secure place. Savvy internet users recognize these signs. If your website does not sport an https:// and the browser features a warning sign, potential customers visiting your book or author website may be scared away.
Recently a Member of Christian Indie Publishing Association sent in an announcement about a new book for the Association’s newsletter. When checking the URL for the newsletter, I noticed that his website appeared as “not secure” in my browser. I sent this member the following note:
By the way, you should update your website from http:// to https://. Just ask your hosting service for an SSL Certificate. Many now provide them for free. Google’s SEO is now paying attention to https and you will rank higher if you have it.
The Member sent back this response:
Thank you for the SSL tip. I was able to set up my website for free with a certificate from my hosting service (I just always assumed that they would charge me extra for it).
His response surprised me. Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) has been encouraging all our Members to update to https:// with an SSL Certificate for the past year. The Association neglected to tell our Members that many hosting services provide this for free. In reality, the benefit of having an https:// outweighs any small cost some hosting companies may charge.
So, I am passing this information on to you so that you can make sure your website is:
- Not scaring away visitors by being unsecure, and
- Ranking higher in search engine results because it is secure.
If your website still sports an http:// in the URL and shows up as not secure in a browser, check with your web hosting company. You can get an SSL Certificate for little or no cost.
Your website sends a message to the world. Make sure your website says you are professional and can be trusted.
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