If you’ve been paying attention to our blog (and frankly, if you haven’t been, you’ve missed out in a big way), you’ll know that in February we ran a couple of articles about the consequences of not upgrading your website to HTTPS, which secures visitors against communications monitoring and data theft. While it was recommended then, it looks like it will soon become essential.

As early as next year you could start being actively penalised by Google for not having an HTTPS site. While Google had made its intentions regarding HTTPS clear by indexing HTTPS pages over non-HTTPS pages, this is a further statement of intent which will see websites severely affected if they fail to comply.

In addition, the likelihood is that all websites will soon be adopting HTTP/2. HTTP/2 is designed to increase the speed and efficiency of communication between servers and web browsers – essentially, it recognises which files are necessary to render a webpage and provides them all in one go, rather than one at a time.

While you might be thinking “why should I bother upgrading to HTTPS if I can just jump straight to HTTP/2”, the answer to that is, you can’t. HTTPS deals in a different area to HTTP/2, but having the former is still a prerequisite to being able to have the latter. Given that HTTP/2 is going to represent a significant upgrade on a variety of aspects concerned with server-to-website communication speed, upgrading to HTTPS is something you shouldn’t be thinking about doing at some point in the future, but doing now.

Ultimately, it’s clearer than ever that websites will have to upgrade to HTTPS or face the consequences. The risks of not doing it far outweigh the risks of doing it (i.e. not doing it correctly and losing traffic as a result). If this sort of thing isn’t your strongest suit and you need some help, you can find our comprehensive, easy-to-follow guide to migrating your website to HTTPS here.

Is HTTPS still scaring you? Have you already made the move but aren’t sure how it’s affecting your organic performance? Get in touch with us via @RocketMill and we’ll do our best to help you with whatever troubles you might be facing.