As we’ve previously reported, increasing numbers of website owners are making the switch to HTTPS and securing their websites with an SSL certificate. The fact that Google gives secure websites a slight ranking boost has been the catalyst for many. Historically getting an SSL certificate has been time-consuming and expensive. However, this has changed over the last year or so, no doubt due to the availability of free SSL certificates through organisations like Let’s Encrypt.
The number of websites with SSL certificates is likely to show a big jump in the early part of 2017. This is because of an announcement by WordPress which will force the hand of many.
WordPress is of the view that every web hosting company should, by default, provide hosted accounts with an SSL certificate. And to drive this, from early 2017 WordPress will only promote hosting partners that provide a SSL certificate by default in their accounts. Later the company will assess which features, such as API authentication, would benefit the most from SSL and then only make them only available for SSL websites.
I wouldn’t be surprised if by this time next year pretty well all WordPress websites were SSL.
A huge number of sites are built on WordPress (one-in-four websites globally runs on WordPress). And those sites are certainly not all personal blogs, as many assume. Some notable sites built on WordPress include Time Magazine; BBC America; Wired; and TechCrunch, just to name a few.
Why should you care?
If your website is built using WordPress then switching to SSL is something you should plan for next year, if you’ve not already made the switch.
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Mark is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire which he founded back in 2002. Prior to establishing SureFire he worked for KPMG Consulting. Today Mark heads up SEO, embracing the challenges that can come with complex website implementations. Outside of work, his interests beyond his family are running, snowsports, diving and fishing (badly).