Since launching their ‘HTTPS Everywhere’ campaign in 2014, Google has been trying to incentivize the switch from HTTP websites to the Secure website format HTTPS. After Google’s July Chrome Update, this switch won’t just be a suggestion for businesses. It will be more or less mandatory for companies that don’t want their websites to be labeled as “not secure.” If you’re worried about making the switch, here are a few things you’ll need to know to get your new secure website ready for July.

What Are the Details Around the July Google Chrome Release?

Starting in July, the Google Chrome browser is going to start marking sites without SSL/TLS certificates as not secure. Plainly speaking, this means that any site with an address that begins with HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol) rather than HTTPS (hypertext transfer protocol secure) will show up as gray in the address field rather than the green padlock for secure sites, preceded by the words “Not Secure.” While consumers will still have the ability to visit HTTP websites after the July Chrome Update, they will be discouraged from entering any personal information into websites that aren’t encrypted by an SSL certificate.

How Does This Affect Me?

For smaller businesses using client-facing websites, this could create some distrust among your customer base, especially if you run a service that deals with a lot of digital file storage. Websites that use an SSL certificate for encryption have three layers that protect against hacking. Encrypted sites aren’t just better protected from hacking, they create barriers that make it virtually impossible for data corruption to occur without an alarm going off during a transfer. Sites that use SSL/TLS certificates protect consumers from having their information stolen or even viewed, and they also make it harder for attack sites to create false landing pages. Protected sites make sure that communication lines stay free and clear of dummy sites or false redirects so that your clients never get tricked into giving their information to hackers. Using an HTTPS encrypted site won’t just boost your credibility with customers, it could actually create a rankings boost to help new customers find you through organic search.

How Can I Prepare My Business For This Situation?

While the change from HTTP to HTTPS can be done fairly easily, it can end up taking a bit of time with larger websites. That’s why it’s important to start now in order to be completely ready for the July Chrome Update. To upgrade your HTTP website to a secure website format, you’ll need to use a test server before making the actual switch to counteract any problems that might arise. After you’ve done a successful test run, you’ll need to install your certificate and spend some time redirecting any links that still point to the old HTTP address, and create a redirect page so that Chrome will know you’ve updated.