Google is continuing its push encourage website owners to migrate over to HTTPS secure encryption with the next update of its Chrome browser. On Thursday, Google announced the release of Chrome 68 for early July, which will start marking all sites without HTTPS encryptions as “Not secure”.
As usual, a bunch of publishers are freaking out about the looming Google Chrome HTTPS certificate apocalypse! so we thought it might be a good idea to calmly explain exactly what’s going on with the next release of Google Chrome. Hint: It’s not as apocalyptic as some people would like to suggest.
What’s changing with Chrome 68?
Google will release Chrome 68 in early July and the headline change is that the latest version of its browser will start labelling all sites without HTTPS encryption as “Not secure”. Essentially, this is an expansion of the existing labels you see in Chrome now, which look a lot like this:
Google started doing this in January last years and it warned us in April that the plan was to label all non-HTTPS sites as “Not secure” in the near future. So this shouldn’t come as a big surprise to anyone. We’ve all had plenty of time to prepare for this particular “apocalypse”.
If you haven’t made the move over to HTTPS yet, it goes without saying you’ll need to make the switch sooner or later. The good news is it’s becoming easier and cheaper to do, so there’s never been a better time to make the transition.
That said, make sure you don’t rush through the switching process to try and beat the Chrome 68 release date or any other kind of deadline. Switching to HTTPS can be a bit of a chore, particularly if you’re not using a CMS platform but you want to make sure you get it right.
Obviously, having a “Not secure” label next to your URL isn’t a good look for any business that wants to instil trust in visitors. It’s better than your site falling apart due to URL errors and still getting the “Not secure” label, though – definitely not a good look. Also, keep in mind that Chrome 68 will start labelling all non-HTTPS sites in July. This won’t happen instantly; it will be a gradual process although Google hasn’t given us any hints regarding how long it might take.
If you want to read Google’s brief and very non-apocalyptic announcement regarding “Not secure” labels, you can check it out here. As usual, there’s no need to panic. Just make sure you have a game plan for making the switch over to HTTPS, if you haven’t already. And make sure that plan involves doing it properly rather than trying to rush things.