If you’re like many restaurant owners, you probably think you don’t need a secure website if you don’t take orders online, and that you do only if you process food orders online.
While that used to be true in the not so distant future, it’s no longer the case.
In this article, we answer the question, “Does my website need to be secure,” and we tell you why.
So, let’s first get the answer out of the way. Yes, your website needs to be secure. First, let’s talk about what “secure” actually means.
A secure website is one that has a secure connection with a SSL certificate attached to it. This SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer.
How do you know if a website is secure?
Take a look at your address bar as you surf the web. You’ll notice that some website addresses start with “http://” and some start with “https://” and have a green padlock to the left. The address might also say “secure” next to the padlock.
If you see the padlock and the HTTPS, the website you are on is secure, and they have an SSL certificate.
The SSL creates an encrypted link between your restaurant website’s visitor and your web server. This is important because it ensures that all of the data that’s between your server and your visitor’s web browser is secure and above all, private.
An “http” connection is not secure, so others can see the traffic that’s passing between your visitor’s browser and your webs server. If you’re passing sensitive information like email addresses and credit card numbers, you risk a data breach.
In the past HHTP was the norm. That’s no longer so, and let’s look at several of the reasons why.
Google is the leader in the digital world. They are currently pushing for secure HTTPS connections for all web traffic, not just in the instances where sensitive information passes from one person to another.
“Google already signaled its preference for HTTPS websites when it called for HTTPS to be “everywhere” on the web during its 2014 I/O conference, and when it announced that it would rank encrypted sites higher in search results. But the internet giant is far from the only big player on the web pushing for more HTTPS. Mozilla and Apple have both indicated that they want more web encryption. And even the US government has taken important steps in that direction, requiring all .gov websites to be HTTPS by default before the end of this year.”
You’ll also find that Google is marking all HTTP pages that collect passwords and credit cards as non-secure. Consider how this might chase your visitors away.
So, if you aren’t using HTTPS, not only will you rank lower, but your website visitors might not feel comfortable using your site.
A few internet web browsers are following suit.
You’ll discover that an SSL certificate not only makes Google happier but Chrome and Firefox as well.
Chrome and Firefox are starting to call regular http:// as not secure. Even though HTTP is the same as it’s always been, the actions by these web browsers are pushing the entire internet towards SSL.
You don’t want your users seeing the words, “not secure,” in their web browsers, so it pays to follow the lead of Chrome and Firefox.
Adding an SSL certificate to your site isn’t something to ignore, especially now that you know it could affect your website traffic. Let’s review a few of the other reasons your website needs to be secure.
Not all restaurant websites collect money by taking online orders. But, most all of them collect information.
For example, if you have forms on your website to encourage users to join your email list, your website is passing sensitive information.
If you have people giving you information to receive your blog or download a video or a coupon, you are passing information your visitors won’t want to share with hackers.
If you don’t have a SSL, you run the risk of form information being intercepted by people who don’t have good intentions.
It’s important to secure your website forms with a SSL certificate because you want to gain your website visitors’ trust, not lose it. (tweet this)
Many restaurant websites today take online orders. If you do this, a secure connection is non-negotiable.
Most merchant accounts will even require you to have an SSL certificate because they don’t want you leaving customers’ information in a vulnerable state.
Again, an unsecured website doesn’t engender the trust of your customers, and if something happened to their information, most of your customers wouldn’t do business with you online in the future.
Finally, you want a secure site to protect the login info of your customers or if any of your pages are password protected.
You’ll find this especially important if you’re using a WordPress website that has a login page to gain access to the backend.
The bottom line – your website needs to be secure. It must have an SSL certificate whether you’re collecting sensitive information online or not. (tweet this)
A secure website gives your customers another reason to trust you, it makes Google happy and increases your presence in search engine listings, and it ensures your customers aren’t met with an “unsecure” website notice.
Are you wondering what Restaurant Engine is doing to address this issue?
We find that installing an SSL certificate can be confusing for some of our customers. It also used to be quite difficult to do.
We are now doing it for all of our customers. This means if you are a Restaurant Engine customer with one of our websites, we’ll install the SSL for you so you don’t even have to think about it.
At Restaurant Engine, we are putting all of our customers’ sites under SSL by default which is just another reason you can count on us for your website needs.
At Restaurant Engine, not only do we create great, responsive websites, but you can count on us to create a secure website that resonates with customers. Ready to take the plunge and create a website with an online menu, blog and beautiful photos? Get your free website consultation today!