The new version of Chrome (Chrome 90) will implement a major change in which it is switching to having HTTPS in the address bar by default.

This blog post will help you understand why this major change is taking place and why it is important.

Why is Google doing this?

Google is carrying out this change as the use of HTTPS has increased significantly since 2014.

The reason for this is that in 2014, Google announced that HTTPS would be used as a ranking signal.

A survey by W3Techs showed that 82.2% of websites had a valid SSL certificate. Also, more than 98% of pages that are loaded in Chrome use HTTPS by default.

What changes will this bring?

There will be a significant increase in security and loading speed.

This is because currently if a user types in a URL without specifying a protocol before it (so just obrienmedia.uk for example – without the https://), then Chrome will automatically use HTTP.

This is a disadvantage because Chrome will then try for HTTPS after, so is in a redirection loop. The removal of this loop means that HTTPS will be default after the initial load, therefore increasing speed. 

Do I need to do anything for this change to affect my browser?

This change will be applied when Chrome is updated to version 90.

Chrome is automatically updated, so there is nothing you will need to do to have this change in your browser.

You can check your version of Chrome by clicking the menu icon in the top right, going to ‘Help’ and then ‘About Google Chrome’.

When will Chrome 90 be released?

Version 90 is in beta testing as of mid-March and is scheduled for release on the 13th of April.

You can read more detail about this change here.

What about my WordPress website?

We’ve written a post in our blog about the WordPress 5.7 update – check it out if you haven’t already!

One of the fantastic new features is that if your website is not yet migrated to use HTTPS, this can now be done will one click.

WordPress will automatically detect if your site hosting environment is not using HTTPS and you can proceed with the update process via the ‘Site Health’ screen.

The new 5.7 update also handles rewrites of mixed content and database URLs, so there will be no broken links to worry about after the migration process has taken place.

How can we help?

If you are unsure whether your site supports HTTPS, you can check the address bar of your browser to see whether your site has this protocol.

Also, as a reminder, having the HTTPS protocol on your site is used as a search ranking factor by Google.

If your site does not have this and you need help migrating, please get in touch with one of the team who would be more than happy to help!

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