A few years ago, Google’s big push was to get everyone to have a website conducive to mobile visitors. More recently, Google’s push is to get everyone to encrypt the data going to and from their website using an SSL certificate. This is what changes the URL from http to https.
I’ve noticed a change in how the Google Chrome browser presents https and http domains since the beginning of 2017. Here are three examples:
Regular http Website:
Right now, the regular http site is somewhat neutral. The exclamation mark is a little unnerving, but at least it’s not red. However, sources say that Google Chrome may begin showing http sites with a red notice like the bottom example. That example shows trying to access https when there is no SSL certificate for the domain. This may be the default for any website going forward without an SSL certificate.
It’s a good practice to add an SSL certificate to your domain. They can be purchased for as little as $50/yr. Depending on your website, you may need a better certificate, which would increase the price. If you are on a shared hosting platform, you may need a dedicated IP address too and those usually start around $3/month.
In addition to encrypting (protecting) all data going back and forth between your website, Google has stated they may even give a bump in the search results to sites that have the SSL certificate. It also gives some peace of mind to your site visitors, especially if the browsers begin showing a green (SSL-protected) vs red (not protected) notice.