Two Significant Challenges Facing Website Owners in 2018


Whether you are looking to launch a website, revamp an existing one, or don’t yet have plans to touch your website this year, there are a few recent developments you should consider.

Flagging of Non-SSL Web Pages ⚠️

Google and others are getting even more serious about how we secure the world wide web. Starting in July 2018, Google Chrome will begin flagging web pages that don’t securely transmit data.

In order to encrypt data being served from and to your site’s pages, you will need to install and configure an SSL certificate. Nowadays, most web hosts worth their salt freely issue SSL certificates. Activating one on your site should be as simple as flipping the switch.

Once you have your SSL certificate active, you still need to ensure your site is properly serving content. If your site has been running on HTTP, then images on your site likely reference the HTTP location of the file. If you don’t comb through your site and change these all to HTTPS, then your site will be serving mixed content, which browsers also don’t smile upon.

Implementing SSL will not only help protect your users and give them confidence while visiting your site, but, as a ranking signal for certain search engines, it can also help bring new visitors to your site.

GDPR Compliance ?

Another big development taking effect on May 25 is the General Data Protection Regulation. These are laws put in place by the European Union to protect the data and privacy of individuals in the EU. It aims to ensure users control the dissemination and destruction of any data they share on the internet. Some of the user rights it sets forth include:

  • Your visitors can request to access any personal data you’ve gathered about them
  • Your visitors can request to export their personal data in machine-readable format
  • Your visitors can request to delete their personal data

Even though the EU may not have jurisdiction over you or your organizational entity, these laws are intended to protect individuals in the EU and set forth a standard that may well be more widely adopted in the blurry-bordered world wide web.

If your site has visitors living the EU from whom you collect personally identifiable information (including comments and newsletter signups), you ought to be prepping your site for GDPR compliance. A good place to begin will be ensuring you have an accessible Privacy Policy. If you’re interested in learning more or to see some of the tools I’ll be utilizing for these purposes, check this thread.