In 2017 Google’s web browser “Chrome” released an important update. The other modern web browsers (Safari, Firefox, Edge, etc..) all followed suit as well and added a new feature to their software to help users stay safe on the internet.
What was the update you ask? A simple check of whether or not your website had an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate installed on it or not.
Now, you’re probably thinking “What’s an SSL certificate and who cares if my website has one or not“?
Well, the short answer is that an SSL certificate is a sort of “Stamp of approval” that your website & data are secure, and that a LOT of people care if you have it. Just look at this statistic of web surfers:
That’s a lot of missed bookings if you’re not secure!
If you do not have an SSL installed, chances are you visitors are going to see something like this when they first come to your website:
As you can see, most people would likely leave this type of website as quickly as possible when that ugly, scary warning pops up.
Why do I need a secure website for my park?
There are a few reasons why it’s important for your RV park site to be secure.
Number 1 is trust. When a potential camper comes to your site and sees a big warning that says “This website is not trusted”, what do you think that says about your park?
Number 2 is data security. Actually, this one is also about good customer service. If you take any personal data on your website (for instance, bookings), then you want to be able to confirm for your customers that their information is safe and secure. With an SSL certificate, they can have confidence that you are running a serious, legitimate business and care about their information being secure.
Number 3 is Search Engine Rankings. As mentioned in the point above, having a secure website is an important signal that you are a legitimate RV Park / Campground and that people can trust you. This is true for both potential campers and Search Engines, and if Google has to choose between you and a comparable park next door who’s website is secure, they’re likely to rank the secure website higher.
How do I know if my park website is secure?
This one is easy. Head over to your website in just about any browser (Chrome, Safari, Edge, Firefox, ect…) and type in your website address. Look in the URL bar and see if you have a little green lock, or a warning from the browser. We’ve included a quick example for you below:
Secured with SSL
Insecure, No SSL
How can I make my website secure?
The Million Dollar Question!
If your lucky enough to have your website based with us here at Parks & Rec, then you can sit back and relax. All of our sites are fully protected and come with SSL certificates by default, so you’ll never have to worry.
If you’re not with us, the first step would be to get in touch with your web hosting provider. Some hosts will offer SSL installation as an additional service, but there are some will offer it for free (depending on your monthly plan $$$). An SSL certificate does require an expert to install, however, so no matter what you’ll need to get in touch with your web host to get things moving forward.
You can also get in touch with us if you need some help, we’d be glad to answer any questions and/or install a certificate for you.