(Heartland Newsfeed) — In less than ten minutes, you may notice a slight difference with our website. No, the overall design is not changing.
So, what exactly is changing?
Well, you may see a slight change in our web address. Since December 31, 2016, our website has been http://www.heartlandnewsfeed.com and will be this way until 11:59:59 PM tonight. After midnight, you may notice a little change to HTTP Secure or https:// followed by our web address.
So what is going on which has led to this decision?
This was not a light decision to make. When Google’s algorithm developers warned in mid-2017 that they were going to force website owners to switch to HTTP Secure, they meant it. As of midnight Sunday, July 1, any website without a SSL license will show a warning that the website is not secure, preventing interested persons from viewing the website, which also results in a high traffic bounce rate.
As someone who built this news website from the bottom up, I was not prepared for our site’s ever-increasing web traffic, moreorless our regulars who read our articles everyday, to disappear by Google’s algorithm saying “my website isn’t safe to browse.”
But…you don’t accept payments on your website to even warrant a SSL license…
You would think this would be the exception, but it is not. Whether you accept payments on your website or not, Google’s algorithm is requiring it for all websites.
On another note, the websites which we utilize for receipt of cryptocurrency payments and donations, as well as billing invoices for website advertising were already protected by a SSL license.
The only other reasoning besides protecting our traffic to get said license was for the security of our internal email.
But that only affects Google Chrome….
Dead wrong. This new change for 67% of the Internet affects all web browsers and would render those websites inaccessible unless a web surfer wanted to pursue further onto the website.
This affects Firefox, Opera, Microsoft Edge and other web browsers.
Final Thoughts: I don’t like the idea of anyone’s website being taken hostage by Google’s incessant threats to render more than two-thirds of all websites as “unsafe” for the sake of cybersecurity. I believe in cybersecurity as much as the next person, but when web registrars are charging high fees for SSL licenses to become secure, it simply isn’t a cost-effective move for many website owners. While there are very few cheap or free options, the ones available require monthly, bimonthly or quarterly renewals which can become time-consuming. However, with all that said, we made the choice for the sake of retaining our web traffic as well as our loyal readership and only time can tell how this decision works out
Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.