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What is “HTTPS” and Why Does it Matter?

Thursday, March 16, 2017
Peter Brisette
Digital Marketing Dude



 


What I want to talk about this month is “https”. What does the “S” stand for in websites? I’m going to show you a couple things here. I’m going to bring up my browser and share my screen with you, and talk about https and something that Google is doing, and what can we do about it, and what should we do about it?

Back in September, Google published this blog post, talking about their browser, Google Chrome.

Right now, when you go to a website that doesn’t have https, which means that it’s not encrypted, and this is really important for if you have a form or a login, or you’re putting any kind of personal information on a website. What it does is encrypts that data, and helps protect it, and keep it from other people getting ahold of it through the “interwebs.” What Google is doing is going to display websites as either being secure or not secure. I’ll show you an example of what secure looks like:


We have https on the DM Dude website, and you can see here, this is what it looks like in Google Chrome. It shows up saying it is secure– it’s got the https. Now, right now, as Chrome Version 53, it just shows an “i” next to the name if it’s not secure. So here’s a website denver.org. Now this is not a site where you have to put information in, other than your email to sign up for an email list, or to do a search. So it’s not necessarily necessary to be encrypted, but you got the “i” here. When I click on this I, it shows here that this site is not secure. That can make you a little bit nervous about that.
 

Now what they’re going to, this month, so when they do the Version 56 of Chrome, which should be launched some time in January, it’s going to actually say, “Not secure,” next to that. Instead of just the “i”, it’s actually going to say, “Not secure,” but eventually, it’s going to actually show up in red, with kind of this warning sign. “Warning. Warning. Not secure. It’s not secure.” What should you do about this? All right. Here’s my take on this. Number one: Google is kind of pushing the issue with secure. Not 100% sure why they’re trying to push this.



It’s honestly, in reality, not that big of a deal. Most websites are not capturing a bunch of data, they’re just information websites; they don’t really need to be secure.  But Google is hinting at providing more search engine juice, or improving the search ranking of sites that have https. We don’t know if they’re actually doing that, or how much it will impact your search results. It’s really hard to say, but Google is definitely pushing the issue. The cost of this is maybe a couple hundred dollars a year to have it on your domain, to make it https, so if it’s not a big press for budget-wise, I would say go ahead and do it.

But when do you need to do it? Is it something, “Oh, I got to do this immediately. I got to drop everything and do this right now?” No. I would say, you don’t need to drop everything and do this right now. What we’re recommending for our clients and customers is, if we’re able to do it pretty easily right now and they’re fine with it, we’ll go ahead and upgrade them to the https.  But in general, we’re kind of watching it. Is it absolutely necessary for every single website? The fact is, no. It’s not. Google’s pushing it, but the challenge really is that people are going to get the impression that a website is not safe because of what they’re going to put in Google Chrome.

It’s really not necessarily true, but if it’s a concern for you and your website, and depending on how vital your website is to your business (which for a lot of business owners it is) then it’s kind of a simple process to get it set up and have it done, and then you won’t have to worry about it.

This is the big thing I wanted to share with you here in our Monthly Marketing Message for January. Just kind of one of the latest, greatest things that’s come upon us, and changes that Google is making, and just to make you aware of that.

I hope you found this helpful. If you have any questions about it, and you’d like to have some input on what kind of questions you like us to answer, just put that in the comments below this video. Whether that’s on YouTube, or Facebook, or wherever you might find it.

Key People to Add to Your Business Team

Monday, July 18, 2016
  By Kat Rico
  

You’re in business for yourself, yes, but you should never be in business by yourself. In order to be productive, you need a team of people behind you! Here are some key people we recommend that you have on your side for better and for worse while you’re in business (in no particular order).
  1. Accountant – You don’t have time to learn all of the tax and bookkeeping ins and outs, and you shouldn’t have to. Of course you should have a basic understanding of the concepts, but an accountant can help you figure out where your business might be hemorrhaging money, opportunities to save on taxes, and whether you have adequate cash flow to hire that first employee.

  2. Attorney – Things happen. Contracts go bad. Maybe you said something you shouldn’t have. Whatever the case, your attorney is there to help you and go to bat for you. They can also help you before you make a potentially bad decision by helping you select an entity type, review a lease, draw up a standard contract to use for jobs and more. Along with your accountant, your attorney can be a strong business ally. The best option is to have an attorney before you need one.

  3. Mentor – This is a person who has business experience, preferably in your industry, that you can bounce ideas off of and will give you constructive advice without sugarcoating reality. Your mentor needs to be someone who doesn’t have a stake in the business (so no investors), they only have a stake in your success. Meet them once in a while and catch up on the good, the bad and the ugly of how your business is doing. Don’t use your mentor just to vent or brag, but to learn about how you can do your business better. As a shameless plug for our services, this is the best area where the SBDC can help!

  4. Banker – Don’t just have a bank, but a banker. A real person you can call at your bank when you don’t understand a fee, need to buy some equipment or need to order checks. Communicate with them on a regular basis. Your banker is your friend and can alert you to potentially fraudulent activity, but only if they know how you normally spend your business money.

  5. Marketer - Your marketer should be able to help you identify who your customers are, how to reach them, and understand if you're reaching them. The best description we've heard comes courtesy of Larimer SBDC Social Media Specialist, Amy Alcorn, who told us, "Not having a marketing person for your business is like trying to flirt and winking in the dark." Don't invest money in advertising, online or otherwise, without talking to your marketer about your strategy.
Of course, there may be a couple of other people you want to regularly consult with about your business depending on your industry, but these are a good starting point to build a supportive network to help your business succeed.


North Metro Denver SBDC 2nd Quarter Update

Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Photos courtesy of Kim Liddard
By Kat Rico

On July 29th, the North Metro Denver SBDC held its second quarter consultant and facilitator training. Between the main Westminster office at Front Range Community College (FRCC), Brighton and Broomfield satellites, the North Metro Denver SBDC reported year to date consulting hours of 1,116, with reported 16 business starts, $799,000 in new capital formation, $1.2 million in increased sales and 38 jobs created through July 2015. 

During this meeting, two key players from the SBDC were recognized for their contributions towards these goals. Jon Jaggers, who was previously awarded “Consultant of the Year” in 2014 for the Colorado SBDC Network, was awarded “Consultant of the Year” by the North Metro Denver SBDC. He has been a crucial component in the developing manufacturing program that aims to help small businesses implement LEAN processes and secure better contracts, allowing these businesses to grow faster. 

Linda Kielian was recognized as the North Metro Denver SBDC “MVP.” She has been with the SBDC for about two years in a part-time capacity. Her efforts are largely behind the scenes, coordinating many of the administrative and financial processes that are needed to run classes, complete reporting and more. 

The North Metro Denver SBDC at FRCC is looking towards the future and the growth of the manufacturing program and our continued impact throughout 2015.  

Consultant Feature - Jesse Esparza

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Jesse Esparza has been consulting with the North Metro Denver SBDC for about 8 years now. He has a long and varied career that he draws upon during consulting sessions, as well as bilingual skills he puts to use teaching classes.

In the video embedded below, Jesse offers up some common hurdles for entrepreneurs to beware of as well as some great tips for getting started as a business owner.


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