The Pellucid Perspective - July 2019 - 9

DUMB QUESTIONS

"Does my course website need to be secure?"
By Harvey Silverman

I

n my previous stint as a contributor to the Pellucid Perspective I wrote several articles about golf course websites and
companies that built and hosted them. One article exposed
Coursetrends as a website company that had procured the URLs
for many clients, often without the clients' permission or awareness, and then Coursetrends would hold the URL for ransom
if the client decided to change providers. My point then was to
make clear the asset value of a URL and why giving someone else
control was a huge mistake. You can read that article here: (can
we find the link?)
During research for an ongoing project I visited a number of
golf course websites. My nerdy instincts always take my eyes to
the URL bar first, for two reasons. I like to see how golf courses
describe their brand in the URL (golfcourse, gc, cc, golfclub, golf,
countryclub are the most common); and to see if the site is secure
indicated by "https" rather than "http."
What I saw stopped me in my tracks.
Included among those golf-centric websites without the
"https" header are golf management companies, a major golf association, and your everyday daily fee and municipal golf courses.
Hosting companies include EZLinks (Coursetrends) and Cybergolf (the company hosting the website in the image below). Take
a look - we've blocked out the identity as best we can.
The URL bar should look like this if secure:

Checking with the proprietor of the Internet Golf Course
Database (IGDB) Mike Dickoff, he estimates that 20% of the
golf course websites he's cataloged are not secure.
So the big question you're asking yourself as you scratch your
head (or whatever else you scratch when you ponder) is, "Do I

www.PellucidCorp.com

need a "https" website URL?"
The answer is an unequivocal, YES! I'll repeat that: YES!!!!
Just Google "Does my website need an SSL certificate" or
"Does my website need https" and up will pop page after page
of articles. They all pretty much say the same thing, and there are
two key reasons why.
Your website needs any SSL certificate If you're asking for
any personal information, like in the image above ( Join our
email club). But that's not all there is to it. Maybe more important is how search engines are cracking down on perceived
'non-secure' websites. Any websites without the SSL certificate will remain http while those with encryption will show
https in users' browsers. Chrome, Firefox and other browsers
issue warnings that non-https sites are insecure. Additionally,
Google recently announced SSL is a ranking signal, so unless
you have SSL your site will be harder to find, impacting on
your traffic and revenue.
Who's minding the store? It should be your website provider.
We checked in with Ryan Wood, CEO of 1-2-1 Marketing and
the provider of the Pellucid website (and hundreds of others).
Ryan told us, "We enable SSLs by default for all new sites and
current sites. This was a big project of ours a couple years ago
to convert everyone to use an SSL after Google started issuing
warnings it would affect rankings and was a new best practice.
We maintain them with a script that auto renews them every 90
days.  This is something we monitor, and our clients need not be
concerned."
And here's another thing: SSL certificates are FREE! I'll repeat that: FREE!!!!
In other words, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever not to
have an SSL certificate and https header on your URL. None. To
borrow a phrase, just do it.
n

The Pellucid PersPecTive

9


https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201210/index.php?startid=9&qs=CourseTrend#/8 https://www.silverbackgolfmarketing.com http://www.PellucidcorP.com

The Pellucid Perspective - July 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - July 2019

TOC
Does enjoyment trump time & money?
Golfertainment; Drive Shack vs. TopGolf
“Does my course website need to be secure?”
June: Another underwhelming performance
Weather disappoints, rounds lag disappointment
DC golf like politics, fragile coalitions
Light month as industry hits mid-season
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2019 - TOC
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2019 - Does enjoyment trump time & money?
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2019 - 3
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2019 - 4
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2019 - 5
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2019 - Golfertainment; Drive Shack vs. TopGolf
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2019 - 7
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2019 - 8
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2019 - “Does my course website need to be secure?”
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2019 - June: Another underwhelming performance
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2019 - 11
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2019 - Weather disappoints, rounds lag disappointment
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2019 - 13
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2019 - DC golf like politics, fragile coalitions
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2019 - 15
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2019 - Light month as industry hits mid-season
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