The upcoming version 90 of Chrome uses https:// in the address bar by default, which greatly improves security and loading speed. HTTPS adoption has risen significantly over the past six years after Google announced in 2014 that HTTPS would be used as a ranking signal in search results.
In February 2021, W3Techs found that 82.2% of websites are using a valid SSL certificate. Today, over 98% of pages loaded in Chrome use HTTPS as the default protocol, making this change to using HTTPS as the default for highly anticipated navigation.
Currently, every time a user posts a site in the address bar without specifying the protocol, such as “example.com”, Chrome defaults to HTTP and then has to retry for HTTPS. The update in Chrome 90 is good news for Chrome users, as it improves loading speed for sites that support HTTPS by removing the redirect loop after the first load. A gif on the Chromium blog illustrates this in a nice way:
Those using Chrome Canary will have access to experiments to try it out before the release of version 90. Navigate to the following URL to mark the experimental feature as enabled. WordPress site owners will want to ensure that their sites use HTTPS to take advantage of the speed boost this change brings.
Thankfully, for those who haven’t migrated yet, the latest version 5.7 makes it easy to update at the click of a button. WordPress can detect if the site’s hosting environment supports HTTPS and then provides a one-click update process through the Site Health screen.
It even covers rewriting mixed content where possible so site owners don’t have to worry about a lot of broken links after migrating. Chrome 90 went into beta in mid-March. The stable release is scheduled for 20 days after the beta on April 13, 2021.