What exactly is HTTPS?

HTTPS encrypts the connection to the website. You’ve probably seen it: in the browser’s address bar, check for the lock symbol on the left. Is it locked? Then the link is safe. Is it open, or has it an icon or message? So it’s not safe. Using a non-secure connection exposes your password and email address to hackers and criminals. Here, I’ll define HTTPS and discuss its importance in SEO.


What does the “https” prefix in a web URL indicate?

A secure connection is established between the web server and the browser on the mobile device you are using when you see the https symbol. By checking at the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) in the web address bar of your browser, you may quickly identify web servers that have https setup. HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, and it is a mix of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and the Secure Socket Layer (SSL)/Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol suites. TLS (Transport Layer Security) is an authentication and security technology that is extensively used in browsers and Web servers. SSL operates by encrypting data exchanged over an SSL connection using a public key that is made available to the public. SSL is supported by the vast majority of web browsers. It enables you to connect with the web server in a safe manner.

What is the difference between HTTP and HTTPS?

When you enter a URL in the search field, your browser contacts the site. Let’s sat your IP address is in this case. This is the unique address that a website receives when it goes live on the internet. The browser establishes a connection with this number in the aim of finding the proper website. There is no encryption to be seen, allowing anybody to intercept this information. As a result, when you attempt to log into a website using an HTTP connection, the information you provide – your username and password – is sent in plain text. That, believe me, is not a good sign. Consider what would happen if you attempted to connect to your bank in this manner.

This procedure is protected by HTTPS. When the browser and the website communicate, it encrypts the connection between the two. No one can intercept the information exchanged between them. A so-called SSL certificate is required by any website that wishes to protect its visitors’ information. The browser validates the authenticity of the site’s certificate and confirms its legality with the business that provided the certificate. By clicking on the lock symbol, you may discover who issued the certificate, which is useful information. By encrypting your login method and personal data, websites can better protect what you do on their sites and which websites you visit.

HTTPS is required not just for website security. Also for sites that want to switch to HTTP/2, a newer, safer, and much quicker internet protocol than HTTP. HTTP/2 incorporates a number of innovative technologies that significantly speed up the loading time of websites.

What is the advantage to your average consumer?

On the internet, everyone has the right to be anonymous. We are doing so many mission-critical activities on the internet these days that we need to take advantage of whatever security we can get our hands on. An increasing number of websites are making the switch to HTTPS encryption. According to the statistics provided by Let’s Encrypt, at the time of writing, an average of 70 % of the websites that Firefox loads are delivered via HTTPS. Even if you run the bakery down the street and never send or ask for important information through your website, this is something that every website needs.

What is the effect of this to SEO?

In 2014, Google stated that HTTPS would be used as a ranking indicator in its search results. Google says that turning on your SSL certificate will give your website a small ranking boost today. Although rankings are important, it is also important to consider the user experience and build trust with your potential clients. On top of that, HTTPS is becoming more important for almost every new online development, from ways to improve speed to progressive web apps, and this trend is only going to get bigger over time. We are inexorably moving toward a fully HTTPS-only online environment. As a result, it is critical that your site implement the change as soon as possible, rather than later.

With the release of Chrome version 68 in January 2018, Google started marking all HTTP sites as “not secure.” Following their example, many other browsers did the same. Users will notice immediately if your site does not have an HTTPS connection. Don’t forget that it’s quite simple to frighten away potential guests! What if you saw a notification like the “not secure” one in the image below and decided to go to a competitor’s site instead of staying on your own?

Make the move to HTTPS

red_backround_with_scrabble letters_SECURE
https:// secure

Changing from HTTP to HTTPS was a significant task just a few years ago. Some large sites took years to implement it because of the many obstacles it presented, such as performance concerns and the cost/benefit analysis. In our modern times, it is doable. By making a list ahead of time, you can make sure you don’t forget anything important during the process of moving.

Anyone who wants to protect their website may take advantage of the Let’s Encrypt initiative, which provides free certificates to anyone who desires to do so. A few web hosts even provide free Let’s Encrypt services, which make the process of installing a certificate as simple as possible. That, however, is just one element of the whole picture. More information on recommended practices may be found on Google’s Secure your site with HTTPS page.

There’s no reason why your site shouldn’t be served securely. In the past few years, HTTPS has become more important, and it has become easier to switch your site to HTTPS.

By Sarah Kuhn

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