HTTP vs HTTPS? Why You Need To Switch Now
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Do you own a website or plan to have one?
If so, I guess you probably have heard people telling you to switch your website from the usual HTTP to HTTPs.
Many people cite Google’s recent announcement that failure to switch could have a negative effect on your ranking and traffic. But what does it really mean to switch from HTTP to HTTPS? While the business owners may be concerned with the question of whether or not the stress of switching from HTTP to HTTPS is really worth it, it may sound a little strange to the new site owners, and almost like a foreign language. So just to help clear up some misunderstanding, we shall begin by looking at what HTTPS is and why it is important that you make the switch especially now with google chrome blocking non HTTPS websites. We shall be comparing the HTTP vs HTTPS features later on. Let’s get started with the question;
‘What is HTTPS?’
What is an SSL Certificate and why do you need it?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. An SSL certificate is essentially a piece of software that is installed on a server to facilitate encryption. The Code on SSL, sometimes called Transport Layer Security (TLS), is used to send the information back and forth to create a secure encrypted connection between the web server and the web browser. SSL certificate is essentially issued by trusted third parties called certification authorities in order to be trusted by browsers such as OpenTrust, Geotrust, Comodo, and Symantec. Websites now have a Secure/Not Secure binary that labels based on their SSL implementation.
Basically, you need SSL because:
- SSL Encrypts Sensitive Information
- SSL Provides Authentication
- SSL Provides Trust
- SSL is required for Payment Card Industry (PCI) Compliance especially for the e-commerce sites
No one like’s alerts or red screens, most commonly these pages will show up when going to a web address if there is not an active SSL certificate on the website.
Why do you have to care about HTTPS?
Until recently, HTTPS was used only by e-commerce sites for their payment pages. But with the geometric growth of the internet, there is the need for web security. Any data passed is insecure and prone to hackers without HTTPS. This is especially important for sites where sensitive data is passed across the connection, such as sites that require users to enter their credentials in addition to the e-commerce sites that accept online card payments.
The HTTPS protocol and impact on SEO
Now, let’s talk about the consequences for SEO. Though authentication by a certification authority does not guarantee that you progress mechanically in the organic search results, it is indeed one of the many criteria taken into account by Google algorithm. You will probably lose an asset against your competitors by not adopting the HTTPS. For business owners, this could mean less traffic and less business. At this point, we should be able to figure the key difference between HTTP and HTTPS in terms of security. But by way of comparison, we shall be considering other features as we look at the question;
What is the Difference Between HTTP and HTTPS features?
Below are some of the features of HTTP and HTTPS protocols
- No SSL certificates are required for HTTP
- HTTP URL in your browser’s address bar is HTTP://
- HTTP sends data over port 80
- HTTP operates at the application layer
- HTTP doesn’t require domain validation
- No encryption in HTTP which makes the site insecure and prone to hackers
- HTTPS it is required that you have an SSL certificate and it is signed by a CA.
- HTTPS uses port 443.
- HTTPS operates at the transport layer.
- HTTPS URL is HTTPS://.
- HTTPS requires at least domain validation. Certain certificates would require legal document validation.
What Does It Cost?
With certain hosts, they include an SSL into their hosting plan. Bluehost, for example, is one of those platforms that already include it into your package – for no additional cost. When you’re looking at hosts check to see if they include this, or what the cost is for it – if there even is one.
GoDaddy, for example, does not include this in their managed hosting package – an SSL is an additional $70/year & you can’t use a third-party provider like that of Cloudflare.
As a website owner, security is one aspect you need to consider if you want to gain the trust and confidence of your visitors. The recent change from HTTP to HTTPS protocol is Google’s way of ensuring the security of the internet and curbing different forms of hacking which is on the increase. To secure your site and encrypt the data, you must have an SSL certificate which is issued by trusted third parties called certification authorities.
If you are still lost on this process, I would be happy to help you get everything switched over and viewable by potential clients.
Our Trusted Providers
All of our clients websites are hosted on Bluehost – unless they have something else set up. It by far is our most favorite provider. Besides providing an affordable plan for hosting for as little as $3.95/month, you also get a free domain (if you don’t already have one), and even at the basic plan, you get 5 free email addresses!
Plugins & Support
WPMUDev has been a staple in every one of the websites we have developed. This package of plugins has everything from security (Defender), to image optimization, to page caching…the list goes on….111 plugins that is.
For all of our online booking we use Acuity. This platform allows us to make booking appointments easy for us, and for clients. We can elect to have different types of appointments, as well as if we wanted to do classes – this platform allows for classes to be booked.
We were going between MULTIPLE websites just to maintain my clients, their invoices, emails, where they are at in their design/site, then we were introduced to Dubsado. This LIFESAVER of a website has it all in one place, and allows you to do a lot of automation with prewritten emails, and auto-populate contracts.