Http and https, you have come across these at the prefix of URL of websites. Did you wonder though, why some URLs have HTTP others https? If you have been using the internet for some time you would have noticed; prior to August 2014, almost all the websites had HTTP with the exception of e-commerce websites.
Over the last few years, there has been a massive shift from HTTP to HTTPS. This is due to Google’s announcement in 2014 to provide a ranking boost to websites using the https protocol. As everyone wants to rank higher, there was a massive transformation within a quick time.
What are Http and Https?
Http is an abbreviation for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. At the basic level, it allows communication between your browser and the website you visit.
The https abbreviation stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. Https facilitates the transfer of data from the web server to your browser; however, unlike HTTP, the data is secured through encryption, which prevents malicious manipulation of your precious data. An SSL (secure socket layer) certificate is used to secure the communication between the browser and the web server in the HTTPS protocol.
The SSL certificate digitally binds a cryptographic key to the organization’s name and location. After installing it on the web server, the https protocol is activated and allows a secure connection. There are three types of SSL certificates – domain validation, organization validation, and extended validation.
An SSL certificate is a basic difference between HTTP and HTTPS. Google gives SEO boost to websites using HTTPS because of its goal of making search friendly for people and this is another step in that direction.
Dangers of Unsecured HTTP Protocols
With everyone becoming wizards of the internet, malpractice has become prevalent, even more so with HTTP protocol due to its lack of security. With an HTTP connection, an entity with malicious intent can modify or read the webpage even before you see it, putting your valuable information at risk.
The data sent over HTTP is not secure as there is no encryption in place making it easy for the third party to intercept the connection between the two systems – web browser and web server – and gather data.
Imagine a situation, you logged into a website with HTTP , and while you are logging-in someone gets hold of your login credentials. These can be your bank details, you can imagine what will happen next, and how disastrous this can be. It is not just the bank information that is at risk. Identity theft is one of the most common crimes on the web, if you share personal information on an unsecured HTTP website, there is a high chance your personal data may be stolen.
How HTTPS Protocol Protects your Website?
Unlike the cousin HTTP, HTTPS provides secure connections through encryption and authentication between your browser and the web server. It keeps your personal information safe from tampering and eavesdropping. Everything from conducting a baking transaction to communicating with the friend on social media is protected under the HTTPS protocol where the website uses an SSL certificate. In HTTPS protocol, your data is encrypted before sending it to the web server, at the server end the data and decrypted. HTTPS is a highly secure connection and ideal for anyone looking to preserve the privacy of their website visitors.
How HTTP and HTTPS are Different?
An SSL certificate is the main differentiating factor between HTTP and HTTPS. Without an SSL certificate, an HTTPS is the HTTP protocol. However, this certificate makes all the difference, it is essential to securing customer data such as credit card information, identity, and more. Let us look at some of the major differences that the two protocols offer.
|Protocol||This is hypertext transfer protocol||It is a hypertext transfer protocol with secure|
|Security||The data in HTTP is vulnerable to hackers||HTTPS is designed to be secure with the implementation of SSL certificate|
|Port||By default, HTTP uses port 80||HTTPS uses port 443 by default|
|Use||The HTTP protocol is suitable for blogs where the platform facilitates the consumption of information||Any website that collects the personal information of users such as credit card data, personal information, etc. should use the HTTPS|
|Scrambling||Scrambling of data does not occur in HTTP, the reason why its highly insecure||In HTTPS, data is scrambled before transmission and descrambled at the receivers end|
|Protocol||HTTP operates on TCP/IP||HTTPS uses the same protocol but with TLS/SSL encrypted connection|
|Google Search||HTTP does not affect the search ranking||HTTPS improves the search ranking|
|Speed||Faster than HTTPS||Slower due to SSL handshake|
|Domain Name Validation||No requirement of SSL certificate||SSL certification is a must|
|Data Encryption||In HTTP data is not encrypted||Data is encrypted|
|Vulnerability||Vulnerable to attacks||Secure by design|
Why HTTPS is Vital for your Website?
As the owner of a website, you should make your website as secure as possible and installing an SSL certificate is a huge leap in that direction. You might be thinking that since you are neither selling nor collecting information, your site does not require the SSL security.
However, apart from being secure, installing an SSL certificate has several other advantages for a website. Having SSL is very healthy for SEO. Here are some ways in which an SSL certificate can help improve your SEO.
Increase the Ranking of your Website
As mention a few times within the blog, Google has itself made the announcement that websites with HTTPS will rank higher than HTTP in the search. Users are more likely to visit a website that has HTTPS, which will increase the ranking of the website in the long run.
Preserve Referrer Data
Google Analytics can be used more effectively when you have HTTPS; the security data of the website that referred you is saved. In HTTP, this will just show as ‘direct traffic’. This provides a big advantage for websites in SEO.
Build Trust with Visitors
Trust is significant in generating leads and conversions on the internet. HTTPS will ensure the visitors that the information they share with your website is secure. This will boost their confidence to conduct transactions with your website.
Create a Mobile-friendly Website
You must have heard of mobile-first indexing. Google is shifting its attention from desktop to mobile devices. It is changing the way it ranked websites and for your website to have a good raking, a mobile-friendly website is pivotal. AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is a technology introduced by Google that allows the user to load web pages on mobile devices at a much faster rate. You can only use AMP if your website has HTTPS. Therefore, shifting from HTTP to HTTPS is essential if you want to rank higher in Google search or maintain your position.
Migrate from HTTP to HTTPS
If you are not already using HTTPS, then, it is high time you do so. If your website is selling something or gathering any type of customer information, it is essential. The shift is quite easy, you should talk to your hosting company to issue and install the SSL certificate for you, redirect the traffic from HTTP to HTTPS with no effort.
You can also purchase the SSL certificate for a third-party company. Several companies provide an SSL certificate and you can choose one that suits your requirements best. You can also use some free SSL certificates provided by companies.
After purchasing the SSL certificate, manually install the certificate to your FTP and set up a redirect.
Without the SSL certificate, HTTPS is HTTP. However, the SSL certificate is essential for a website in many aspects – the primary being SEO. Data transferred over https is secure from theft. To use the AMP feature on your website, you require https on your website. Therefore, moving your website from http to https has several advantages that we have discussed in the blog. Apart from that, topics such as the difference between http and https, benefits of https for websites, etc. are extensively covered. For more about SEO and tactics, visit SEO Brisbane.