More than ever before, the time is right to make the jump to HTTPS if you haven’t already. HTTPS has grown in popularity quickly, with over 85% of websites now making use of the format. Starting in October, Google Chrome will mark results from non-HTTPS sites as not secure. This means your business will see significantly fewer clickthroughs and worse SEO rankings.
Swapping to HTTPS can provide many benefits. In terms of development it’s similar to HTTP so it’s extremely simple from a back-end perspective. Enhanced security and better SEO rankings are yours once you adopt the HTTPS framework.
HTTP Compared With HTTPS
HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is a commonly used structure to transfer and receive data through the internet. It is most frequently used to pull up HTML web pages. HTTP is viewed as an application layer protocol — that is to say that it exists to present data and information to the end user regardless of what channel it takes to accomplish. HTTP systems are stateless, meaning they use less data by forgetting earlier sessions.
HTTPS, also known as Secure HyperText Transfer Protocol, was created to enable secure purchases and other transactions through the web. The exchanging of information, like credit card numbers or other sensitive information, uses HTTPS to enable security to avert unauthorized access.
The primary difference between HTTP and HTTPS is that HTTPS is just a more secure version of HTTP. HTTPS follows all the same protocols as HTTP, so you can design your website the same way as the browser establishes a connection to servers through a standard port. HTTPS is more secure because it uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to transport information. HTTPS leverages TCP Port 443 by default, so, as a result, they use two entirely separate communications.
How Does SSL Help?
HTTPS works alongside another protocol, SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to securely communicate data in three distinct ways:
- Encryption: SSL encrypts all transferred data for enhanced security
- Increased Data Integrity: Data cannot be changed or corrupted in any way during its transfer
- Authentication: SSL allows users to be authenticated to ensure secure communication with the website
Similarly to how HTTP and HTTPS don’t differentiate on the path that information and data walks to get to its destination, SSL doesn’t discriminate based on how information is shown, but the HTTP format does. How does this distinction impact your choice of HTTP vs HTTPS? HTTPS gives you the best of both worlds: the data is beautiful and visually appealing to the end user, and you benefit from the increased security as the data moves around.
HTTPS Helps Your SEO
Because of the security benefits that HTTPS brings, if your site and a competitor are otherwise comparable and vying for the top spot on a keyword, you could edge them out and get the top spot. This is because Google’s algorithms prefer giving users the best possible experience. Security does play a role in that, so a more secure site is preferred over sites with inferior protection.
HTTPS Enhances Your Security
All websites, even if they don’t handle any form of sensitive information benefit from the increased security that HTTPS enables. HTTPS allows you to protect the overall integrity of your website by helping to mitigate against malicious intruders attempting to tamper with communications from your site and any visitors browsing in addition to safeguarding consumer privacy and security. These attacks are quite common, accounting for over 80% of data breaches between 2005 and 2011.
There are a wide range of benefits that you’ll gain by making your site more secure through switching to HTTPS. Most importantly, you’re better able to safeguard sensitive information and give you and your customers the peace of mind you’ll gain through knowing that the domain is protected against disasters like malicious ads or spyware injections into your website that are displayed to users when these communications aren’t safeguarded.
AMP Needs HTTPS
When you’re getting serious about searches, selling, or being found online by your potential consumers, you need to embrace mobile devices. Mobile responsive web design is absolutely critical to the successfulness of your website in today’s environment. Because of Google’s algorithms, AMP benefits websites that prioritize mobile friendly design and quick load times.
Google created AMP to make sure that content will load faster on all mobile devices. AMP verified content appears more prominently in Google’s search results and is intended for users who go online through their mobile devices. AMP plays a vital role in the optimization of websites for mobile use, and it requires HTTPS to work.
Increasingly, modern browsers and most progressive web apps require https to perform properly, so if you haven’t yet added https to your website, it could be only a matter of time before you have little choice in the matter.
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