If you run a website or are planning to start one, you have a lot of considerations. The design aspect, functionality, navigation, menus, etc. And then there’s the safety aspect. You might have heard about HTTPS and this article will tell you why it's important.
You might know that HTTP means hypertext transfer protocol. The S in HTTPS stands for secure which comes from the added protection of a Secure Socket Layer (SSL).
An SSL encrypts the connection between your website and the user’s browser in a similar fashion to a VPN but the use of an encryption certificate. When SSL is in use, the visitors to your site will see a padlock icon next to the URL of your website in the address bar. This shows that the site is secure and they can continue browsing your services safely.
Notice that VPNBase uses HTTPS for every page.
There are many reasons for using HTTPS instead of just HTTP. While security is the main advantage, it’s not the only one. Let’s look at some reasons why you should get HTTPS instead of HTTP.
Since cyber-attacks have increased in severity, people have started taking their security more seriously evidenced by the growth of the VPN market. Whether you have an eCommerce store and keep your customers’ financial information or just collect email addresses for newsletters, you need to make sure all customer data is safe and secure.
If you want to give your customers their peace of mind and want to assure them that their financial or other details are safe with you, you need to use HTTPS. While HTTPS doesn’t mean that their details absolutely cannot be hacked, it does offer an additional layer of security.
Most websites that appear on the first page of search engines such as Google use HTTPS. Google prefers websites that offer HTTPS security to their visitors. Since people trust Google’s search results, it’s the responsibility of the search engine to deliver results of safe sites only.
If you want your website to rank high on Google, make sure you offer security to your users. If your site isn’t secure enough, it will soon get outranked by your competitors that have HTTPS on their websites.
If a customer comes to your website and they understand that your website has taken all steps to secure their financial details, they will feel more confident with the purchase. Using SSL certificates can help boost your conversion rates.
Browsers such as Google Chrome label HTTP sites as insecure despite this being the standard format of the web for a long time. When a user tries to open a non-HTTPS website, their browser will tell them that the connection isn’t secure. As a result, a lot of people will skip visiting the website and go to the competitor instead.
While a lot of people are still unaware of the importance of HTTPS, if their browser tells them that the connection is insecure they'll take that as the truth.
In contrast, seeing a padlock sign in the address bar will assure customers that your website takes their security seriously and this will build a better brand image for you.
HTTPS doesn’t just boost your results on computers and desktops, it also enhances your website’s performance on mobile platforms.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) play an important role in mobile SEO. These are pages optimized for mobile devices that load really quickly. If you want your website to be labeled as AMP, you’ll need SSL.
HTTPS Is Better Than HTTP
No matter which reason you select to get HTTPS for your website, just keep in mind that it’s way better than HTTP. And in coming years, as more and more websites adopt HTTPS, Google will start penalizing the websites that don't use SSL certificates.
By making your website encrypted, you can show that your business is reliable and cares for its customers. And when you do this, Google will believe that your website has relevant content and is free of suspicious activity.
These certificates can be bought directly from the hosting company. They can also be bought from third parties but it’s always more convenient to buy your hosting company.
Ask your hosting company and they will install the certificate for you. If you bought the certificate from a third party, you’ll need to install it on your own.
Before you go live with the new version, make sure you check all the internal links. Since the new site will be HTTPS, make sure the old links don’t point to an HTTP version. This will not just confuse the audience, but will also be bad for your SEO.
You need to redirect all HTTP traffic to your new HTTPS website. You can do this with a CMS plugin.
With these steps, you can turn your HTTP website to an HTTPS website.
Keep in mind that for a modern user, branding is all about trust.
If you want a positive brand image, you need to show your customers that you care about them. And you can do that by using HTTPS.