What Is HTTPS and Why Do I Need It for My Website? | Prairie Orchid Media

 

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What Is HTTPS and Why Do I Need It for My Website?

Do you use your phone or laptop with public WiFi, ex. at the coffee shop or airport? Most of us go online using WiFi at locations other than our home which may not be completely secure. But if the websites you are visiting are using the HTTPS protocol you can feel more secure (hint secure is part of the acronym HHTPS ?).

Beyond security, HTTPS can also help your SEO Ranking and increase trustworthiness with potential clients. If you don’t know how, read on…

 

What is HTTPS?

Since the beginning of websites, we have been using http:/ in front of our domain name – ex. http:/prairieorchidmedia.com. HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol and it is the primary protocol used to send data between a web browser and a website. The problem with the regular HTTP protocol is that the information that flows from server to browser is not encrypted, which means it can be easily stolen.  

So now we have HHTPS or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) which is the secure version of HTTP. HTTPS is encrypted so that the there is increased security of data transfer. This is really important if your website users are going to transmit sensitive data, such as logging into a bank account, entering form data or email service, especially if you are using public WiFi which may not be completely secure.

Users can identify whether a site uses HTTPS protocol by the web address of your website. The very first part of the web address (before the “www”) indicates whether the site uses HTTP or HTTPS protocols.

If your company website requires login credentials, it should be using HTTPS. With modern web browsers such as Chrome, websites that do not use HTTPS are marked differently than those that are. Look for a green padlock in the URL bar to signify the webpage is secure. Web browsers take HTTPS seriously; Google Chrome and other browsers flag all non-HTTPS websites as not secure.

Why Use HTTPS Protocol?

If your website isn’t currently using HTTPS protocol, then you need to put this to the top of your website edit checklist. That important HTTPS tells your website visitors that they’re interacting with the proper server and nothing else can alter or capture the content they’re viewing.

Without HTTPS a hacker can change information on the page to gather personal information from your site visitors. For example, they could steal login information and passwords from users.

How Can HTTPS Help My SEO Rankings?

And since I’ve talked a lot about SEO in my previous posts, I would just like to go there again - HTTPS protocol will also improve your search ranking. Google rewards sites that switched to HTTPS by giving them a small bump in rankings, but this can also boost your website’s ranking over time because visitors will be more likely to browse through sites that they know are secure.

Using HTTPS on your website makes Google Analytics more effective because the security data of the website that referred to you are saved with the use of HTTPS but it’s not with HTTP sites. With HTTP sites, referral sources will just appear as “direct traffic”. Just another great reason to use HTTPS with your website.

HTTPS Helps Build Your Trustworthiness

Because an HTTPS site encrypts all communication, visitors will have protection on not only their sensitive information, like passwords and credit card information, but also their browsing history. Knowing that they will retain their privacy while browsing your site and knowing that anything that they download, sign up for or purchase won’t put them at risk due to a lack of security is going to help you to build trust, which is vital to capturing leads and closing sales.

Additionally, HTTPS protects your site from security breaches, which can end up damaging your reputation and even costing you money if they do occur.

Visitors can see if your website is secure or not as soon as they enter your site. This means your website is secure and trustworthy. When they visit your site, they’ll see this next to the URL:

Secure HTTPS web address

If the website is not secure, you will see the lock crossed out (like below). The URL in the web browser will look like this:

not secure website

We want our visitors (potential customers) to feel safe when they’re browsing our website.

SSLs and How They Increase Your Security Game!

You can take your website security one step further by combining your HTTPS with an SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate. This is required for ecommerce websites because users are submitting sensitive information like credit card numbers, names, and addresses.

SSL certificates encrypt the communication between the server and the user’s web browser. This added layer of encryption keeps your website safe (though it can’t prevent attacks or malware distribution). Even if you’re not selling anything on your website, adding an SSL certificate to website is a great way to add security and help your visitors see that you are trustworthy.

If your company’s website isn’t currently using HTTPS protocol, then let’s chat. This is something really important for your website’s security and SEO ranking. Having the HTTPS before your website domain lets your website visitors know that they’re interacting with the proper server and nothing else can change or capture the content they’re viewing.

If you need any help adding HTTPS or SSL to your existing wesbite or developing your company website – let’s chat. We would love to hear from you - please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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