What Is Https And How Can It Benefit Your Website?

At a passing glance, you might notice very little difference between the following 2 URLs:

https://yourwebsite.com
http://yourwebsite.com

Indeed, there is very little that stands out. Only one letter in fact. And how important can one letter really be? The answer … very! That small “s” that comes before the start of your domain can offer a number of significant benefits to your site, so it’s important you have it in place. But before we dig into more about the actual benefits of https, here’s a little definition.

2nd October 2018

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes, 20 seconds.

What is https?

It stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. Does that answer all your questions? Probably not! Simply put, https creates an encrypted link between your website and your browser. This will then help protect your visitors from very dangerous attacks on your site. These attacks occur when somebody attempts to come between your site and the server.

The sorts of information people might wish to steal includes things like credit card details and login details. You may have also heard of another anocrym, SSL, being used alongside https. Well, that’s because they are very closely intertwined. SSL, or SSL certificate, is what you are paying money for in order to create a secure link between your website and your server. Https is what you are left with afterwards.

When did https become important?

Https has become increasingly important over the years as internet hackers have become more and more sophisticated. If you are visiting a website that does not include an SSL certificate and you are buying something, you run the risk of passing on this information to a middle-man. However, it is mostly the last couple of years that have led to https becoming the internet norm.

Secure online shopping with https

What is https?

It stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. Does that answer all your questions? Probably not! Simply put, https creates an encrypted link between your website and your browser. This will then help protect your visitors from very dangerous attacks on your site. These attacks occur when somebody attempts to come between your site and the server.

The sorts of information people might wish to steal includes things like credit card details and login details. You may have also heard of another anocrym, SSL, being used alongside https. Well, that’s because they are very closely intertwined. SSL, or SSL certificate, is what you are paying money for in order to create a secure link between your website and your server. Https is what you are left with afterwards.

When did https become important?

Https has become increasingly important over the years as internet hackers have become more and more sophisticated. If you are visiting a website that does not include an SSL certificate and you are buying something, you run the risk of passing on this information to a middle-man. However, it is mostly the last couple of years that have led to https becoming the internet norm.

Firstly, internet users are becoming increasingly savvy. And if they use your site to purchase something or enter their personal details, they will likely check first to see if your site is secure. As well as this, most browsers have officially rolled out a rule whereby any sites that do not include https will now flag up as “Not Secure” in the address bar.

The benefits of https for your website

Enabling https is not actually mandatory. There are no internet police out there that will shut your site down if you fail to have https and instead use http. Well, not yet at least! However, making the switch is generally considered a very wise move. In fact, here are the top 5 benefits https can bring to your website.

1. It provides a safer experience

First and foremost, you should care about the quality of your site to the general public. And including https is a simple way to help prevent against a whole host of online threats. As discussed throughout, https secures the connection between your browser and the server. So, though it doesn’t remove all threats, it will certainly provide a safer experience for everyone.

2. It can help your rankings

Https has now been a ranking factor since 2014, and it’s hardly surprising. Google has made it clear that they only wish to provide search results that are good quality, safe and that actually answer the searcher’s query. Having https on your site, as opposed to http, is a sure-fire way to give your site a quick rankings boost.

3. It removes any “Not Secure” warnings

Let’s face it, those “Not Secure” warnings at the top of a http page are hideous. They are also pretty scary! Even if you are on such a page just to read a small block of text and leave, that warning will make you want to jump to another site almost immediately. So, even if there is no threat, that warning alone will deter much of the traffic to your site.

4. It can make your site load more quickly

Having a website that loads quickly is, in itself, important for a number of reasons. Such as helping to increase traffic to your site and to also improve your rankings. Well, a number of studies have taken place which shows that Google is able to load https pages faster than http ones. In some cases, up to 70% faster!

5. More customers!

What do all of these benefits lead to? Ultimately, more customers. Regardless of what service you provide and what the purpose of your site is, https will help. If it’s an eCommerce store, then the increased security will immediately lead to more sales. If you want people to trust your brand and enquire about your services, then you have a better chance of achieving this through https.

How do you enable https?

Https can be installed on any website. And how difficult it is to do will depend on a number of things. Such as which platform you’ve used to build and host your site. In most cases, you will have to follow a 5-step process. This includes:

1. Set up hosting for your website
2. Purchase an SSL certificate
3. Activate your SSL certificate
4. Install it on your site
5. Make the switch from http to https

If you wish to install https on your own, then this guide might help you out. Alternatively, you may find it much better to work with a web developer who includes https as standard in all of the builds they do. Which just so happens to be our approach here at Element Media.

Securing your site today

We understand the importance of https and having SSL in place. In the long run, it can allow you to build up higher quantities of organic traffic and sales far more easily than without. As such, it is one of the standard features we offer on all new builds. If your website is an eCommerce store, then we also recommend installing a dedicated SSL for eCommerce.

We also offer what is known as Wildcard SSL. This is perfect for any websites that contain a number of different subdomains. For example, you might have “forum.yoursite.com”, “login.yoursite.com” and “blog.yoursite.com”. Wildcard SSL provides a fully secure connection between your browser and your server, regardless of how many subdomains you have.

This can be a little more expensive, but is certainly worth the little extra. Especially when you look at the peace of mind it brings your customers and the added sales you will benefit from. If you’d like to find out more about either our standard SSL or Wildcard SSL services, then please do contact our team today.

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