Whether or not your business should use an HTTP or HTTPS is no longer a question. The answer is HTTPS. This hasn’t always been the case. Up until recently this hasn’t necessarily been the case. Let’s take a look at the reason why that is the case.
HTTP vs HTTPS
You may be wondering, what exactly is the difference between the two. The short answer is an HTTPS is encrypted. When a website has an HTTP, third parties can view the information from the people using the website. The information is unencrypted and therefore accessible to anyone with the right technological expertise. The opposite is true for an HTTPS. The information contained therein is encrypted. This means that any information a user inputs into the website is encrypted and their information secure.
Google has actually begun rewarding websites for making the switch to an HTTPS.
Why it’s important to make the switch:
Making the switch is important for protecting your users. There are a few other reasons why you should make the switch as well.
- Google has started penalizing websites that do not use HTTPS. The way they do this is by marking websites as unsafe or unsecure and will eventually lose their position in the search results. Google has also announced that HTTPS is a ranking factor for their search algorithm.
- In 2017, Google Chrome web browser started showing a “not secure” warning when users started filling out a simple contact form. If you depend on your website to generate leads and sales, it is important that your users feel safe in doing so.
- In a time when hacking and data breaches are commonplace, people need to have a sense of safety in their online dealings. When a visitor sees that your site is secure, it gives them the confidence they need to proceed with your website knowing that their information is secure.
How to make the switch to HTTPS
Now that you know the why, let’s jump into the how of the process.
The process is a little more than just deciding you are switching and then adding an ‘s’. There are a few steps to take to make the switch.
- You will need to purchase an SSL certificate. You can find them pretty reasonably priced at around $10 a year. Be aware that some places will try to charge you an arm and a leg.
- Unless you know what you are doing, you will most likely have to pay your web hosting company or a web developer to install the certificate for you.
- You need to notify google that you have converted your site to an HTTPS. Being proactive in this step eliminates having to wait on Google to figure out that your site is converted so that they can re-index your site in their search database.
The bottom line is that while there are some steps to take to make the process happen, it is a necessary one that will further your company to growth and create a confidence in your company from your users.