HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is used by over 50% of all websites on the internet and is one of the most critical elements for the security of your website and your visitors. The two major functions of HTTPS for a website are to: 1. Encrypt and protect information sent between the user and the website 2. To validate the authenticity of the website. These are critical to protecting users online.
In recent times, HTTPS certificates have also weighed on SEO rankings. In 2014, Google released the HTTPS ranking boosts which gave a small rankings boost to HTTPS URLs, but Google has just announced that boost isn't going to get stronger
@dr_pete No. We revisited the idea a few months back but we decided against it.— Gary Illyes ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ (@methode) April 21, 2017
Regardless of this, these are 3 very important reasons you need to be using HTTPS on your website:
1. HTTPS protects the your site integrity
HTTPS prevents 3rd parties (legitimate or not) from interfering with communications between your site and your visitors browsers. These 3rd parties can be malicious or just annoying companies who want to inject ads into pages. The issue here is that this can trick your visitors into giving up information to these 3rd parties. As well as creating security vulnerabilities, it also can potentially break a well designed user experience. On the flip-side though, it can add to it. Users will be more trusting of a secure site.
2. HTTPS protects user privacy and security
Simply, HTTPS stops 3rd parties from passively listening to communication between your site and your visitors. A single visit to one HTTP site might seem harmless, but consider this, these 3rd parties then begin to make inference about this visitor's behavior and intention which could incidentally de-anonymise them.
3. HTTPS is the future
The fact that the number of sites with HTTPS is 50% is growing speaks for itself. Furthermore though, HTTPS is key to many permission based workflows such as geo-locators. These API's are being updated to reflect this.
Just in case that's not enough of a reason, later in the year Google will be adding a feature (in-Chrome only) to name and shame non-secure sites. Any site that has a form to fill out or search box will automatically have a "not secure" message appear. As we move towards a more secure web, there is more pressure on site owners to make their sites secure, but this in-turn will be rewarded on your search rankings. As with any website changes, a mistake can potentially be costly for your rankings so it's important you implement HTTPS correctly.
To avoid causing any site errors or mistake in moving to HTTPS, it's better to use an expert. We frequently move clients from HTTP to HTTPS and ensure new sites are correctly build around HTTPS. If you're one of the 50% of non-HTTPS sites, send us a message and let's make your site secure.
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