HTTP vs HTTPS
HTTP is an acronym for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol, is a system that is used to transmit and receive information from a server. Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol over which data is sent between your browser and the website that you are connected to. The 'S' at the end of HTTPS stands for 'Secure'. It means all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted. HTTPS is often used to protect highly confidential online transactions like online banking and online shopping order forms.
Web browsers such as Firefox, Internet Explorer and Chrome also display a padlock icon in the address bar to visually indicate that a HTTPS connection is in effect.
How Does HTTPS Work?
HTTPS pages typically use one of two secure protocols to encrypt communications –SSL (Secure Socket Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security). Both the TLS and SSL protocols use what is known as an 'asymmetric' Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) system. An asymmetric system uses two 'keys' to encrypt communications, a 'public' key and a 'private' key. Anything encrypted with the public key can only be decrypted by the private key and vice-versa.
As the names suggest, the 'private' key should be kept strictly protected and should only be accessible the owner of the private key. In the case of a website, the private key remains securely ensconced on the web server. Conversely, the public key is intended to be distributed to anybody and everybody that needs to be able to decrypt information that was encrypted with the private key.
What is a HTTPS certificate?
When you request a HTTPS connection to a webpage, the website will initially send its SSL certificate to your browser. This certificate contains the public key needed to begin the secure session. Based on this initial exchange, your browser and the website then initiate the 'SSL handshake'. The SSL handshake involves the generation of shared secrets to establish a uniquely secure connection between yourself and the website.
When a trusted SSL Digital Certificate is used during a HTTPS connection, users will see a padlock icon in the browser address bar. When an Extended Validation Certificate is installed on a web site, the address bar will turn green.
Why Is an SSL Certificate Required?
All communications sent over regular HTTP connections are in 'plain text' and can be read by any hacker that manages to break into the connection between your browser and the website. This presents a clear danger if the 'communication' is on an order form and includes your credit card details or social security number. With a HTTPS connection, all communications are securely encrypted. This means that even if somebody managed to break into the connection, they would not be able decrypt any of the data which passes between you and the website.
Benefits of Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure
● Security: HTTPS makes your website substantially more secure from hacking and other security breaches. As such, this is one of the biggest reasons to migrate from HTTP to HTTPS.
● Search Engine Optimization (SEO): HTTPS helps SEO by improving your site’s ranking in search engine results. If you’re now asking, “Okay, so what’s the SEO impact of migrating from HTTP to HTTPS?” Google’s got you covered. As per their update published a while ago on their official blog, security is a top priority for Google, and they promote HTTPS because it helps online businesses stay secure.
● Brand Trust: Just like home security system signs that people place on their front lawn, HTTPS builds trust with visitors. As a matter of fact, a survey conducted by Global Sign found that 77% of website visitors are concerned about their data being intercepted or misused online. Like those signs, it’s important to let your visitors know that their information will be secure on your site. With HTTPS comes trust, and with trust comes sales.
● Accurate Referral Traffic Data: If you’re using Google Analytics to track your website’s traffic and performance, an HTTP to HTTPS migration is a must. Why? Because in Google Analytics, HTTPS to HTTP referral data is blocked. This means that traffic from an HTTPS website to an HTTP website is not be visible under the referral traffic of the HTTP website, and all traffic from HTTPS websites are considered direct traffic.
As to the how, you’ll have to do a couple of preliminary things, such as drafting your site’s structure and preparing a list of your site’s pages, and crawling your site and checking the traffic status, back links, robots.txt file, and page speed (for before and after comparisons). You should also prepare a keyword ranking report for more comparisons.
With the preliminaries completed, you’ll have to get an SSL certificate that will make our site HTTPS compatible. For this, you have three versions (Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates, Organization Validation (OV) SSL Certificates, and Domain Validation (DV) SSL Certificates) and can choose one based on your security needs.
Blog by Saroj Bhattarai
Blog by Saroj Bhattarai