Why You Should Upgrade from HTTP to HTTPS for Your Website
Google's endeavour to create a more secure web is well-known. Google occasionally discovers a new approach to urge website owners to become secure by:
- Declaring HTTPS a ranking signal (although a mild one, which may change in the future).
- Beginning indexing HTTPS pages demonstrating how switching to HTTPS has never been cheaper or easier.
- Marking all HTTP sites holding sensitive data as 'non-secure' in Chrome.
- While Google is giving you a shove and attempting to be as helpful as possible, there are numerous issues that might arise when upgrading a site from HTTP to HTTPS. Underestimating the difficulty can lead to disaster.
Many web development companies in the US have been upgrading their websites from HTTP to HTTPS and we will explore that today. For a smooth landing, you must carefully plan and test each step. This blog post will teach you the recommended practices and common traps to avoid during an HTTPS migration.
Table of Contents
What Exactly Is HTTPS?
HTTPS is an abbreviation for Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) communication with a 'S' at the end that stands for 'Secure.' By using HTTPS, you give three important layers of security to your users:
- Authentication prevents 'man-in-the-middle' attacks and ensures that one is talking with the intended website.
- By encrypting the data sent, encryption gives privacy. This prevents talks from being eavesdropped on and information from being taken.
- Data integrity protects data from being changed or corrupted inadvertently during transport.
Understanding HTTP and HTTPS
Before we get into the benefits of using HTTP and HTTPS, let's go through their actual functions. To transport data across the internet, the HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) protocol is used. Although it has done its job successfully in the past, it lacks the security elements essential for today's online environment. HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol secure) is the safe alternative of HTTP. The SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocols are used to encrypt data sent between the user's browser and the website's server.
The Importance of Security
Data Encryption: The encryption that HTTPS offers is one of the main arguments for upgrading. Encrypting data communicated between the user's device and the server is crucial for protecting sensitive information in the age of rising cyberattacks and data breaches.
User Trust: Users are exercising greater caution when using the internet. Their confidence that their data is secure is increased when they see the padlock icon and "Secure" label in the browser's address bar, which raises the authority of your website.
Google's Ranking Factor: Google's search algorithm takes HTTPS into account when determining rankings. When compared to websites that use HTTP, HTTPS websites are more likely to appear higher in search results. The visibility and organic traffic of your clients' websites may be considerably impacted by this.
Referral Data: Referral data may be lost when traffic moves from an HTTPS site to an HTTP site. This implies that you might be unable to identify the origin of your incoming traffic. Upgrade to HTTPS to guarantee that referral data is preserved.
Page Loading Speed: The speed at which your website loads can really be enhanced with HTTPS. Modern browsers favor HTTPS sites, which may result in quicker page loads. This is essential since a quicker website improves user experience and benefits SEO.
HTTP/2 Compatibility: HTTPS is necessary for the HTTP/2 protocol, which was created to improve website performance. In order to cut down on latency and speed up page load times, this protocol enables several requests and responses to be multiplexed over a single connection.
Future-Proofing: Chrome and Firefox, two popular online browsers, are now labeling HTTP sites as "Not Secure." By switching to HTTPS, you guarantee that your website will continue to be usable and accessible as browser security standards advance.
Security Warnings: Users who visit HTTP sites could notice cautionary messages that discourage them from entering the site. These cautions may deter potential consumers and visitors. By switching to HTTPS, you get rid of these obstacles.
Steps to Upgrade
1. Get an SSL/TLS certificate first: To get the required certificate for your website, work with a reputable Certificate Authority (CA). This certificate establishes the legitimacy of your website and permits secure communications.
2. Install the Certificate: Your web design team must install the SSL/TLS certificate on your server. This process may require configuration changes, but they are only required once.
3. Update Internal Links: To prevent problems with mixed material, make sure that all internal links and website resources utilize HTTPS URLs.
4. Update External Links: Make sure any external links on your website are HTTPS-secured. This keeps your users' surroundings consistently secure.
Staying on top of technological advances is critical for your clients' success as a US-based web design company. The transition from HTTP to HTTPS is no longer an option; it is now a need. Any website's evolution must include HTTPS due to its improved security, SEO advantages, improved performance, and browser compatibility. By making this change, you not only safeguard your clients' website visitors but also set them up for success in the digital era. Today, adopt HTTPS to establish a more reliable, quick, and secure online presence.