If you are on the internet a lot, you’ve probably noticed it at least once. HTTP websites have been around for decades. You identify them by the set of letters you see at the beginning of a website URL but what exactly is HTTP?
HTTP is short for hypertext transfer protocol and refers to a set of rules related to the transfer of your web pages to the user’s web browser. When a user enters your URL, the browser talks to the server to download the files that are required for your website to show up on the user’s browser. This interaction between the browser and your website’s server is all done in “plain text” so a third party application can listen into the conversation. This becomes a problem with a HTTP website when users are sending personal information. To protect sensitive data, you need to know how to make website https to make it secure.
HTTPS sites encrypt information sent to the browser through a special SSL certificate on the server and unique encryption key in the user’s browser. Unlike in an http site where the server and browser go straight to the transfer of web files, HTTPS requires an agreement between the server and browser as to the type of encryption they would be using throughout the entire conversation. Once that is done, the transfer of files commences.
Why is it important?
You see HTTPS implemented on many websites today for a reason. A secure protocol prevents third party apps and sites to tamper with the communication between the web server and the browser. If you need to send sensitive info such as bank accounts, passwords and email addresses over the internet, you want to be transacting through a secure site.
Your website’s users feel the same thing. They wouldn’t want to enter their email address or contact info in your website if they know it is not secure. With identity theft a prevalent concern in this era, people are more cautious about where they leave their personal details.
One of the most common misconceptions about HTTPS sites is that you only need to implement SSL if your site handles sensitive information. This isn’t true. Every HTTP site that you go through can potentially reveal user information even when they don’t ask for it. Some third party apps and intruders work to collect aggregate information from all the HTTP websites that you have visited and infer your browsing activity, intention and online behavior. For instance, you could be disclosing a medical condition to your employer simply by visiting unsecure health-related websites.
Trust and Ranking Factor
Website owners need to learn how to make site https and obtain SSL certificates for their site because this is a mark of a site’s trustworthiness. It makes users feel confident about visiting and browsing through the site.
HTTPS is also considered an important ranking factor by most search engines, especially Google. Adopting this protocol can have a massive impact on your ability to get organic traffic into your website. Google is known to prioritize HTTPS websites over HTTP sites in terms of ranking. If you have good quality and relevant content that is just as good as another HTTPS website, you could end up ranking poorly on the account that your site doesn’t have SSL. With Google driving most of the organic traffic to websites, you want to make sure that the search engine is happy with the security features of your website.
In the past, you need to purchase your own SSL and implement it in your web server to make your website HTTPS. For Strikingly websites, you can activate your HTTPS website for free. Make sure you take advantage of this feature to put your visitors’ minds at ease.