We’ve written before about the rise of secure protocols, and their increasing prevalence across the internet. This is largely due to the actions of Google, which has a vested interest in ensuring that the sites they index are as trustworthy as possible. Still, this is a deep topic, and our previous writings may have left some remaining doubt as to the benefits of migrating your website to HTTPS. If that’s the case, have a look at the following reasons why it is in your best interest to make sure that your site is using an HTTPS configuration.
How Does HTTPS Differ from HTTP?
HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. It is the method that the website uses to organize and display data between itself and any computers that may be connected to it. While this is a fast and easy method for retrieving and displaying data for those visiting your site, it does little to secure the site itself against malicious attacks.
Man-in-the-middle attacks are common on HTTP sites, as they allow someone to intercept the data from your site and display something of the attacker’s choosing to your customers. Usually, it’s an exact copy of the unsecured site with all information entered collected by the attacker. You can imagine what kind of havoc this could cause with sites that handle confidential information like medical records and finances.
HTTPS is Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, which adds an extra layer of security encryption to help ensure that your customers are looking at the correct website. When someone navigates to an HTTPS address, the browser retrieves a special SSL (Secure Socket Layer) security certificate. Think of this as a kind of additional key needed to display the information. This certificate identifies the site to both Google and the browser as a trusted site. When a user is on an HTTPS site, they can be sure that:
- They are seeing the authentic site (E.G. their actual banking site instead of an imposter)
- Any information entered on that site will be encrypted for an added layer of security.
Does HTTPS Slow Down My Website?
It has been a longstanding myth that making use of HTTPS instead of HTTP is inconvenient because it slows down the website. Many webmasters are afraid to migrate to an HTTPS, for fear that the added page loading time will put off potential customers. Rest assured, though, this is not the case when the migration is done correctly.
In our in-house testing of roughly 150 SSL migrations, using Pingdom and GMetrix, websites experienced an average of 0.14 seconds faster load time after implementing HTTPS than they did before. So, instead of slowing down those sites, migrating to HTTPS actually made them load faster. Now, 0.14 seconds is so short a time as to be unnoticeable to humans. Google will most certainly notice, though, and that will reflect positively on your site.
Is it Really Worth the Effort to Migrate to HTTPS?
Making the switch to HTTPS can be an involved process, one that is also typically confusing to those who have never done it before. Even with all of the above benefits, some people just don’t want to go to the trouble of getting an SSL certificate to make their site more secure if it means jumping through that many hoops.
Here’s the thing, though: From an SEO standpoint, HTTPS helps you in more ways than one.
Remember: Google wants sites to start using HTTPS. For the past few years, it has even said that it uses SSL certification as a ranking factor for its websites. So, if you use HTTPS for your site, you are both more secure and more likely to rank better in Google’s search results than your competitors who don’t use it. With that in mind, if you haven’t yet migrated your site to HTTPS, we highly recommend that you consult with a trusted professional who can do that for you.
With all of this said, it’s easy to see why every single client who signs up with iMarket Solutions is given an SSL Certificate! Contact us today to learn more.