Ever seen that green lock that appears to the left of your browser’s URL?
Yeah, that’s the one. Most likely, you’ve never given it a second thought—beyond the obvious, that Google considers the site to be secure, whatever that means.
That “secure” lock means that the website uses Hyper Text Transfer Protocol with Secure Sockets Layer, but you probably know it as “https.” And it has major implications beyond that little green lock.
What is HTTPS?
Without going into the nitty-gritty, https signals to both browser and user that all data being sent between the webpage and the server are encrypted, which is a fancy way of saying that it’s all scrambled up. If someone were to intercept data from a http site, they would get the data whole. So, if that data was an email address, the hacker has stolen an email address. If it was a credit card number—well, you get the point. But if the text was encryped, the information would be useless. For example, the phrase “let’s see what encryption does,” when encryped reads “VgpFO/Ogg/Wf?p/gzmxItpD0z/E0gO.”
If your site collects user information (which most of them do), it should start to make sense why encryption is so often recommended.
It Makes Your Site Secure
The most important (and most obvious) reason you should consider switching to https is because it makes your site secure. Even if your site doesn’t process any personal data, seeing that green lock near the URL gives users peace of mind.
In fact, http sites are vulnerable to a whole host of bad things, including the fact that hackers can actually inject code into the site to make users click a link that they maybe shouldn’t. And if that happens, you’d better believe that user is never coming back.
Google Recommends It
Fact is, you can’t have a website and ignore Google. For better or for worse, Google brute-forces web trends because it holds the key to much of the world’s web traffic (40,000 searches a second, anyone?) And, despite https not being an official ranking signal (yet), Google strongly endorses using https, going as far as to write an article titled “Why HTTPS Matters.” At the moment, not using https won’t hurt your site’s rankings, but there is talk that Google will soon consider https the standard, If that happens, they’ll mark any site using the plain http protocol as “unsecure.”
It’s Required to Sell Online
If you sell online, that means you take users credit card information. Any sort of online transaction requires a great amount of trust on the user’s part, which is why Google specifically flags sites without encryption on their payment page with a warning sign. It looks like this:
If someone had planned to make a purchase before, they certainly won’t after seeing that.
There really isn’t a reason not to use https on your site, but if there was one, it might be because security certificates cost money. Except they don’t. LetsEncrypt.org offers free, trusted https certificates. So what are you waiting for?
If we haven’t convinced you, check out this article/website titled DoesMySiteHTTPS.com. It goes into the subject in much greater detail, but the bottom line is the same: everyone should use https.
We Can Setup HTTPS on Your Site
The actual process of implementing https on your site can be difficult, and if it’s done incorrectly it will completely break your site. If you’re looking for help implementing https on your site, consider calling webFEAT Complete to take care of it. We’ve got experienced developers and web designers that have years of experience making the switch from http to https flawlessly.