What is HTTPS? A guide for marketers to secure on-site experience.

Do you want to provide your users with a more secure experience and help your Google rankings? One way to do both is to secure your website with HTTPS. In this post, we’ll explain what HTTPS is, why you need it, and how to get it.

The difference between HTTP and HTTPS

HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. This protocol provides rules for web browsers to interact with web servers within the application layer. It is the foundation of communication for the Internet.

HTTP requests are sent through the user’s browser. Web servers send HTTP replies to requests, load web pages using hypertext links.

S on HTTPS means secure. HTTPS enables secure communication between web browsers and web servers.

How HTTPS works.

HTTPS works via SSL or TLS. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a precursor to TLS.

Transport Layer Security (TLS) provides privacy and data integrity through encryption protocols in communication between two or more applications.


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The purpose of this protocol within the application layer is to prevent tampering and tampering with secure data transfers.

Although most websites still refer to securing your site via HTTPS with an SSL certificate, TLS is the latest version of SSL that is being used today. We’ll discuss how to get it for your website later in the post.

Why HTTPS is important

HTTPS prevents intermediaries from inserting content into the website without the owner’s knowledge. Without HTTPS, a bad actor can run online ads, for example, to take advantage of your web traffic.

According to the HTTP Archive, about 92% of desktop and 91% of mobile applications are from URLs with HTTPs in the past. W3Techs reports that HTTPS uses 75.2 websites. Built-in has installed over 155 million SSL certificates on websites across the Internet.

It is also important for two specific marketing reasons. First, when visitors visit an HTTP website, browsers such as Google Chrome declare the site unsafe in the URL bar.


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On mobile browsers, insecure sites appear next to the domain with a warning triangle.

Washington Day screenshot, August 2021.

Second, HTTPS can also affect your ranking in search results. In 2014, Google announced HTTPS as part of an algorithm that ranks web pages in Google search engine results.

Following the introduction of HTTPS for Google services, Google announced the “HTTPS Everywhere” initiative to encourage webmasters on the Internet to do the same.

“For now, this is just a very light signal that affects less than 1 of the global queries, and other signals such as high quality content weigh less – while we webmasters are on HTTPS. But as time goes on, we may decide to strengthen it, as we want to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone on the web safe. can go.

How secure is HTTPS?

HTTPS does not mean that website 100 secure is secure or has failed. HTTPS only protects communication between two computers, such as a user’s computer through a web browser and a web server.

HTTPS provides stronger security than HTTP, it does not protect the user’s computer or web server from hackers or malware attacks.

That’s why webmasters should keep their websites safe and users should use virus and spyware protection on their computers.

How to get HTTPS for your website.

To add HTTPS to your website, you may need an SSL certificate. But first, check your existing web hosting provider’s documentation on how to enable or implement HTTPS. This may already be part of your existing hosting plan.


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If not, you should be able to purchase a TLS / SSL certificate from your existing web host or upgrade to a new hosting plan that includes TLS / SSL.

Alternatively, you can get TLS / SSL from content delivery networks (CDNs) such as CloudFlare or TSL / SSL from Digicert.

How to redirect HTTP to HTTPS websites

How you redirect your website from HTTP to HTTPS depends on your web server. If you do not have the option to switch to or implement HTTPS from your Hosting Control Panel, you will need to redirect or rewrite your URLs from HTTP to HTTPS.

You can find specific instructions for your hosting provider by searching Google on HTTPS from your hosting company name + HTTP. Most companies will have specific documentation on how you can customize your hosting plan and web server.

Google also offers in-depth documentation on the transition from HTTP to HTTP in the Advanced SEO section of Google Search Central. They also link to information about configuring Google Search Console for your HTTPS site.


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How to secure your website beyond SSL

There are many ways to secure your website in addition to HTTPS. This is important because Google can determine if your website has been hacked or infected with malware.

“Security-affected pages or sites may appear in search results with a warning label or with an intermediate warning page in the browser when a user tries to meet them.”

Google will alert webmasters if their sites have been hacked through Google Search Console and Security Issues Report.

To protect your website, start by updating your passwords. Any service you use for your website – domain registrar, web host, control panel, admin panel, etc. – can give the wrong person too much access to your site, leaving them vulnerable. Is.

If you use the same password across multiple services, you’ll want to change them to make sure no one is attacked.


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To secure your unique, secure passwords, avoid using your browser and choose a more secure application such as 1 password or list pass.

Next, check your web hosting service. Many providers offer plans with upgraded security features. Look for plans that include security firewalls, malware scanning, virus scanning, DDOS protection, and, in some cases, automatic backups.

If you can’t get protection from your web host, you can try out services like Score. These include Advanced Security Scans, Firewall, Blocklist Monitoring, SSL Support, and Advanced DDOS Reduction.

If your website has been compromised, their plans include cleaning up the site and removing malware.

WordPress users can automatically try the Jet Pack plugin (formerly Vault Press). Their security plans include backup, security scan, downtime monitoring, brute force protection, and anti-spam protection.

Finally, review everything you consider adding to your website.

Plugins, ads and extensions can create vulnerabilities for your website and your users.

Find user reviews and choose only those plugins that play a significant role in your marketing or sales.


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How to get HTTPS as a user.

HTTPS is a ubiquitous extension that works for popular web browsers including Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Opera.

Android users can install it on Firefox. Alternatively, HTTPS is included on Brave and Tour browsers for desktop computers and Android / iOS mobile devices.

HTTPS anywhere.Screenshot from Brave, August 2021.

This extension or integration with Brave and Tour Browser allows you to upgrade to a more secure connection when a website does not offer HTTPS or does not rewrite / redirect its URL from HTTP to HTTPS. Has gone


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Key Tips

HTTPs play an important role in providing a secure experience for users and a positive ranking signal in the Google algorithm.

Secure your website with HTTPS by obtaining a TSL / SSL certificate from your web hosting service, CDN, or another provider.

More resources:

Featured image: BestForBest / Shutterstock

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