4 Reasons Your Site Needs HTTPS
If you own, run or manage a website without the legendary “HTTPS” proudly displayed in your URL, you may be setting yourself up for trouble. Yes, the WorldWideWeb kind of trouble. According to research, about 85 percent of online users will readily abandon their shopping carts if they notice that data is transmitted over an unsecured connection. Over 82 percent of consumers will not even bother to browse any website that is not secure. And 43 percent of cyber-attacks are targeted at small businesses that ignore the use of “HTTPS.”
In this article, you will learn what HTTPS is, why it differs from its cousin, i.e., “HTTP,” and reasons why your website needs HTTPS.
What is HTTPS?
So, what is HTTPS, you ask? HTTPS – which is a secured version of HTTP or HyperText Transfer Protocol – is a method that is employed to encrypt information between a web server and a browser. It effectively protects website users from what is referred to as “man-in-the-middle” attacks. This is what happens when someone somewhere – a cybercriminal – steals classified information – such as logins, passwords, credit card information, etc. – that is sent on a website.
Throughout history, HTTPS connections have been primarily used for websites loaded with highly sensitive information. But many – and more – websites are making the switch from HTTP to HTTPS lately. The latter is also easier to implement, thereby ensuring secure connections becoming the standard for all sites.
How Does “HTTPS” Differ from “HTTP”?
But how does HTTPS differ from HTTP? First of all, the process for communication between a server and website browser remains the same for both HTTPS and HTTP. However, there is a slight difference: the HTTPS connection is encrypted. Now, for a smooth encryption/decryption procedure, communicating parties start by establishing a verification protocol. Verification – in HTTPS – is achieved via the use of SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates.
SSL certificates contain some vital pieces of information, such as the owner’s name, certificate key, digital signature, as well as validity dates. Each party requests – and verifies – the other party’s Secure Socket Layer certificate to confirm that they are communicating with the right person or entity. After the verification process, the parties end up exchanging an encryption/decryption key. In this case, however, both encryption and decryption make use of a single key. Only the parties communicating know about the key, meaning that only the two can unlock any message sent over the connection.
So, here are four reasons why your site needs HTTPS:
1. Improved Search Engine Ranking
In 2014, the search engine giant, Google, announced that they would be making use of HTTPS as a ranking parameter for search engine results. The primary goal of taking this stand is to ensure that online users utilize the internet safely. And that is why Google rewards sites with an SSL certificate with better ranking. Besides, if you have been observant, Google has been rolling out a warning system for some time now: every day, more HTTP websites are marked “not secure” when you use the Chrome browser. It started with e-commerce websites but has since moved to any website where visitors are mandated or expected to enter any data. The simple act of switching to HTTPS can lead to a significant boost in your site’s search engine ranking for the top 5 or 10 keywords you have targeted. And this could have a profound impact on your design business.
2. Enhances Website Security
In response to the ugly warning “not secure,” most visitors will readily close the browser bar, and move on to a more secure website. You can’t blame them for this because everyone wants to browse on safe websites. The “S” in front of the “HTTP” is an indication that a site is equipped with an SSL Certificate. This certificate makes it possible to prevent the occurrence of security breaches on websites. It comes with secondary authentication as the public key infrastructure (PKI) helps in transmitting information only to the respective server. Data cannot be accessed from other devices on the same server.
The SSL certificate works as digital documentation that substantiates the credentials such as:
- The certificate holder
- Their serial number
- Expiry date, and
- The signature of the certificate-issuing authority
3. Increased Conversions
Although most online users may not have a comprehensive understanding of the technical aspects of secure connections, they do understand that a website must showcase the HTTPS badge, especially if they need to provide personal information. And this implies that HTTPS websites will enjoy significantly higher conversion rates than their counterparts with HTTP red labels. The latter will find it challenging to generate leads since most people will be wary when it comes to entering their emails, names, and phone numbers into a lead generation form.
4. You Will Be Perceived as A Trustworthy Brand
SSL certification is a must, even if it’s just your design portfolio site. Customers – both new and existing ones – will not buy from you if they don’t trust you or your brand. And one of the greatest factors that enhances website traffic is showcasing that you care for the security of your esteemed customers. The best way to prove this is by getting an SSL certificate. And the beautiful thing about the SSL certificate is that it will not burn a hole in your pocket and is remarkably easy to execute. As soon as you have installed it, your customers will perceive you as a professional brand and will be more at ease to do business with you. That is how to build a brand reputation online.
To conclude, an SSL certificate can significantly enhance your customer engagement as it irrevocably instills a sense of trust in their minds. So, buy a Secure Sockets Layer Certificate and readily turn your web visitors into loyal customers. This is one sure way of not only winning their loyalty but also building your design business or brand as a reputable one.