Should I use HTTPS?
Yes, to put it simply. But what may you ask, is HTTPS? Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure to give it it’s full name, adds an additional ‘layer’ of security to the regular HTTP, by using a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate that encrypts the data passing between you and any websites you may visit that use HTTPS. By encrypting your data during transmission, hackers are unable to intercept and steal it and with the SSL technology that’s used, it protects users, builds trust and allows them to perform secure e-commerce transactions, such as online banking.
There are many other reasons for using HTTPS and I’ve listed some of these within this article and hopefully after reading this, you will agree that HTTPS is a must for your website.
It’s good for search engines and helps to increase your google rankings
Websites compete for rankings and if two websites are identical and both were to receive the same search engine ranking, the one which uses HTTPS will be given an extra ‘point’ from Google for example and be assigned the higher ranking. Search engine algorithms determine website rankings and the importance of HTTPS is even more vital now to achieve a higher ranking.
It’s better for the user as it provides improved security
Using HTTPS can help to prevent attacks such as the ‘Man in the middle attack’ (MITM) which can occur when a hacker attempts to intercept a connection between yourself and a server for example. The reason for this being called MITM, is very much like playing ‘piggy in the middle’ where the object of the game is for the person in the middle to intercept the ball being thrown between two people, in an attempt to try and catch it! But with HTTPS, even if they were able to catch the ball, they won’t be able to do anything with it as it’s been encrypted.
Mobile websites (AMP) require SSL
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages and it’s a technology that allows pages to load super-fast on your mobile. When searching on Google you may find some sites have a lightning bolt within the search results. These websites are AMP ready and will load instantaneously but, for sites to be AMP it requires that they have HTTPS.
Google also indexes mobile websites, primarily over any other version of the website and the best practice for ranking well with a mobile site is to make sure that the mobile site uses HTTPS.
This website is ‘Not Secure’
Chrome already displays a ‘Not Secure’ message and how secure would you feel, entering your credit card details into a site that’s displaying a message like this? You wouldn’t and more and more people are becoming aware of online fraud and how easily you can become a victim of it but by only ever using secure HTTPS sites, you are safer with the knowledge that your details are being securely transmitted and won’t be stolen.
Keeping our data safe is becoming even more important, as we all use the internet daily, whilst criminals are always developing new ways to exploit and steal our information at every opportunity. By using HTTPS on your website, you will hopefully now see, how important it is to keep up to date with search engine requirements, therefore giving your website a better chance to rank higher and gain more results and provide your users with a secure and trusted environment to visit.
For more information on how you can add HTTPS to your website, please contact us.
Written by Robert Pymer
Lead Technical Programmer at SwindonDesign