HTTP has been in existence since the late 1980’s during the inception of the internet. You see it at the very beginning of each website URL in the address bar of your web browser, but what exactly is HTTP?
HTTP, which also stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol, refers to a set of rules used to transfer a website’s page between your browser and a web server. When you browse a specific URL using your browser, it initiates a conversation with the site’s server to download all the information it needs to submit that web page.
If your browser needs to receive or send information which is private, the conversation that occurs with HTTP takes place in the plain text, meaning a third party can eavesdrop on the conversation of your browser and view everything that’s being said. That is a great method of stealing personal information such as your credit card details and other sensitive data. To avoid this menace, we should utilize HTTPS.
HTTPS refers to the same conversation the web server and your web browser were having before, except that now all the information involved is encrypted. Only the web server and your browser hold the key to decrypt the data. That prevents any listeners from understanding the details of a conversation.
How HTTPS works
The encryption that occurs when you are utilizing HTTPS is carried out using a unique TLS/SSL certificate from a website’s server and a special encryption key derived from your browser as well. Both your key and the certificate are used during your conversation to show the other party they are indeed who they claim to be. Without these, a third party can intercept your chat and maybe pretend to be either your browser or the server.
Before the conversation starts, the server and your browser initiate a handshake and agree on two items: the type encryption to use and the encryption keys to use in the encryption. Once agreed, both the server and your browser can communicate using similar encrypted language which is difficult to eavesdrop on.
How Does HTTPS Benefit Your Website?
Increased Google Ratings
More than 40% of the websites on Google’s first page are HTTPS since Google has proved that they prefer HTTPS websites. Google ensures that the customers get the best user experience, so justifiably they don’t want to direct searchers to insecure websites. Due to this reason, their ranking algorithms typically favor HTTPS sites.
The main reason why Google usually favor HTTPS is that they want to offer the safest internet experience for all their users. Google incorporates criteria to the rating algorithm when it proves to provide users with a better experience. HTTPS typically protect your information and your user’s information from hackers.
While many users might not have a technical understanding of safe connections, they do know that they would prefer a website to be HTTPS for them to provide their personal information.
Currently, we can already see a big difference in the rates of conversion between HTTPS and HTTP sites. However, once Google introduces the new HTTP labeling, you will discover an even bigger difference in the rates of conversion between the two. Once the users see the red labels, even something as simple as keying in an email, phone number, and name into a simple lead generation form might cause concern and anxiety for users.
Updated Browser Labels
As part of their effort to have a more secure internet, Google is also renewing the labeling of HTTP websites in the URL bar of Chrome browser. Presently, HTTP sites are labeled using a gray information icon that informs the user that the site is not safe if they decide to click on it. Google also had plans underway to update that mark to incorporate a “Not Secure” sticker that shown in a site that’s plain, instead of displaying after the user clicks the information label.
While this new sticker only denotes that your website is not HTTPS, many users don’t understand that completely, and most of them are more likely to feel uneasy once they discover that label on a website they are browsing.
Increased Confidence Among Customers
With all of the information going around about HTTPS, more users are particularly looking for a safe connection when browsing a website. A safe connection offers your clients some peace of mind that your site is trustworthy and their personal information is secure.