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What is the meaning of HTTPS on the Internet?

What is the meaning of HTTPS on the Internet?

What is the meaning of HTTPS on the Internet? Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure allows providing the maximum safety level and confidentiality of the information transferred by website users. It is a secure version of an older protocol which helps to transmit data between your browser and the website you are visiting.

The added S letter stands for ‘Secure’ and guarantees a high level of data protection that’s why online business owners decide to convert HTTP to HTTPS. Users of websites using secure protocol can be sure that their personal and financial information are under strong protection and won’t be stolen by malicious users. Usually, the browsers indicate the protected connection by displaying a padlock icon located in the address bar. So, this is where you can check HTTPS connection.

Read more: Redesigning a website without losing its positions. Professional guide

How to use HTTPS?

If you’re wondering how to use HTTPS then the following information is for you. Shifting to the secure version guarantees the users’ data protection due to using special protocol providing security on the transport layer. At the same time, the protocol security is provided on three levels:

  1. Encryption. All the transferred data is encrypted that’s why it’s impossible to:
    • determine the type of the data the users are exchanging;
    • track the actions made;
    • get access to personal and financial information because malicious users cannot display a webpage you are visiting.
  2. Saving the data. The attempts to change the transmitted information are recorded regardless of whether these changes are intentional or not.
  3. Authentication. The authentication procedure guarantees:
    • users enter the genuine website;
    • protection against third-party attacks;
    • high level of users’ trust.

benefits of https

How HTTPS works?

Let’s try to figure out how HTTPS works. The protocol provides the maximum level of security and protection of the users’ data due to transferring it using cryptographic SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and TLS (Transport Layer Security). The process requires the use of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) system which implies using two keys designed for encrypting data: a public key and a private one. The keys are interconnected and the public key can only be decrypted by the private one and in reverse.

convert http to https

HTTP vs. HTTPS

What is the difference between HTTP and HTTPS protocol? First, let’s find out what HTTP means. Hyper Text Transfer Protocol allows Internet users to transferring the information (images, video, text, music etc.) on web pages. It uses TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) in order to send and receive data from everywhere. The protocol request problems are identified with a help of different error codes. For example, ‘404 Not Found’ error means that the website content doesn’t exist or has been moved.

So, who wins the HTTP vs. HTTPS battle? Basically, secure protocol is an extension of an older version of protocol. Unlike its predecessor, new protocol uses for transferring data the tools which ensure the maximum protection against fraudulent attacks and malicious actions. Usually, websites using secure version of the protocol have a redirect which means that if you will try to visit the older version of a site it will automatically redirect all HTTP to HTTPS.

Google position regarding secure protocol

Google search engine recommends using secure versions of websites regardless of whether the financial operations are taking place or not. Starting from 2017, the content of websites using older version of protocol is displayed in browsers with “Your connection is not private” note. So, the answer to the question of which is more secure HTTP or HTTPS is obvious. When choosing between these protocols for your website it’s important to consider that using secure protocols guarantees:

  • secure connection;
  • safety of transferred data;
  • users and search engines’ trust;
  • better rankings.

Types of certificates

Getting HTTPS certificate is necessary for using an encrypted protocol. You’ll need to make sure to purchase the corresponding safety HTTPS certificate which is provided by special certificate centers that have a license. At the same time, you should pass inspection confirming that the requested address is your company’s property.

There are different types of certificates and for identifying their cost it’s necessary to determine the level of protection required:

  • Domain validation. This is the most common option. It is provided for use on one domain. The price varies between $10-30 annually.
  • Organization validation. It verifies not only the domain but also the organization. During the HTTPS certification, the special centers request the documents confirming the company registration as well as inquire about the information provided in mass media. An approximate cost is between $40 and $200 annually.
  • Extended validation. In order to get it the following data is being checked:
    • the physical address of the company;
    • state registration documents;
    • operational activity;
    • trademark.

The cost of the certificate fluctuates between $120 and $300 annually.

Here are the following SSL-certificates in terms of functionality:

  • single (for one domain);
  • multi-domain;
  • template SSL-certificates designed for protecting web-resources with dynamic sub-domains.

convert http to https

Benefits of an HTTPS

There are lots of benefits of HTTPS that come with switching a website, especially an ecommerce one, to secure HTTPS protocols. Here are some of them:

  • Strong protection of personal and financial information of customers;
  • Clients have the ability to verify that you are a registered business;
  • Loyalty and trust of customers due to additional safety of their private information;
  • Secure protocol improves SEO optimization of your site. Resources using protection have higher search engine rankings than the ones sticking to the older version of the protocol. It happens because Google algorithms prioritize secure websites. With proper SEO promotion a website will become a perfect tool for developing a business.
  • Only protected version of a website can support AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) which is used for creating mobile-friendly websites. This is one of the main advantages of HTTPS because a large number of users prefer to make purchases using mobile devices nowadays. Also, the browsers and apps of a new generation are created with secure protocols in mind which mean they won’t be working with an older version.

Read more: Which factors influence on search engine rankings in 2017?

How to switch to secure protocol

Search engines only recommend changing the website protocol to the secure one. However, for many websites, such actions are very important because these will help to prevent the confidentiality problems. Primarily this relates to web-resources on which the transfer of important information is carried out (for example, credit card information). So, it’s a primary task for an ecommerce website to shift towards secure protocol.

If you’ve made the transition but HTTPS is not working then the following tips will be helpful. So that a website transition wouldn’t hurt the search results rankings as well as on- and off-site optimization results it’s necessary to comply with the following sequence of actions:

  • Prepare a website for the transition. Replace absolute links on web-pages with the relative ones.
  • Create an HTTPS website.
  • Buy and configure SSL-certificate.
  • Inform search engine robots about accessibility of a website on new protocol using Google Search Console. Mirroring is taking place automatically and as a rule, takes several weeks.
  • Use an HTTPS sitemap generator.
  • Set Host directive in robots.txt file using secure protocol.
  • Configure 301 redirect.
  • Make corresponding changes in .htaccess file.
  • Check whether redirecting links to the old version of a website are left.
  • Update important external links leading to the website.
  • Enable HSTS function which allows redirecting and displaying in search results only protected web-addresses even in case of entering URL containing old protocol version.
  • Set up HTTPS on Apache.
  • Check web-pages indexation and displaying of the content on new “secure” address.
  • Track indicators showing website promotion through search engines and its effectiveness with a help of web-analytics systems like Google Webmaster Tools.

When complying with all the recommendations regarding changing the protocol, as a rule, the process takes place painlessly. Search results rankings as well as traffic are renewed in several weeks after the transition.

what are the advantages of https

Conclusion

What are the advantages of using HTTPS? Using protocols with increased security is:

  • a guarantee of the data exchange;
  • increased users’ trust;
  • the loyalty of search engine rankings algorithms.

Nowadays, the choice of secure connection is a possibility to provide data protection not only during financial information exchange. When visiting protected resources users can be sure in the information confidentiality. The properly organized transition of a website to the new protocol allows not only keep the current Google ranking factors but also get a perfect base for the further SEO promotion.

Date of publication: 31.08.2017