In August, 2014, Google announced that they wanted to make the internet safer by encouraging the use of HTTPS, as opposed to HTTP on websites. Almost 4 years later, as of July 2018, Google will be re-issuing this sentiment with a much firmer approach – marking all http websites as ‘not secure’ on the chrome browser (supposedly used by 77.2% of the internet as of Jan 2018), Mozilla are also supporting Chrome with this decision. Here we’re going to tell you what the difference between HTTP and HTTPS is, why Google are doing this and more importantly, what you can do to move over to https, and avoid losing business from your website.
The Difference Between HTTP and HTTPS
The answer can be mostly deduced to one word; security. But what makes HTTPS more secure than HTTP? The key difference between HTTP and HTTPS is literally the word secure: HTTP means HyperText Transfer Protocol; and HTTPS means Secure HyperText Transfer Protocol. HTTPS came after HTTP, following the same protocols, but utilising a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to move the data. For more information on the benefits of an SSL you can read our blog here.
Basically, HTTPS works with the second protocol, (SSL), to transfer information in more secure ways utilising; encryption, data integrity, and authentication. Additionally, HTTPS blocks ISPs from injecting ads onto websites, and performs faster and better than http. Despite HTTPS historically being used for mostly eCommerce and data-sensitive websites, HTTPS has seen a sharp rise in popularity since Google started pushing ‘for a safer internet.’
Why Google wants HTTPS
With over half of the web reportedly now on HTTPS you can understand why Google is favouring secure websites. Improved security will save Google a lot of time in dealing with hacked websites, possible data breaches and fraudulent websites. There are also a few SEO benefits to consider.
However as with any major website change, there are disruptions, so are those disruptions worth the change? Fortunately, Google have you covered – they’ve set out a guidance list to avoid any disruptions and minimise hassle. Whilst it still requires a bit of effort, it means your website has Google’s favouring, which anyone who deals with SEO will acknowledge as a good thing to be doing.
Moving to HTTPS
If you have a little technical know-how, you’ve probably got an idea already – but be sure to follow Google’s own recommendations just so you don’t miss anything and ensure the smoothest transition possible. If you don’t have a clue where to start, and your technical experience is quite limited, it would be advisable to have someone who knows what they’re doing make the transition – you don’t want to risk losing business.