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Do You Know the Difference Between HTTP and HTTPS?


As a business owner, you should. In order to demonstrate and establish trust between you and your clients, it’s important that you take online security seriously, especially if yours is an e-commerce site. Here, we give you a quick rundown of the difference between HTTP and HTTPS, along with a case for making the switch to HTTPS if you haven’t already.

High-level HTTP and HTTPS Highlights

To start, HTTP stands for hypertext transfer protocol, which is a fancy way to describe communication. Basically, HTTP or HTTPS both facilitate communication between systems, specifically information from a web server to a browser. 

The main difference, and the one most important for business owners to understand, comes down to security. HTTP is not encrypted, which means that third parties can access data during transmission. 

The S in HTTPS stands for secure and is now considered a baseline security protocol to keep both you and your website visitors safe. HTTPS features TLS, transport layer security, or SSL, secure sockets layer, which are unique encryption keys that secure communication. This is why HTTPS has historically been used by ecommerce companies for payment processing. 

An important note: just because HTTPS is secure, it does not safeguard your site against potential hacks or prevent phishing emails. 

What if yours isn’t an ecommerce site? Is opting for HTTPS over HTTP worth your time? 

Absolutely. 

As Entrepreneur.com explains, it’s all about securing your site: “If you’re using a content management system (CMS), like WordPress, or you have any other login where you host any kind of sensitive data, then setting up a secure HTTPS login is the absolute minimum precaution you should take.”

Even if you’re not processing payments online, security is still important in cases where visitors are required to enter a username and password. 

Consider these alarming statistics

  • 85% of consumers will abandon a site before making a purchase that is not secured
  • 82% of people will not browse on unsecured websites
  • 43% of cyber attacks are launched against small businesses

 If user security (and the security of your own business) isn’t enough to convince you, what about SEO? Google prioritizes SEO rankings for sites with HTTPS domains, which could mean better lead generation and increased conversions for your business. Again, it’s all about establishing trust between your customer and your brand. HTTPS signals that you place a premium on security and value the safety of your site visitors and users.

Making the Switch to HTTPS

As a process, making the switch to HTTPS is simple enough but is best managed by a professional who will purchase and install a SSL certificate, review for errors and then update Google on the change from HTTP to HTTPS. 

We know that the bulk of your time as a business owner is taken up with providing an outstanding customer experience. Contact our team for expert assistance when you’re ready to switch from HTTP to HTTPS and offer a more secure exchange to your clients

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