HTTPS privacy on the Internet is a hot topic. Websites that ask for sensitive information, such as passwords or payment details, must be well protected. Having a protected website not only keeps sensitive information safe, it also conveys a sense of trustworthiness, and this, in turn, is important to keep both Google and your website visitors happy. A HTTPS website is a good way of achieving all those goals.
What is HTTPS?
HTTPS, or HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure, has been around since 1994, when banks and e-commerce websites started using it to protect sensitive information. HTTPS is an expansion of the standard HTTP protocol, and its goal is to protect the information that travels between the user’s computer and the server where the website is hosted. The information is encrypted, making it incomprehensible for third parties.
Advantages of a Secured Website
Protects the Privacy of Your Visitors
All communication between the user and your website is turned into an incomprehensible code. That way the user’s identity and privacy are safeguarded. By offering this level of privacy and safety to users, you can gain their trust and loyalty.
Improves Your Ranking in Google Search
Last year Google announced that they would adapt their search engine algorithm to benefit HTTPS websites. The search engine giant places high value in websites that do the utmost to protect visitors’ personal information. That is why HTTPS websites have the potential to score higher in Google’s search results, provided they also meet other requirements posed by Google.
Avoids Being Blocked by Browsers
Internet browsers will often warn users if it feels a website is ‘unsafe.’ Usually the website is still accessible, but not before users signal that they understand the website might be unsafe and that they are proceeding at their own risk. When this happens to your website, trust can be lost in an instant. But you can avoid this risk by having a HTTPS website.
Protects Against Hackers
HTTPS is commonly used for e-commerce transactions and sending forms containing personal information. However, in many cases unprotected web pages on the same website can provide a way in for hackers to manipulate the flow of information and have it run through their channels instead. With a HTTPS website all pages are protected.
Possible Disadvantages of Using HTTPS
Affects Overall Speed
Because all data sent through the website must be repeatedly coded and decoded, your website may run slower. If your website is a little slow to begin with, your speed may be affected to a point where Google will penalize you in the search results. Google wants websites to be fast, so make sure your website is optimized fully for page loading times.
Increases Your Website Running Costs
The encryption of the connection between user and server requires an SSL certificate. You can buy the necessary certificates from your hosting provider, or you can shop around to compare deals. Keep in mind that the cheaper the certificate, the less security it generally provides. You will also need to renew certificates on a yearly basis. Depending on the type of certificate you choose, this can add $100 to $500 to your website running costs, a serious investment for smaller websites.
As you can see, there are several advantages (and a few disadvantages) to using secured connections and SSL certificates on your website. Internationally, the trend is veering towards using HTTPS websites, especially since the announcement made by Google. It is also important to be aware of the fact that hackers not only pray on big commercial websites, they also aim for smaller websites, just because they are easier targets and can be used for criminal activities. That is why, even for owners of small business websites, prevention may be less costly than the cure. -The Cleveland Seo Guy
The Cleveland SEO Guy, Danny Todd says 'It’s not what you sell; it’s how you sell it. He understands that sometimes the best brands get left behind because their web design and SEO has become outdated. The Internet is always changing! Google and the other search engines are always adapting! Keep your brand current and reach Google’s #1 spot.