Should you use HTTPS on your website?

Estimated Read Time: 3 minutes

Our clients have been asking recently why is it that we are using HTTPS instead of HTTP on our websites and what the main difference is.

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is a way in which your browser communicates with web servers. The main difference from regular HTTP is that it is secure.  HTTPS encrypt all information sent to and from your computer and the web server.  That’s why it is a requirement on e-commerce websites to protect your credit card data.

On 2014, Google announced it will use https as a ranking signal. This means it will give a small boost in search results to websites that implement HTTPS. Late last year, it announced again, that it will index HTTPS websites by default. Making HTTPS a bit more important.  For this particular reason, Google has been promoting HTTPS everywhere.

Do you really need HTTPS?

It depends if you are going to accept any type of sensitive information such as credit card information, social security numbers, and/or sensitive business information, then yeah. You should use HTTPS.  If not, then here is what to consider:

Advantages:

  1. A small Search Engine Ranking boost:  This means that when someone is looking for specific information, with the implementation of HTTPS, your website would be the first choice for the user.  HTTPS give your website that extra boost. This is can be considered part of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy.
  2. Security: All information is encrypted, and it is also verified (integrity). This means that no-one can do a “man in the middle” attack, or pretend to be your website.  This provides your business with guaranteed security and ease of mind.
  3. Trust: This is more of a psychologic factor. People might feel better doing business with a website that is encrypting all information.  Assuring your clients of the security of their information allows you to build a business partnership based on trust.

Disadvantages:

  1. Cost: Even though the cost of SSL certificates (what you need to implement HTTPS) has dramatically decreased over the last few years, it will still increase your yearly web costs. You also need a static IP per parent domain, which incurs an extra cost.
  2. Speed: Even pretty much seamless, encryption information takes some time and processing power.

In general, we do recommend securing your site. It is a tool that will let you expand your business website and allow you to reach a wider audience.

Let us know if you have any questions or if you need help making your website secure.

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