Why Should We Use HTTPS Instead of HTTP?

You’ve undoubtedly heard that you need to convert your business website from HTTP to HTTPS. Is there a bigger difference than just the added “s,” though?

Being a business owner, you are aware that even the smallest modification to a product, marketing plan, or other business-related aspect can have a significant impact.

Will your website and business be significantly impacted by the move to HTTPS, though?

Some users won’t notice the difference, after all.

The distinctions between HTTP and HTTPS will be covered here, along with if switching is recommended.

HTTPS vs. HTTP: What’s the Difference?

The protocols that control information transmission over the internet are HTTP and HTTPS. In order to comprehend the distinctions between HTTP and HTTPS, let’s examine each protocol in isolation and its operation.

What is HTTP?

Hypertext Transfer Protocol, an application layer protocol developed by Tim Berners-Lee, commonly abbreviated as HTTP. Standard communication guidelines between web servers and clients (browsers) are provided by the protocol.

The main issue with HTTP is that because it employs hypertext structured text, there is no encryption of the data.

Thus, cybercriminals may be able to intercept the data being sent between the two platforms.

Let’s take an example where you visit an HTTP website and are prompted to create credentials in order to log in. Hackers can more readily intercept and decode your credentials because the data transmitted between the servers and your browser isn’t encrypted.

For this reason, web addresses that use HTTP now have an open lock icon displayed by search engines like Google. Additionally, a warning explaining that the website you are about to visit is hazardous is displayed.

The fact that HTTP can only process one request at a time is another disadvantage.

Different sub-documents are used to rebuild a full document. It takes several requests to load a single webpage. Naturally, this implies that large websites and pages may experience a decrease in load speed.

What is HTTPS?

HTTPS is an enhanced form of HTTP that uses TLS or SSL to encrypt data being sent back and forth between a client and a server.

TLS stands for transport layer security, whereas SSL is an acronym for secure sockets layer. A secure encrypted connection is established by both technologies between a web server and the web browser that it interacts with.

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is a better option than the other protocol because of the extra security layer. This is particularly true for websites that handle sensitive data, such as e-commerce sites or any other website that asks visitors to log in with their login information.

Put simply, HTTPS is an enhanced security variant of HTTP.

This safety afforded by HTTPS ensures users’ information is secure in three layers:

  • Encryption: This helps ensure a user’s activity can’t be tracked or their information be stolen.
  • Data integrity: HTTPS prevents files from being corrupted when transferring between a web server and website and vice-versa.
  • Authentication: HTTPS authenticates websites. Authentication helps build trust with users.

As you can see, the differences between HTTP and HTTPS are stark.

HTTPS vs. HTTP: Which is Better for SEO?

I’ll answer this immediately: HTTPS is better for SEO. Here’s why.

HTTPS is Better for Site Security

One of the most important factors that search engines consider when ranking websites is security.

Google stated that one of the ranking signals it uses in its algorithm is HTTPS for this reason.

When it comes to SEO, this is one of HTTPS’s biggest advantages over HTTP.

HTTPS Referral Data is Clearer

In addition to security, improved insight into referral data is another SEO benefit of using HTTPS over HTTP. If you review your data in Google Analytics (GA) while your website is still operating on HTTP, traffic that comes from referral sources may show up as “direct” traffic.

You can see more clearly where your traffic is coming from when you use HTTPS. You’re in a better position to develop SEO methods that work as a consequence.

Using HTTPS Builds Authority

Because many customers depart websites right away when they see that they use HTTP and are therefore not safe, thanks to browsers like Chrome. This high bounce rate is a sign of a poor user experience (UX), which hurts your SEO. UX is essential because Google claims that one of their main ranking elements is page experience.

Conversely, search engines inform people that a website is safe to browse when they arrive to it using HTTPS. Customers are encouraged to engage with that website more as a result of these safety signals.

The Speed Factor

Load speed is a crucial ranking criteria that search engines take into account for both pages and websites. One area where HTTP really started to demonstrate its shortcomings was speed. This is due to the fact that HTTP only permits one active request for each TCP connection. Consequently, when websites and pages became more resource-intensive, upload speeds decreased.

Conversely, HTTPS is quicker than HTTP. Because of its faster load speeds, HTTPS websites are frequently ranked higher by search engines than HTTP websites.

Which is better for SEO between HTTP and HTTPS? I’m sure you’ve seen from the above points that HTTPS wins hands down.

How Does HTTP/2 Come In? 

The early 1990s saw the advent of HTTP, and not much has changed since then. The last significant update, known as HTTP 1.1, was made in 1997.

That seems like an age ago in internet years.

The rapid advancement of internet technology has rendered outdated protocols obsolete. This is particularly valid in the age of dynamic content and multimedia pages with lots of resources.

Such trends demanded that HTTP get a much-needed, long-overdue makeover.

Put HTTP/2 in place.

What is HTTP/2?

The usage of multiplexing in HTTP/2 makes it superior than HTTP. Multiplexing is the process of allowing numerous files to be transferred simultaneously by opening the communication channel only once.

HTTP, on the other hand, limits the number of files that can be transferred across a TCP connection at once (line). Slower speeds arise from having to shut the line after every file has been transmitted.

The fact that HTTP/2 use binary protocols rather than HTTP’s textual protocols is another enhancement. Binary protocols are less error-prone and need less bandwidth. Additionally, they manage aspects like line ends, capitalization, and spacing considerably better.

Other significant improvements include:

  • Header compression: Header compression reduces overhead caused by TCP’s slow-start mechanism.
  • Server push: HTTP/2 servers push resources likely to be requested into a browser’s cache. As a result, browsers can display content without sending additional requests.
  • Increased security: Like HTTPS, HTTP/2 uses encryption to improve user and application security.

The key enhancements of HTTP/2 are increased security, speed, and efficiency, which makes it a competitive alternative protocol. Additionally, it improves HTTP/2’s SEO friendliness over its predecessor.

Why is this relevant to the HTTP vs. HTTPS discussion?

The only way to access HTTP/2 is through an HTTPS connection.

Additionally, you may always employ a content delivery network (CDN) to implement HTTP/2 if your system or the system of your client doesn’t support it.

Can You Use Both HTTP and HTTPS?

In actual use, HTTP and HTTPS are interchangeable. Certain resources can be loaded over your secure HTTPS connection, while others can only be loaded via your HTTP connection.

As both HTTP and HTTPS material appear on the same page when using both protocols to provide content, this is referred to as “mixed content.” The communication is safe since HTTPS is used to send the initial request.

However, using HTTP to load some pages compromises security and exposes you to man-in-the-middle attacks. These occur when a malevolent entity detects a vulnerability and utilizes it to surveil and ultimately pilfer your website or user information.

Browsers typically alert users when you serve mixed material. Nevertheless, it will usually be too late. There would have previously been insecure queries.

Because of this, even though you can use HTTP and HTTPS simultaneously, websites with mixed content are starting to get blocked by most browsers. Google is in favor of an all-HTTPS internet, thus switching to HTTPS completely is preferable.

How to Convert HTTP to HTTPS

After recognizing the need of converting to HTTPS, let’s take a brief look at how to do so. In case you lack technological expertise, the procedure is quite simple. The actions that you must take are as follows:

Prepare for the Conversion

Converting from HTTP to HTTPS is a significant move. Prepare adequately for it by scheduling it when your website isn’t very busy. Ensure everyone on your team knows what’s happening, as there may be some downtime as you make the switch.

Purchase and Install an SSL Certificate 

Once you’re ready for the conversion, the next step is to purchase an SSL certificate. In most cases, you can buy one from your website host. They can even install and configure it for you.

You’ll need to find out the right SSL certificate as they’re not all the same. They fall under three main types which are:
– domain Validated (DV SSL)
– organization Validated (OV SSL)
– extended Validation (EV SSL)

Every one of the three SSL kinds has the same degree of encryption. The procedures for obtaining the certificate of vetting and verification, however, are where they diverge the most.

Small websites are the main users of DV SSLs, which are the easiest to obtain. EV SSLs have the strictest criteria, and OV SSLs are the next strictest in the verification process.

Your web host should install and set up your SSL certificate for you when you’ve bought it. If not, you can quickly generate keys from the seller and insert them into the control panel of your website host. Usually, you may still contact support and ask them to assist you with configuring everything.

Enable HTTPS

The size of your website has a major impact on how complicated your migration will be. If your website is vast, you might want to start with some subdomains that include material that is really important and work your way up.

You’ll be able to view the HTTPS version of your pages once HTTPS has been properly installed and configured.

You must still verify that your SSL certificate is setup correctly, though.

Additionally, you should switch all of your website’s internal links from HTTP to HTTPS.

Setup 301 Redirects From HTTP to HTTPS

You can automatically reroute server traffic to your new HTTPS protocol if you utilize a content management system (CMS). You’ll need to perform manual 301 redirects if you don’t use a CMS.
Search engines are notified that your website has changed and should be indexed using the updated protocols by 301 redirects.

Once you’ve successfully migrated your site from HTTP to HTTPS, make sure to add the new site to Google Search Console and verify it.


That should end the discussion between HTTP and HTTPS.

Making the switch to HTTPS for your business website should be a part of your overall digital marketing plan.

Not only may an untrustworthy website result in a decrease in traffic, but it may also negatively impact your earnings.

Now go ahead and switch to HTTPS. The money is certainly worth it.

Agnes Berry