HTTP vs HTTPS: Does it Matter?

Written by Ethan He

September 6, 2021

HTTPS Secure

With the growing number of internet users and majority business transactions taking place on the internet, it becomes imperative for internet users to understand how secure websites work. This is where HTTP and HTTPS come into play. In this blog, we are going to talk about http vs https, how they differ and what unique features they offer.

People often ask how they can disclose their personal information and shop remotely on a website with peace of mind. After all, we’re sending sensitive data over an uncertain domain of the web. Hence, let’s what makes a website secure and how both HTTPS and HTTP protocols differ in functionality and scope.


Difference between HTTP and HTTPS

HTTPS (Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol) refers to a protocol that connects to a website where all information transferred between a browser and a server is encrypted, which is more secure than a standard HTTP connection. URLs that begin with HTTPS indicate that the site uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) or its predecessor, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

These acronyms basically mean that, as the information gets transferred from the browser to the server, any information sent from the browser to the server will be encrypted rather than in plain text. If your information gets intercepted en route to the server, it may be more difficult or even unsuccessful for an attacker to dicipher the correct information.


Why Does HTTPS Matter?

Online hackers are often intelligent, sly, and have many ways of getting the information that they want. SSL was created to protect against these tactics such as tampering and man-in-the-middle attacks; when a hacker injects himself between the browser and a server to retrieve information you submit through the website.

If attackers access your information en route, they can commit various types of fraud, such as account hijacking or identification fraud, to name a few. Hackers can steal your information and even alter it while it’s in transit, such as alter the transaction by changing the amount and recipient so they receive your money. However, if the URL contains HTTPS, all the information is encrypted to protect end users from these attacks.


Does every website need an HTTPS domain?

Security should be a top priority for any site owner. However, too many sites today still aren’t using HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure).

If you are not currently using HTTPS, you should. If you think this is necessary or unimportant, you are mistaken.

In fact, security affects the performance of your website. Almost all high-quality websites on the Internet use HTTPS.

A study found that 85% of consumers avoided conversions on unsecured ecommerce sites. 82% of Internet users don’t even visit websites without HTTPS.

This was made even more evident in 2018 when Google began flagging non-HTTPS websites as “not secure” to their users. This makes the security of the website one of the ranking signals for Google, as it directly affects your SEO ranking.


So, What’s Next?

Professional web developers like myself can provide you with assistance in fixing sites that are not secure.

If you’re redoing your website or building one for the first time, a dependable designer will make an SSL Certificate a standard part of their website design services.

There are also many ways to attain a free SSL certificate to gain that valuable “Secure” status from Google. Such as Let’s Encrypt or your hosting provider.

I hope you now have a better understanding HTTPS vs HTTP.  If you need help implementing HTTPS protocol for your webiste please contact me! You know I am always happy to help. 

Ethan He

About Ethan He

Ethan is a Full Stack Web Developer and SEO Specialist based in Pittsburgh, PA. In his free time, Ethan enjoys working on various projects involving Ruby, Vue and AWS applications.

Ethan graduated from The Firehose Project coding bootcamp in 2016 with a focus on Ruby on Rail and Computer Software engineering.