What is HTTPS And Why Make Your Site Secure

Online security is a critically important yet often underappreciated aspect. See what HTTPS is & why you should use it to make a secure site.

Updated on July 25, 2022
What is HTTPS And Why Make Your Site Secure

Online security is a critically important yet often underappreciated aspect of a website’s success. See now what HTTPS is and why you should use it to make a more secure site.

If you run an online store or an E-commerce website. So, you will want to ensure customers that the information they give you is on that site. Including their credit card number is up securely. Website security is not just for online stores, however. While E-commerce sites and any others that deal with sensitive information. Credit cards, social security numbers, financial data, etc., are obvious candidates for secure transmissions. The truth is that ALL websites can benefit from the extra layer of security.

What is HTTPS?

To secure a site’s transmission both from the site to visitors. The visitors back to your web server, that site will need to use HTTPS. Or HyperText Transfer Protocol with Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL. HTTPS is a protocol for transferring encrypted data over the Web. When someone sends you data of any kind, sensitive other otherwise, HTTPS keeps that transmission secure.

There are two primary differences between an HTTPS and an HTTP connection work:

  • HTTPS connects to port 443, while HTTP is on port 80
  • HTTPS encrypts the data sent and received with SSL, while HTTP sends it all as plain text

Video Tutorial Go Get Free SSL Certificate

Most customers of online stores know that they should look for the “HTTPS” in the URL. To seek out the lock icon in their browser when they are making a transaction. If your storefront is not using HTTPS. You will lose customers and possibly open yourself and your company up. To severe liability should your lack of security compromise someone’s private data.

This is why pretty much any online store today uses HTTPS and SSL. But as we have just stated, using a secure website is not only for E-commerce sites anymore.

On today’s Web, all sites can benefit from SSL usage. Google recommends this for areas today as a way to authenticate that the information on that site. So, is indeed coming from that company and is not someone trying to spoof the location somehow.

As such, Google is now rewarding sites that do use an SSL, which is yet another reason, on top of improved security, to add this to your website.

Sending Encrypted Data: What is HTTPS And Why It Make a Secure Site?

What is HTTPS And Why Make Your Site Secure
What is HTTPS And Why Make Your Site Secure

As mentioned above, HTTP sends the data collected over the Internet in plain text. This means that if you have a form asking for a credit card number, anyone with a packet sniffer can intercept that credit card number. Since many free sniffer software tools are available. This could be up by anyone with very little experience or training. By collecting information over an HTTP (not HTTPS) connection, you risk that this data could be intercepted and in use by a thief since it is not encrypted.

What You Need to Host Secure Pages

There are only a couple of things you need to host secure pages on your website:

  • A Web server such as Apache with mod_ssl that supports SSL encryption
  • A Unique IP address – this is what the certificate providers use to validate the secure certificate
  • An SSL Certificate from an SSL certificate provider

If you aren’t sure about the first two items, you should contact your Web hosting provider. They will be able to tell you if you can use HTTPS on your Web site.

In some cases, if you are using a very low-cost hosting provider, you may need to switch hosting companies or upgrade the service you use at your current company to get the SSL protection you need. If this is the case – make the change!  The benefits of using SSL are worth the added expense of an improved hosting environment!

Once You’ve Got Your HTTPS Certificate: What is HTTPS And Why It Make a Secure Site?

Once You've Got Your HTTPS Certificate
What is HTTPS And Why Make Your Site Secure

Once you have an SSL certificate from a reputable provider, your hosting provider will need to set up the certificate in your web server so that every time a page is up via the HTTPS:// protocol. It hits the secure server. Once that is set up, you can start building your Web pages that need to be fast. These pages can be up the same way that other carriers are. You just need to make sure you link to HTTPS instead of HTTP if you use absolute link paths on your site to other pages.

If you already have a website ready for HTTP and you have now changed to HTTPS, you should also be set.  Moreover, just check the links to ensure any absolute paths are updated, including directions to image files or other external resources like CSS sheets, JS files, or other documents.

Tips For Using HTTPS

Here are some more tips for using HTTPS:

  • Point to all Web forms on the HTTPS:// server. Whenever you link to Web forms on your Web site, get in the habit of linking to them with the entire server URL, including the HTTPS:// designation. This will ensure that they always are secured.
  • Use relative paths to images on secure pages. If you use a whole way (http://www…) for your pictures, and those images are not on the secure server, your customers will get error messages like: “Insecure data found. Continue?” This can be disconcerting, and many people will stop the purchase process when they see that. If you use relative paths, your images will be loaded from the same secure server as the rest of the page.

We offer services for WordPress SSL/HTTPS certificate installation. An important note to explain about the SSL certificate is the fact that Google considers more sites with HTTPS while page rank and SEO.