Grozina / HTTP vs. HTTPS


HTTP: HyperText Transfer Protocol
HTTPS: HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure

HTTP was launched in 1991, providing a way for computers to communicate and work together online. It set up a universal method for transferring files on the internet, which was crucial in forming the World Wide Web. With its development came an even safer and quicker means of sharing data online – HTTPS. This provided additional security, especially for private and sensitive data like passwords and credit card details, ensuring they remain safe when transmitted over the Internet. Originally, HTTPS was used for things like online transactions, email, and other private data transfers. Now, it is a necessity for all websites to safeguard against phishing attacks.

How does HTTPS work?

HTTPS operates as a secure method of data communication over the internet. This is achieved by the encryption of the data that is transmitted via the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protocol. When a web browser attempts to connect with a website, it initiates a request for a secure connection. Subsequently, the website creates a unique certificate and sends it to the web browser. This certificate verifies the authenticity of the website, thus enabling the browser to continue setting up a secure connection. Once this connection is established, all data communication between the website and browser is encrypted, ensuring privacy and security.

Why is HTTPS important?

The dangers associated with HTTP are tangible and can lead to severe repercussions, particularly for businesses in sectors like ecommerce, finance, and government, or those dealing with confidential customer information online. HTTP makes your website susceptible to external tampering, including altering content or removing elements from the webpage. External entities can introduce advertisements or behavioral tracking cookies. Sometimes, the level of damage inflicted can be much higher, leading to reputational damage, monetary loss, and significant distress.

How to switch from HTTP to HTTPS?

  • Step 1: Ensure that you have an SSL Certificate. In order to switch from HTTP to HTTPS, you must have an SSL Certificate. You can obtain this from a Certificate Authority (CA).
  • Step 2: Make sure all links and references are updated. After you obtain your SSL Certificate, make sure to update any internal and external links, redirects, and references from HTTP to HTTPS.
  • Step 3: Redirect traffic from HTTP to HTTPS. Once all of your internal and external links and references have been updated, you must create a redirect that sends all incoming HTTP requests to the HTTPS version of your website.
  • Step 4: Test to make sure the transition was successful. Test your website thoroughly to make sure all content, pages, links, and resources are loading correctly when using HTTPS. If you find any issues, correct them before you go live with your new HTTPS site.
  • Step 5: Submit a new XML sitemap. Finally, submit a new XML sitemap with your updated HTTPS links to Google Search Console to make sure your new site is indexed correctly.

By following these five simple steps, you can easily switch from HTTP to HTTPS. Doing so is not only a great way to ensure that your website is secure and users’ data is kept safe, but you will also be compliant with the Google and laws relating to data privacy.

Related: Submitting a sitemap