Ever see the padlock next to the website address when you are doing your banking or shopping? Even worse – have you ever seen the warning showing a broken padlock? This is your browser telling you about how secure a page is. HTTPS or SSL is the secure protocol used to talk between browsers and websites so that prying eyes cannot get see the data you are sending a website – this could be as simple as your email address, or as severe as your credit card details.
We are still seeing a lot of websites run over http when they should be run over https. The ‘s’ in https indicates the connection is secure with communications between your browser and website encrypted.
Major reasons to use https include:
1. A better Google ranking
HTTPS is a Google ranking factor. HTTPS is preferred over HTTP in the Google index, meaning if two websites are seen to have an equal ranking by Google the website with https will receive the higher ranking.
2. A faster website
HTTPS provides faster website performance. While there are overheads with using https, if you are using https you can run HTTP/2 which is the latest protocol with a number of speed advantages for your website. One example being multiplexing which allows multiple requests and responses to be sent at the same time.
3. A more secure website
Using https increases security through the SSL encryption. If you have a login system on your website and you don’t have an SSL certificate installed it will clearly display that the website is ‘Not secure’ on the Chrome browse resulting in users deciding not to use the website.