Every web address begins with either HTTP or HTTPS. On the surface, the only difference between HTTP and HTTPS is a single letter. That letter, however, symbolises a major distinction that every website owner should know about. So, what is the meaning of HTTP? What’s the meaning of HTTPS? Which is the better choice for my website? We’ll answer all that and more below.
What Does HTTP Stand For?
HTTP stands for hypertext transfer protocol. It’s one of the many communication protocols that make up the Internet protocol suite. HTTP refers to the various commands and services used for transferring webpage data over the internet.
As the name suggests, HTTP uses hypertext structured text to share data between servers and your browser, such as log-in information. This data isn’t encrypted, making it vulnerable to cybercriminals. This is why some engines, including Google, display an open lock icon beside web addresses that use HTTP. So, how is this any different from HTTPS? Once you’ve learned more about HTTPS, the differences between HTTP and HTTPS become very apparent.
What Does HTTPS Stand For?
HTTPS stands for hypertext transfer protocol secure. HTTPS is almost the same as HTTP, except it utilises the Secure Socket Layer (SSL)/Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol. These technologies encrypt the data shared between web browsers and servers, adding an extra layer of security that fends off cybercriminals.
Actually, it’s more accurate to say that HTTPS provides three layers of security. Though HTTPS is widely known for encrypting user activity, it also authenticates websites and prevents files from being corrupted while being transferred between servers and websites.
HTTPS is ideal for websites that handle sensitive data, such as sites that ask users to log in. That being said, as a more secure version of HTTP, HTTPS should be the first choice for all business website owners.
The Key Differences – HTTP vs HTTPS
We’ve already established that HTTPS is more secure than HTTP. However, HTTPS offers several other advantages over its more vulnerable counterpart. HTTPS can handle multiple requests at once, but HTTP can only deal with one at a time. As a result, pages on HTTP websites tend to load much slower.
If you hope to increase visibility and drive traffic to your website, HTTPS is the superior choice once again. That’s because Google began using HTTPS as one of their algorithm’s ranking signals in 2014. By using HTTPS over HTTP, you’ll be giving your website an SEO advantage over your competitors.
Using HTTPS is guaranteed to make your website look more professional and legitimate. Some browsers, like Chrome, will notify users if a website they’re visiting is HTTP. If people think your website is unsafe, they’ll likely leave right away. This could result in a higher bounce rate, which can negatively affect your SEO and Google search ranking.
Converting HTTP to HTTPS
Convinced that HTTPS is the right choice for your business’s website? The first step is buying an SSL certificate, which can be purchased through your web hosting provider. You can then install the certificate on your website hosting account. The final steps are setting up a 301 redirect to notify search engines of the change and ensuring that all of your internal links direct to your HTTPS URL.
Amire’s Friendly Team Is Here to Help
Need assistance converting your HTTP to HTTPS? Have any other questions about SEO, social media, or about making your website as secure as possible? Amire’s team of digital marketing specialists are here to help. We’ll ensure you have all the information and resources you need.
Did You Enjoy The Article? Subscribe To Our Blog
Amire covers all aspects of SEO, join our readers to get valuable industry insights, trends, tips and more.