Attracting new customers is the aim of the game for any business with an online presence, so if you discovered your website was having the opposite effect and actually turning browsers away, it would be a pretty dire state of affairs, right?
But what if we told you by not having HTTPS at the beginning of your web address, you could be doing just that? Without HTTPS-enabled, Google will show your website as ‘not secure’ to consumers browsing for their next purchase, and, of course, that can be pretty off-putting and could well cost you sales.
Without it then, all the time, effort, and money you’ve ploughed into your site could be wasted, so in this article, we’ll look at what HTTPS is, why it’s so important, and how you go about enabling it.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which is the protocol used to transfer data over the web between websites and web browsers.
HTTPS is encrypted to heighten the security of data being transferred, and this is especially important when sensitive data is transmitted.
The additional ‘S’, for secure, is an abbreviation of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), and it’s this which means your connection to a website is secure and encrypted.
We know that’s pretty complex to get your head around but in a nutshell, HTTPS and SSL are there to protect your website and anyone who uses it.
Let’s break down the benefits of HTTPS further:
HTTPS helps stop intruders with malicious intentions from tampering with your user’s browsers.
Without HTTPS intruders can exploit your communications in order to trick your website users into handing over sensitive information, put unwanted ads on your page, or install malware.
Data theft from a business’ website would do pretty devastating damage to their public reputation, and be quite hard to come back from, so protecting your site’s integrity is crucial.
HTTPS prevents anyone with malicious intentions from quietly eavesdropping on communications between your website and your users.
Safety and security online have become hot topics in recent years, in no small part due to the high profile cases of hacking, identity theft, and fraud - remember the outrage that ensued when Facebook was caught sharing user data?
Joe public is more tech-savvy than ever, so anything you can do to show your customers they’re safe shopping with you is going to benefit your business.
Not only will browsers see the ‘not secure’ warning if you don’t have HTTPS, but Google has also revealed encryption is among the top 10 most important ranking factors for their engine.
So without HTTPS they’ll both struggle to come across your page when searching organically, but might also be put off when they do find it - it’s a lose-lose!
Top tip: for more information on ranking and how to make your site perform better, head to our guide ‘How to get your website to rank on Google’.
The good news is it’s not difficult for your website to become HTTPS, and any reputable website developer will offer SSL certificates and HTTPS as part of their service.
So whether you’ve already got a website and you want to make the move to HTTPS or you’re getting ready to create your first site, you should be able to make the move in a matter of days.
Achieving it independently requires a heck of a lot of technical know-how so it’s a good idea to leave it to the whizz kids and use a third party (or your website provider) to put HTTPS in place and avoid any costly mistakes.
Good to know: all takepayments payment gateways are SSL certified as standard.
Besides the most important factors around safety and security, there’s a couple of other nifty benefits to switching to HTTPS:
With a quicker site and access to better analytics to improve your customers’ experience on the pros, and potential loss of sales, reputation damage and data loss on the cons, what’s stopping you making the move to HTTPS?