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December 11, 2021

HTTP vs HTTPS: What’s the Difference?

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Hello everyone! Welcome back to WP Secure Labs!

In this article, I am going to explain the difference between HTTP vs HTTPS.

If you are not well versed in the tech world, there is a huge difference between the two of them.

One protects your WordPress site and one can potentially cause damage.

In this article, I am going to give you a full rundown of HTTP & HTTPS, give you the differences of each so you can make an educated decision to switch or not.

So without further ado, let’s begin.

What is HTTP?

HTTP is the acronym for HyperText Transfer Protocol.

Simply put, HTTP is used to transfer data from a web server to your browser.

Nothing more. Nothing less.

A site using http:// is usually indicated by an open padlock in the URL bar.

What is HTTPS?

HTTPS is the acronym for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure.

This is the secure version of HTTP that most websites are using nowadays.

If you are running any kind of WordPress site, no matter if it’s an eCommerce store, blog, membership site, etc, you should be using HTTPS. More on why later.

Now let’s talk about the differences between HTTP vs HTTPS.

HTTP is Not Secure

HTTP is not secure, and it’s obvious since the “S” is missing at the end.

The reason why HTTP is not secure is that it transfers data and sensitive information over the internet using plain text.

Needless to say, this is extremely dangerous since hackers can get their hands on this information easily.

Visitors Do Not Trust HTTP

HTTP is less trustworthy with website visitors.

Usually, when a website is using http://, the browser will show an open padlock, and it may be red or marked with a red “X”.

I don’t know about you, but if I see anything marked in red or something that indicates a website is not secure, I’m exiting the site immediately, because I know it’s not safe.

So if I am going to leave your website, it is certain that other visitors will leave too.

HTTP Does Not Use Encryption

Instead of encrypting data that is sent, HTTP sends data over the internet using plain text. This method of communication & sending data is extremely dangerous.

Hackers can intercept your communication and read everything as plain as day. Just imagine what they can steal???

Especially if you are conducting an online transaction on an eCommerce platform where you have to submit your credit card details.

Scary isn’t it??

So if you happen to land on a website that using http:// and they are asking for sensitive information such as your credit card number, do yourself a favor and RUN!

HTTP Hurts Search Engine Rankings

Using http:// can destroy your search engine rankings, hurting the ability of people to find your site on the internet.

If you did not know, Google takes into account site security to determine a website’s search engine position.

Having an unsecured site will not only lose trust with visitors, but will also tank your search engine ranking.

Please keep this in mind if your site is using HTTP or you may be planning on setting one up using this protocol.

Now let’s talk about the features of HTTPS…

HTTPS is More Secure than HTTP

HTTPS is the secure version of its counterpart, HTTP.

HTTP encrypts requests and responses instead of sending data in plain text.

This makes communicating and making transactions on the internet much safer so cybercriminals will have a hard time stealing your information.

HTTPS is More Trustworthy

HTTPS is more trustworthy with website visitors.

When visitors land on your site and see a closed padlock, that will reassure them that your site is safe and they will have nothing to worry about.

Encryption is Enabled

Unlike HTTP, HTTPS enables encryption for communication and data transfer.

HTTPS uses a technology called Secure Sockets Layers (SSL), to establish an encrypted link between a web server and a user’s browser.

SSL allows communication & data, especially sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords, etc to be encrypted so hackers cannot intercept, read and steal your data.

To enable SSL, you need an SSL certificate. You can usually get one from your hosting provider or a 3rd party service.

Search Engine Rankings Will Improve

Using HTTPS will definitely improve your search engine rankings on Google & other search engines.

Google takes into account site security as one of the signals to rank sites high up in the search engines.

Websites that are not secure and do not have HTTPS enabled, are pushed down in the search results, preventing new people from discovering these sites. 

Google deems these sites as unsafe and wants to protect web surfers from having their information compromised by an unsecured site.

Which One Should You Use?

The only protocol you should be using today is HTTPS (https://). This is the safest, most secure, and trustworthy protocol anyone should use, no matter what kind of site you have.

If your WordPress site is currently on HTTP, contact your WebHost provider and they will either make the switch for you or give you instructions on how you can do it yourself.

That’s all for this article and I want to thank you for stopping by. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below and I will reply.

See you next time!

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