What is HTTPS and why MUST you convert to it now?
HTTPS is simply a more secure secure way of transferring information over the internet. It prevents people from intercepting communications between your website and a user’s browser.
With the standard HTTP method, everything is sent in plain text, so with the right skills and tools, it’s possible for other people to read your passwords, credit card details (or indeed anything else) as they are sent over the unsecured connection.
This puts your users at risk. It means they can’t trust your website. And malicious individuals & scammers can use this vulnerability to ‘attack’ your website, steal your data, or even bring down your server!
HTTPS stops this from happening.
The ‘S’ at the end of HTTPS stands for ‘Secure’. It means all communications between a browser and the website are encrypted, so other people can’t read them.
With the increase in cybercrime, it’s increasingly important that all websites move over to HTTPS to protect both their users and themselves.
One day soon, ALL websites will use HTTPS, and if you haven’t migrated your blog or website to HTTPS yet, it’s imperative that you do it sooner rather than later.
Google wants the whole web to use HTTPS
In July 2018 Google made a change to the Chrome browser. It now highlights any website not using HTTPS with a big ‘NOT SECURE’ warning to warn people that they are on an unsafe connection.
You don’t want your customers to visit your website only to be told that your site is insecure — it’s a bit off-putting to say the least!
Even if you’re not doing e-commerce, or processing credit cards online (HTTPS is essential for these), it’s still not good for your customers to get this warning.
Even if there is no actual vulnerability, it looks bad, and it destroys trust.
HTTPS will improve your search engine rankings
Google have also announced that HTTPS is now a ranking factor.
In other words, they will prefer to show results from sites with HTTPS in their results, which means that your traffic from search engines could increase.
Now it’s actually a fairly lightweight ranking factor at the moment, so don’t expect an immediate increase in search engine rankings and traffic, but it is likely to have more effect in the future.
In fact, what will happen in time, is any site without HTTPS is likely to suffer a ranking penalty.
Or even not appear in the search engines at all.
It’s only a matter of time.
What do you gain by migrating to HPPS?
First of all, you remove the alarming ‘Not Secure’ warning that’s putting your customers off:
And replace it with the reassuring green ‘secure’ notice or padlock.
So instead of putting your customers off, you are reassuring them.
And you are not putting their data at risk by sending it over an unsecured connection, or exposing your website to unnecessary security risks.
Secondly, you increase your chances of ranking well in the search engines and therefore getting more traffic to your website.
What do you lose by NOT moving to HTTPS?
You are undoubtedly losing customers because they are put off by the ‘not secure’ message.
You may be losing traffic already, and you are going to lose your search engine rankings entirely at some point in the future, when Google implement their stated goal of ‘HTTPS everywhere’.
All major websites are now using HTTPS. You won’t find a single important website that doesn’t use it, and all the others are catching on fast. Even the little ones.
By not moving to HTTPS you are sending a message to Google and the world that you are not keeping up with the times, and that you’re not a serious website.
That is not how you want to be seen!
So it’s clear that moving to HTTPS is definitely something that you want to — something in fact that you MUST do.
So why hasn’t everybody done it?
What are the problems with moving to HTTPS?
Firstly, most people don’t know how to do it.
You have to buy an SSL certificate, install it, and reconfigure your web server to use it.
It’s technical, complicated, and it’s quite easy to bring your whole website down for several days if you get it wrong.
For this reason, most people’s only option is to hire somebody to do it for them. Which is expensive.
But there is a better way…
You can use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to do it all for you.
You don’t need to buy a certificate, or reconfigure your web server.
You can do it all through a straightforward web interface.
And as well as converting your website to HTTPS (painlessly!), you get lots of other benefits from using a CDN.
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) speeds up a website by serving your content from a local server, near to the person using your website, instead of sending it long distances over the internet.
That is the prime purpose of a CDN, but the one we are using for this also includes a lot of additional security features as well.
So although in this case, we are primarily using the CDN to get HTTPS setup on your website, you will also these additional benefits:
- Your website will run faster, which makes it better for your customers and removes the frustrations they suffer when your website is slow.
- Web site speed is also a major ranking factor for the search engines. Although HTTPS by itself isn’t a major ranking factor, web site speed most definitely IS, and it’s a big one.
- Improving your website’s speed is one of the most effective ways to improve your search engine ranking, and get more free traffic to your website.
- The CDN has sophisticated security features built-in which help protect your website against a multitude of threats.
- It can block hackers, bots, data breaches, and prevent malicious attacks on your website.
Better stability and reduced costs
- If your website goes down, the CDN can keep it running so it works as normal, even though your server is down!
- So if your hosting company has problems (which they all do from time to time), your customers won’t.
- And because the CDN serves your content across it’s own network, it can also reduce your hosting costs. Or at least prevent them from increasing so much as your traffic grows.
All in all, there are so many benefits to using a CDN, it’s a no-brainer.
That’s why virtually every major website in the world, from Amazon to governments, uses one.
And as well as all that, it’s also going to solve your HTTPS problem — quickly and easily.
I put together a short course (under an hour) which will show you how to painlessly convert your website or blog to HTTPS, using a free CDN service.
So, other than the cost of the course, this won’t cost you ANYTHING to do.
At the end of the course, we’ll have your website running HTTPS, and you’ll be back in Google’s good books!
(and you won’t be losing visitors at the front door any more).
If you’re not feeling confident, or if you run into problems, this course includes 14 days free email support from me so you won’t be on your own.