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When it comes to having a website, a few intricate details can make all the difference. How often do you notice what your web address looks like? It seems like such a small aspect of your website, but having an HTTP site versus HTTPS can make all the difference when dealing with your website’s security.

In today’s article, we are taking a look at what HTTPS means and why it matters for your small business. We will discuss a few examples of where this issue comes into play and the steps you can take to protect yourself. It may seem like a trivial matter, but in reality, making the switch will help protect you from future difficulties and ultimately strengthen your online presence.

HTTP Versus HTTPS: What’s the Difference?

HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. Therefore, the s in HTTPS means that your website is safe to use. People that browse your site are not putting their information at risk. If your website is lacking the s, an information box will pop up in a user’s search bar saying something along the lines of “not secure.”

In the past, this distinction has been most important for e-commerce websites and those that handle sensitive information. Since August 2018, however, Google decided it was time to let people know if they were on an unsecure website.

What Does HTTPS Actually Do?

At this point, you may be wondering, what does adding one letter do to change the integrity of a website? If your website lacks this security measure, it means that anyone could tap into your connection. HTTPS signifies that the site you’re using is encrypted, meaning people can still tap into the connection, they just won’t be able to understand the messages you’re receiving.

Website Security and SEO

HTTPS not only tells viewers whether or not their connection to your website is secure. It also plays a factor with how you rank in Google.

To begin, a secure website is more likely to gain traction and have a higher audience than an unsecure website, all things being equal. Viewers tend to see your content as more reliable. Plus, websites that are labeled as having an insecure connection may have a higher bounce rate. Considering these two factors, Google will take notice of the fact that your content is getting clicks and has a relatively low bounce rate, boosting your rankings overall.

HTTPS and User Experience

Aside from all of the technical considerations, secure websites provide a better user experience in general.

For starters, opening a website to see the words “not secure” is a huge red flag. Many users may leave a website with this type of warning. Seeing that a page is safe to use builds trust. It doesn’t put you at risk for forming a poor first impression.

There are also several mechanical aspects of HTTPS sites that simply help them perform better. For example, HTTPS websites load faster, keeping users satisfied as they continue browsing. This also goes back to SEO, allowing your website to rank higher and encouraging more traffic.

Overall, users will feel more protected using an https site. They aren’t worried about their information getting stolen and, by extension, can feel like they trust your content.

Making The Switch

The first step to switching your website from HTTP to HTTPS is to buy an SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate in order to prove the identity of the site. You can purchase one through your web hosting service.

The web host can then install the certificate and check to make sure all internal links are HTTPS. That way, you won’t have a mix that will ultimately confuse readers and hurt your credibility.

In the grand scheme of things, an HTTPS site will boost your rankings and give you more visibility with your audience. It creates a more secure online presence. You will give yourself the opportunity to reach a wider audience and help give your credibility a boost.

The beauty of working with a third party like Vervology to create and manage your website is that this is a problem you don’t have to worry about. A professional team will handle making sure that your website is fully secure, even going beyond HTTPS. If you’re interested in professional advice from a team who genuinely cares about your business’s online security, don’t hesitate to reach out to Vervology.