If you’re anything like us and you use the internet religiously, you’ll no doubt have noticed the ‘https://’ behind the website domain you wish to visit. If you’ve always wondered what that stands for, it is Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS).
Historically, websites just used to be called HTTP (without the Secure), but the introduction of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates has meant that websites can improve the security of a visitor’s connection between their server and the user’s web browser.
Websites that still operate with an HTTP behind their website domain are now deemed insecure in the eyes of major search engines like Google. These sites are much more susceptible to eavesdropping and phishing attacks by cyber-criminals as a user’s data is more freely accessible in plaintext.
On the flip side, an HTTPS website with a valid SSL certificate ensures that all user data that is sent between their web browser and a website’s server is fully encrypted and secured from potential interception.
If you’re a business that’s prominent online, there are many benefits to obtaining an SSL certificate and that all-important HTTPS extension for your website address:
- Google likes websites with an HTTPS extension – it’s good for your SEO
For several years now, Google has been giving websites with HTTPS priority in their search engine result pages (SERPs). Those still with HTTP will find it very difficult to rank in Google for industry competitive search terms. Google believes that rewarding websites with HTTPS is important as these websites and businesses are those prepared to go the extra mile to protect the integrity of their website and the privacy and security of their customers.
- Insecure website warnings can lead to lower conversion rates
Nowadays, when you attempt to visit a website without an SSL certificate and HTTPS, your web browser will typically warn you that you are about to visit an “insecure website”. In the hyper-competitive world of e-commerce, why would any sane user risk shopping online through an insecure website when there are dozens of safer competitors? Ignoring HTTPS is simply not worth the risk to your conversion rates.
- Insecure website warnings can also result in reduced enquiries
Web browsers will also warn you of an “insecure website” when you’re about to fill out a contact form or sensitive financial details at checkout. That’s because the risk of having your personal or financial data stolen by cyber-criminals is heightened via HTTP websites. Prospective customers will be much less inclined to follow through with an enquiry or sale after this warning.
There’s no excuse not to have HTTPS and SSL for your website with Unity Online
With so many commercial disadvantages to HTTP websites today, it might seem strange why you wouldn’t migrate to HTTPS. However, they can be complicated to set up and even more complex to migrate and configure your website to use it.
Even cost can also be a detractor – some hosting companies will charge you up to £150 a year for an SSL certificate. The truth is they don’t need to cost a lot of money.
At Unity Online, we never host insecure websites. In fact, we offer a free SSL with our website hosting as standard. We will also migrate your existing HTTP site over to HTTPS for you. We manage all of this in-house so you don’t have to.
To find out more about our free SSL certificates and our comprehensive website design and hosting services, call our experts today on 01473 350485 and start taking a different digital path.