Why Your Website Needs HTTPS

Last Updated on November 4, 2021 by James Wilson

If you’ve ever used the internet (which I’m assuming you have), typed in a URL, or visited a website, you’re probably familiar with seeing HTTPS.

HTTPS can be found at the beginning of most URLs. If you come across a website that doesn’t have HTTPS in front of the URL, it means that the website isn’t using an SSL certificate, and therefore may not be secure.

HTTPS is a secure version of HTTP. HTTP sends information and data between your internet browser and the website you’re viewing. It secures information like your address, credit card details, and more.

As you might have figured out, the ‘S’ in HTTPS stands for secure. Sensitive data is encrypted, meaning hackers and people who are trying to steal your data are going to have an almost impossible task in doing so.

Switching your website to HTTPS is very important for security. This is especially the case if you’re running an eCommerce store – keeping yours and your customer’s details safe is essential.

Why Is HTTPS Important?

If you’re strapped for time, we’ll give you a quick overview as to why HTTPS is so important for your website:

  1. Your website will rank higher on search engines
  2. Instills trust in your customers
  3. Protects sensitive data

Time to stick around? Let’s take a look at each of those points in more details.

SEO

If you want your website to be successful, SEO is key. While your website’s design is important, it’s no good having a beautiful website that no one can find.

Improving your site’s rankings can happen in various different ways. These include keyword research, Google Analytics, ensuring your content is meaningful and relevant, and lots more.

However, HTTPS can also affect SEO. Google, one of the most popular search engines, now ranks websites by whether they have HTTPS or not. In 2014 it became a ranking factor, so if your website is protected with HTTPS, it will rank higher on search engines.

Google said that HTTPS would be a ‘tie-breaker, meaning if there were two identical sites, one had HTTPS and the other didn’t, the one with HTTPS would rank higher. Safety comes first.

Trust

For your business or brand to be successful over time, you need to please your customers. After all, they’re the people you need to look after as they will keep your business going.

If your customers are using Google Chrome and come across an HTTP website, Google now labels these websites as ‘not secure’. First impressions count, so if your website visitors see this red flag, chances are they’ll go elsewhere.

Nonsecure websites have a much higher bounce rate than secure ones. Whether you’re building your own website or using a website builder, making sure your website is HTTPS is a must-have.

Protecting Data

HTTPS secures data sent between a web browser and a website. It encrypts the data using an SSL certificate. eCommerce stores should always use HTTPS as sensitive information like your customer’s credit card details will be sent across.

HTTPS and Website Builders

Now you know why HTTPS is so important, how do you actually get this on your website? If you’re using a website builder to create your website, make sure they offer a free SSL certificate.

Most popular website builders include a free SSL certificate, including:

You’ll need to make sure that an SSL certificate is included. Some website builders like Weebly only include one for free if you use their Business and Performance plans. However, you can purchase an SSL certificate via your web hosting provider or domain registrar.

eCommerce Platforms and HTTPS

Online stores must have an SSL certificate to take customer information and payment details. The following eCommerce platforms come with a free SSL certificate:

  1. Shopify
  2. Wix
  3. Weebly
  4. BigCommerce
  5. Squarespace

With Weebly’s eCommerce plan, you’ll need to turn the security function on manually.

If you’re using a platform like 3dcart, all of their plans include a shared SSL certificate. If you want to install a dedicated SSL certificate, this will cost and can be more expensive depending on the features you require.

Summary

I hope by the end of this article you now have a good understanding of how HTTPS can help your website. Remember, having HTTPS can have a positive impact on different areas of your site including SEO, trust, and sensitive data.

In fact, there are no downsides to having HTTPS.

Making sure your website is secure is easy and in most cases free to do. If your web hosting provider doesn’t offer a free SSL certificate, you can purchase one.

When choosing a web host or website builder, security should be one of your number one priorities. Keep an eye out for a free SSL certificate when deciding, and if you’re not sure, contact the company you’re purchasing from to see if they can give you an SSL certificate.

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