You’ve probably never thought about it, but that “HTTP” in your web address plays an important role in your website’s security and visibility.
HTTP stands for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol.” It transfers data from a website to a web browser. HTTP is why it’s possible to view websites on your computer.
But HTTP is about to go the way of the dodo… and it may be cause for worry.
Here’s the deal…
When someone visits your website, it transfers a certain type of data from that person’s computer. If a website is HTTP, that data that passes through unencrypted, and can therefore be intercepted by nefarious third parties. These parties can then use the information to track a website visitor’s online “movements” and steal their precious private info.
To combat this issue, the internet is gradually switching to a more secure communication protocol known as HTTPS.
HTTPS stands for… drum roll, please… “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure.”
Without getting into too much geek-speak, HTTPS encrypts data transferred over the web to keep that data secure. It does this through a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).
Websites that use HTTPS reap a number of benefits:
Higher search engine rankings
HTTPS websites have the SEO edge over HTTP websites. Search engines like to make sure that the websites they’re sending their users to are safe. If you’re vying with a competitor for the top spot on the results page, HTTPS can be the tiebreaker.
Better website security (duh!)
I already covered this above. HTTPS encrypts data that’s sent between a browser and a website. With HTTPS, no one can “spy” on your website visitors, track their activities, or steal their information.
More user trust
As HTTPS becomes more prevalent, the general public will take notice. When they see HTTPS in front of your website address, they’ll know that they’re information is safe while they’re browsing your website. It’s a subtle yet effective way to immediately build trust with your website visitors. Plus, this nifty lock icon shows up next to your website address in some web browsers:
In a nutshell, here’s how to switch from HTTP to HTTPS:
- Buy an SSL certificate and install it on your server.
- Update hard-coded links in your robots.txt files to HTTPS.
- Set up 301 redirects from HTTP to HTTPS. This informs search engines that you’ve changed your website’s addresses and also automatically redirects your old HTTP address to the new HTTPS address.
It’s actually a bit more complicated than this, but those are the basic steps.
Naturally, contractors who partner with MYM don’t have to fry their brains fussing over 301 redirects, SSL certificates, and robots.txt files.
Over the course of the last few months, we’ve moved all of our clients over to HTTPS. Would-be hackers all over the country wept.
If you’d like to keep your website safe and benefit from our internet-marketing services the way our clients do, get in touch with us in one of two ways:
- Pick up that thing you use to surf ESPN.com and check emails, and call us at (817) 416-4333.
- Visit https://mymonline.com/ and use the chat box in the lower-right corner to speak to an MYM representative immediately.
P.S. HTTPS is here to stay. It’ll eventually replace HTTP completely. That’s why it’s best to hop on board the HTTPS train right now, before search engines factor even more heavily into rankings. Do it now, and thank me later.