Since 2014, when Google announced its intention to make the internet more secure by moving its domain-specific websites from HTTP over to HTTPS, there have been a lot of positive results. Such as the numbers of encrypted traffic surpassing the numbers of unencrypted traffic, which simply means websites that haven't adopted this protocol are considered unreliable.
HTTP, which was designed in the early 90's, works as a response protocol by giving its users a way of interacting with web resources, which includes HTML files by transmitting hypertext messages between clients and servers.
What's The Difference Between HTTPS And HTTP?
In a simple term, there's no huge difference between both protocols except for the fact that HTTP has no TLS certificates and HTTPS uses Secure Sockets Layer for encrypting normal HTTP requests and their responses.
Reasons for the HTTPS Protocol
- SEO: The chances of search engines crawling http websites are very slim, and they don't have the chance of being ranked by Google.
- Reliability: Users who visit websites using http protocols are always notified not to submit sensitive information simply because the website is regarded as not reliable since information between the users and the server is not encrypted. Websites in this category often get high bounce back rates from their visitors.
Converting HTTP to HTTPS is simple. All you need to do is to follow the easy steps listed below.
1. Purchasing an SSL Certificate
There are many web hosting companies where you can purchase SSL certificates, but it is best if you purchase it from your web hosting provider. might help you with the setup, while others offer it for free when you purchase a hosting plan.
Note that there are different kinds of certificates that are up for sale. Always ensure to watch out for which of them suites your website, and for e-learning and e-commerce websites, it is advisable to purchase those with Organization Validation (OV).
2. Install an SSL certificate
Have your web hosting provider install the SSL certificates for you, but if you choose to make a purchase from a third party, you'll have to import the certificate into your hosting environment.
3. Ensure that all internal links point to HTTPS.
After the setup, your site won't be accessible for some minutes. Don't panic, just be patient until it's back running well. Ensure to check that every page link has the https url because the same domain using https and http is assumed by Google Ai as two different websites.
4. Set Up 301 Redirects
There are lots of plugins that can help you set up 301 redirects, but I always prefer using the CMS plugin. With it, you can redirect all traffic from the HTTP server to the new HTTPS with zero stress. It also notifies search engines of the protocol change you made to your website.
Viewers who have bookmarked your website in their browsers, as well as previous backlinks with the http protocol, will all be redirected.
After successfully converting the http protocol to https, make sure to add your new URL to the Google search console for fast indexing, despite setting up a 301 redirect.