HTTPS, what is HTTPS?
It’s nothing but a secured HTTP. So why not everyone can use HTTPS on their websites. If you want your website to be supported with HTTPS protocol, then you need to buy an SSL certificate for your website which may cost from $10 to $100 or even more, based on your requirement.
Here is what Google webmaster central blog says on HTTPS. Since August 2014, Google considers HTTPS as a ranking signal and is becoming more and more relevant year by year. HTTPS is like encryption, which is technically important for sites dealing with purchasing processes or sensitive client information, to increase trust and conversion rates. Find Resources –
But at Google I/O, Google calls for HTTPS everywhere on the web. More and more webmasters are adopting HTTPS, which is also known as HTTP over TLS, where TLS stands for transport layer security. You can buy a single or multi-domain or a wildcard SSL certificate, although Google recommends you to use 2048 bit key certificates.
But let's see or let's check for the security level of Newegg website using this Qualys Lab Tool. Newegg.com is an eCommerce website, which sells computer parts and many other things related to electronics. I have added a product to my cart on the newegg.com website. Once I have added the product to the cart, you can see in the address bar, that the normal newegg.com has switched to HTTPS.
This denotes to me that, this is a secured page and the details, which I provide on this page will be secured and protected. Using SSL Labs, I checked for newegg.com for the security grid and the result was Grade A. Using Qualys SSL Labs tool you can check the HTTPS security of any domain.
For a normal blog or a news website, HTTPS or SSL certificate is not needed. But when Google says that it is a ranking factor, it's advisable to get an SSL certificate for each and every website. As per our research data, almost half of the web pages in the top 10 and one-third of web pages in the top 20 uses HTTPS encryption.
Not only that, Google announced that websites that don’t switch to HTTPS will be marked as unsafe in the Chrome browser. This will continue to elevate the status of HTTPS as a ranking factor. Above all the correlation factor has increased from 5% to 19% in recent years, which is higher than that for the search volume of the domain names.
There are several websites, which provide you SSL certificates and you can buy them per year. GoDaddy offers you an SSL certificate for $63 per year for a single domain or 1 website. If you want an SSL certificate for multiple domains then you need to pay $135 per year and this rate differs from website to website.
Rapid SSL provides you single-domain SSL certificate for just $50, which is around 13$ lesser than GoDaddy. Namecheap.com, this website provides you an SSL certificate on a per-domain basis for just 9$ per year. Some websites like Let’s Encrypt and Cloudflare offer you free, basic SSL certificates.
This free SSL certificate is enough for websites that don’t deal with confidential client information or e-commerce transactions. Websites such as news or review websites, personal or photography blogs, portfolio websites can get this free SSL from Cloudflare or letsencrypt.
So based on the SSL certificate that you buy and based on the features or protection it gives, the price varies, and also it varies from SSL certificate provider to provider. But I recommend you to get an SSL certificate, from your hosting provider itself, which will give you a slightly easier integration and configuration.
If your hosting provider gives the free SSL certificate from Let’s encrypt, get it! Or else purchase one SSL certificate from your hosting provider. To wrap up the advantages of HTTPS, It gives you greater user trust, especially for websites with security payments such as eCommerce websites. It protects against Phishing and hacks. It also gives you ranking advantages in Google search results. But it also comes with a set of drawbacks or disadvantages. Implementing HTTPS inside your website is
a bit tricky process. Also, it's certificate-based.
What is certificate-based?
Earlier you need to buy an SSL certificate for eCommerce websites and now Google recommends you to buy a TLS certificate, which is also termed as SSL plus certificates. Though there are many possibilities to get a free SSL or TLS certificate, the implementation is a bit tricky and it requires the modification of the link structure of your entire website. Also, there are probabilities of getting entirely locked out of your website or your website’s admin page, if implemented carelessly.
But once you have successfully implemented HTTPS in your website, you should move to a little bit powerful hosting package. It doesn’t mean you need VPS hosting package, get decent enough shared or enterprise hosting packages, such as a Pro plan or enterprise plan in Stablehost.com.
You can see that Wikipedia has completely moved from HTTP to HTTPS. Whenever you search for Wikipedia, the URL in the search result appears as HTTPS. This is why I recommend you too, to move to HTTPS to get a boost in search engine ranking. I have added some external resources to this Article, which will guide you to implement HTTPS on your website, step by step. Do follow that and be careful while implementing it, as you might get locked out of your website if the implementation is done improperly.
In the next article, let’s see how you should optimize your website’s URL structure.
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