It’s time to seriously start considering changing your site from HTTP to HTTPS. In the past, HTTPS web pages mostly belonged to e-commerce sites because it served as a way for them to provide their customer’s financial information some security. Now, Google wants everyone to move to https, which means we all must consider the implications of not having a security certificate and what it could mean for your website.
First, let’s discuss the difference between HTTPS and HTTP. While we can get into all the complicated technical aspects, let’s stick to the basics. HTTPS is secure. HTTP is not. It’s why HTTPS is so important for sites that handle financial, log in, and other personal information. HTTPS is more secure because information is encrypted as it goes from one computer to another, making it harder for hackers to decipher the information being transferred.
On the surface, it looks like not every business needs HTTPS. If you own a clothing business with a website that doesn’t have an online store, transferring your website to HTTPS probably wasn’t on your to do list. While adapting your site for an HTTPS world doesn’t have to top the list, the task should be on it for multiple reasons.
The main one is Google is pushing everyone to HTTPS. Currently, Google gives a slight bump in search results to sites with a security certificate. Given how much Google has latched onto the concept of making the web entirely HTTPS, no one knows how long before that bump becomes bigger or Google decides to penalize site without HTTPS. The benefits may be limited now, but it is suspected they will become bigger as more sites convert to HTTPS and leave their competitors in behind. You don’t want to be punished or left behind because you didn’t want to take the time or pay the money. Think of it as an extension of SEO. You do it because you want to show up higher in a user’s search results.
The second reason to move to HTTPS is that visitors trust websites with additional security features more than ones without because a hacker can still find out a lot about a person even if they don’t have access to passwords.
In the end, it’s up to you whether you think HTTPS is worth the investment in time and money. If you’re hesitant to make the jump, there is some time to wait before Google issues a final verdict on HTTPS’s importance. Keep in mind, though, that you don’t want to wake up one day and find your search rankings have gone way down and you’re off the first page because you were lazy or took too long to decide.