HTTPS is the New Standard (for good reason too!)
When I ventured out to make this website, I set up HTTPS from the start. Some would ask if that is really necessary, considering that I don’t take payments or collect user data. My answer to that (and hopefully everyone’s answer) is a resounding “Yes!” If it’s not your answer, here are three basic reasons why it matters:
1. Security – Encrypt Your User’s Data
This is obviously the biggest reason that HTTPS is far superior to HTTP. When using HTTP to access a web page, anyone with a little cybersecurity knowledge and access to your network can easily see your data in plaintext! This is where enforcing HTTPS matters. The average end user probably wont be using much security other than what their OS provides by default. By enforcing HTTPS on your web server, you can “force” another layer of protection onto your users traffic. In my opinion, this is just a matter of good practice. Let’s keep our user’s secure and their data private.
2. SEO – Increase Your Rankings
Google has been pushing for widespread adoption of HTTPS for a long time and they have said that using HTTPS is considered a “ranking signal” – although not as important as quality content and backlinks. In late 2016, a study conducted by Brian Dean, SEMRush, Ahrefs, SimilarWeb and MarketMuse found that there was a correlation between using HTTPS and higher search rankings. Even though creating good content is key to climbing the search indexes, having a secure website will solidify your web presence to your consumers. As Google and other companies drive the internet to be more secure, HTTPS is definitely here to stay.
3. Trust – Increase User Confidence
With the recent release of Chrome 68, websites that are not using HTTP are being labeled as “Not Secure” in the URL Bar. Google has stated that in future updates to the browser, that label will look something like the image above with bright red text to warn users of an insecure connection. Although the number of people using Chrome worldwide is estimated at about 40%, no browser comes close to dominating the market according to the federal government’s Digital Analytics Program (DAP). As an example of Chrome dominating the browser-space, W3schools.com has over 50 million views a month, and of those views 80% of users were using Chrome. With Google taking this kind of action against HTTP websites, a large portion of web traffic will see that ugly red label and lose confidence in your website’s security. Would you put your debit card information into a page labeled “Not Secure”? I know that I question the legitimacy of a website if it isn’t using HTTPS. How do you think your users will react?