I’m here to answer that very question. HTTPS is vital for websites these days. Browsers are now starting to implement new features which identifies websites that aren’t using HTTPS and displays warnings to users to alert them that their data isn’t secure.
What is HTTPS?
HTTPS stands for ‘Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure’ – it basically means that your website encrypts sensitive information that’s being sent through your website.
Background on HTTPS
HTTPS became a popular subject when in 2014 the Heartbleed bug was made public. This bug allowed people with bad intent to listen in on traffic being transferred over SSL/TLS. Since then the bug got patched pretty quickly, but it lead to a wake up call to website owners that they should take HTTPS and encryption very seriously.
In January 2017, Google Chrome has since been displaying clear warnings next to the address bar whenever you visit a website that doesn’t encrypt sensitive data, such as forms or online purchases.
How do I add HTTPS to my website?
You need to ensure that you have a SSL certificate across your website. Some hosting companies can assist you with inserting this into your website for a small cost. Google also provides some useful information.ereA few useful things to note:
- Make sure that all internal links are updated and ensure that your theme code URLs all reference “https://” instead of “http://”
- There are a few levels of SSL you can pick from. This will depend on how large your website is. Some certificates come with insurances etc. Do some research before selecting your SSL certificate to find the one that is right for you.
- Ensure that you have a canonical link present in the <head> section or of your website to properly redirect traffic from “http://” to “https://” or redirect traffic using .htaccess
- Ensure that you update any Google Analytics or Google Webmasters account details after you have made the changes to ensure that you do not lose any of that valuable data.
Boost Your Ranking with HTTPS
Google has announced that it’s going to start giving websites a small benefit if a website has HTTPS to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS. This is not to say that your website will be boosted to position 1 overnight, but every little helps.
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