Moving to HTTPS: customer security starts with the address bar
You can stuff your online store with hundreds of features to make it more profitable. But the ones that always prove their worth can be narrowed down to three words: security, privacy and speed. In this article, we will talk about what feature takes care of all three.
What is HTTPS and why it is important?
Every time anyone visits your website, they leave some information there. The information is handled by HTTPS, that stays for “Secure HyperText Transfer Protocol” and allows secure communication between server and user’s browser. That protocol is responsible for handling all the information coming from the user, and needless to say, this connection better be secure. Its older version HTTP, however, just transfers the information from A to B without proper encryption.
Basically, migration from HTTP to HTTPS is replacing Transport Layer Security Protocol to Security Sockets Layer protocol. There is no drastic visual difference between the web pages with HTTP and HTTPS, and that’s why a lot of site owners do not pay special attention to it. At the same time, if your website deals with private and paying information, keeping your website on HTTP version is less safe day after day.
Why you should use HTTPS?
The additional S in HTTPS is for “Secure”. That is so because it uses a different, safer protocol to deliver data. This is the key difference from HTTP. Therefore HTTPS is a must have for commercial websites that store and transfer sensitive data, such as payments. For ecommerce companies, moving to HTTPS is a matter of trustworthiness and profit. Let’s go in more details from that point:
- Google made it clear that search engine prefers sites with HTTPS
That means, a S-based website can get a minor ranking boost over HTTP-based ones, which is a clear SEO benefit. According to Google, websites with secure protocol show better relevancy results because of security factors.
- Improved security
Speaking about security, you can’t stress it too many times. Any information send via HTTPS is well encrypted and no one can access and steal it at any point. Unprotected websites, on the other side, can be exploited for unwanted advertisements and suffer from security holes.
- Customers see your business as verified and reliable
Even the most unsophisticated user can notice and verify that you are who you claim to be by the secure green label in the address bar. Usually, it indicates that the website certificate is valid, displays security status and company name. Dealing with HTTPS websites creates more positive customer experience.
- Customers can trust their paying information to you
When a customer makes a purchase from your online store, they trust you powerful combinations of digits, that are their phone, ID, and paying card numbers. To keep your customers happy, you should make sure this information is always encrypted. HTTPS adds a few layers of protection from all kinds of stealing and corrupting data.
- HTTPS keeps website integrity updated
Most browsers latest updates display HTTP website as less secure ones and warn users about possible threats. That can make customers consider leaving your store or scare them off from the very first visit, because they see triggering red sign.
What are the issues while moving to HTTPS?
You are keeping up with the worldwide trends and can’t wait to make your online store more secure. Nevertheless, making a transition to HTTPS requires preparation and strategy. Here, we listed what you need to take into consideration in order to avoid bad consequences:
- Additional costs
A commercial SSL certificate costs money, and buying a certificate is the main step in migration. Your servers may also need an update if moving to HTTPS requires additional RAM/CPU.
- Technical complexity
Implementing HTTPS is a process that should be handled professionally. A few mistakes can cause a severe damage to website performance in search results.
- Reindexation by search engines takes time
Don’t be confused by the drop in rankings. All URLs to your website are changed, and indexing them all over again takes time. Once search engines process the change of the protocol, everything will be back.
- HTTPS can break hyperlinks
Make sure your links are updated everywhere and redirects are placed to new version of your site. This way, you won’t lose customers and confuse search engine robots.
- There is no way back. But do you need it?
Migration is a long term strategy. Once the website is updated, you need to constantly use that version, even if you use redirects to the older one. But don’t worry: HTTPS still carries more advantages that benefit to business-owned websites.
Have you made your mind already?
The numbers of websites migrating to secure protocol was growing rapidly in 2017. More than 50% of all websites on the Internet already moved on, and this number won’t get lower. With cyber fraud getting bigger every day, business data security is relevant for ecommerce, and online stores are the first to enjoy the advantages of implementing HTTPS.