The address of each web page appearing in the browser bar is preceded by the appropriate protocol: http or https. Even by entering the address directly, for example, any-address of the website.pl, it is automatically complemented by http or https respectively, ensuring that the website is displayed correctly. This is because the protocols are an integral part of the Uniform Resource Locator (URL), which is the address of the website. HTTPS and HTTP are two variations of the Internet transmission protocol. They are used to exchange user data with the server through a browser. The main difference between them is in the presence and absence of encryption of transmitted information. What to use when creating a new site – HTTP or HTTPS? Let us take a closer look.
What is HTTP and HTTPS?
The abbreviations http and https denote the protocols of communication between the client and the server, i.e. how a user visiting a website will receive information from the server containing the content he or she wanted to consult. The main difference between http and https is the way the website is secured and data is transmitted. As the awareness of the dangers lurking on the Internet increases over time, more and more attention is paid to the security of the information transmitted. Therefore, you can feel the trend on the Internet to switch from http to https, which has been fueled by Google for years, among other things in the guidelines for webmasters, where it is recommended to use https as often as possible.
HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) is an application protocol for data transfer in a network. It is currently used to obtain information from websites. HTTP protocol is based on the use of “client-server” technology: the client sending a request is the initiator of the connection; the server receiving the request executes it and sends the result to the client.
HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) is an extension of the HTTP protocol that supports encryption via the cryptographic protocols SSL and TLS.
What is the difference between HTTP and HTTPS
The difference between http and http can affect network security. The https protocol, which means that the connection is encrypted, allows data to be transmitted in a way that makes it difficult to intercept it. If an unencrypted connection, i.e. a page based on the http protocol, is used, there is a risk of data being intercepted by unwanted people. Moreover, more and more often in web browsers, a message about the lack of SSL certificate appears at the URL. This is a message that can effectively deter a potential user from converting or even browsing the site itself. This state of affairs is the result of Google’s long term policy to make the use of https as widespread as possible. Regardless of which website you run, you should take care of the security and good experience of your users by securing the information transmitted using SSL / TLS protocol whenever possible. Especially since, among other things, Google Chrome means all pages on http as unsecured, as we have already written about on our blog.
- HTTPS is not a separate data transfer protocol, but is an extension of the HTTP protocol with an encryption superstructure;
- data transferred via HTTP protocol is not protected, HTTPS ensures confidentiality of information by encrypting it;
- HTTP uses port 80, HTTPS uses port 443.
What webmaster needs to know when switching from HTTP to HTTPS
In order to avoid downgrading and, consequently, reducing the traffic, it is necessary not only to connect a digital SSL certificate correctly (as a rule, this is done by the company hosting the web resource). It is necessary to explicitly specify in the site settings for search engines that the main version of the web resource works via HTTPS protocol. In the process of setting up the site through the tools for webmasters Google should clearly indicate that the main version of the site supports HTTPS. In Google for this purpose it is necessary to go to the page of site transfer with URL change, where you should set up 301-redict from HTTP-pages of the site to equivalent HTTPS pages. You also need to add a new URL to the webmaster panel and register the main mirror of the site. For correct redirection and work it is important that all links to downloaded content – pictures, web fonts, scripts, style files – without exception passed through HTTPS. If an HTTPS resource downloads some content through an unprotected HTTP protocol, users may receive a notice of incomplete site protection. Some browsers may not support displaying of combined (HTTPS + HTTP) content, which will result in incorrect site operation.
HTTP and HTTPS data transferring
Data transferred via HTTP is smaller in volume, so it takes a little less time to transfer them both ways. But if the site is normally optimized, the difference in speed will not be noticeable. And many users understand: it is better to wait a couple of seconds without worrying whether their money, details and passwords will get to the destination server safely. In addition, search engines, in particular, Google consider HTTPS one of the signs of a quality site.
So what is the difference between http and https in terms of site positioning? Will the transition effects be visible in the positions of the website? There is no clear indication that the day when https should be switched to the protocol (unless sensitive data is sent) has already arrived. What’s more, in the case of small or young pages with low visibility within such a transition, you will most likely not feel any difference. However, if a page already has relatively high visibility, it competes on many different keywords mainly from a long tail, even a small change, a small increase in position may affect more people. Additionally, one should not forget about the increased security of the site, which makes the users more willing to do the conversion.