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HTTPS Benefits: Is it Really Worth It?

With the constant growth of the online businesses, security has never been more important. Whether you own a big e-commerce project or a small website for personal needs, we still recommend you looking through this material and consider buying the SSL certificate for your website.

TemplateMonster has switched to the HTTPS a few months ago and we believe that we now can give some feedback to our beloved readers. We would like to let you know why we decided to go with HTTPS and explain how hard is the process of getting the SSL protocol for your website. Let us help you make this tough decision by underlining all the benefits of HTTPS in this article.

The first key difference between HTTP and HTTPS lays on the surface. While using HTTP you are leaving a door open for the frauds, so they could hop in and steal all your personal data and your customers as well if you are a business owner.

This protocol doesn’t care about your security; its only mission is to present the information to user’s PC, and it couldn’t care less about how the data gets from point A to point B. Do you want to send your data without any guard?


How does it work?

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Since the transported information is not encrypted, any third party user with needed hacking knowledge can get full access to this info.

On the other hand, HTTPS works with another protocol, SSL. It ensures that the transported info gets from point A to point B without any interference.

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How does SSL protocol work? Here is what happens when you connect to the website:

  1. A browser proceeds with the connection to the website with SSL protocol.
  2. The browser asks the server to identify itself.
  3. The server replies by sending his SSL certificate out.
  4. The browser checks the trustworthiness of this SSL certificate. If so, it sends a notification to the server.
  5. The server sends a digitally signed request to start SSL session.
  6. Here is where https appears and encrypted data is shared between the server and the browser.

This is the point where you should ask yourself a question: Do I want my personal data to be transported safely from point A to point B and guarded by SSL certificate or do I want it to be sent out by careless HTTP protocol?

Moving to the next benefit, you should understand that HTTPS is simply faster than HTTP. And if you think that this is just an empty talk, here is an interesting project that shows real time speed comparison of these two protocols. Test them both yourself!


What is SSL certificate?

So I've said about SSL certificate above. What is it?

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SSL certificate assures your visitor that you are a reliable website and that his data will be carefully encrypted and guarded all the way from his browser to your server. Trusted SSL providers will only issue a certificate to the real companies that have been successfully verified and checked more than one time. So users will not have to worry about their credit card info, login or password, the data will be delivered to the right company safely.


What about pricing and what are the options?


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The price of the each SSL certificate depends on the security features included by the SSL provider, so price usually varies from $50 to $400. Everyone has a chance to find an affordable certificate for his/her needs. I made a quick overview and created a list of SSL certificate providers for you.

Symantec

One of the most known digital security company that offers top quality SSL certificates starting from $399 per year.

Comodo

Very reliable SSL provider that not only offers quality certificates for the affordable price but also provides free SSL certificates that are valid for 90 days and are trusted same as their paid ones.

Network Solutions

A reliable company that offers SSL certificates in a range from $54.99 to $399.50 per year. They have five solution plans for you, from express SSL certificates to extended.

GoDaddy

This company takes the place of one of the most known SSL certificate providers. Top quality - check, Affordable pricing - check.

SSL.com

A pioneer in this industry that offers a great service for a good pricing. Their customer base includes Microsoft, IBM and other big and well-known brands.


Where can you get a free SSL Certificate?

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Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) offers a service called ‘Let’s Encrypt.' This is an open certificate authority that issues SSL certificates completely free of charge. A primary goal is making the internet a safer place and that is why they give people the digital certificates at zero cost and make it in a very user-friendly way.

And also, as I mentioned before, do not forget to check out Comodo’s offer. They have a free SSL certificate option on their website as well.


What do gurus say about HTTPS?

HTTPS is not only good for security but also for referrer data and other SEO strategies. When looking at the issue holistically and considering the future of what Google is likely to do with HTTPS, I recommend switching over to HTTPS, ASAP, to keep up with Google.

Michael Hernandez, ahrefs.com

If you’re a web shop or otherwise transactional website you probably already have SSL for your checkout. If so, moving your entire website to https makes a LOT of sense to me, it’s probably actually easier to maintain and makes sure that you’re doing everything to make sure your SSL traffic (and thus the most important section of your site) is as fast as possible.

Joost de Valk, Yoast.com

When sites use HTTP, their users’ search and browsing history are transmitted for anyone to see. The Freedom of the Press Foundation recently urged news media sites to switch to HTTPS. When sites use HTTPS, proxies and Internet backbone infrastructure can’t as easily inspect traffic and throttle it based on content. Some entities can potentially break or get around Transport Layer Security (TLS), or steal TLS certificates. However, implementing HTTPS raises the barrier of privacy protection significantly.

HTTPS is not unbreakable, and the SSL protocol has to evolve constantly as new attacks against it are discovered and squashed. But it is still an impressively robust way of transmitting secret data without caring who sees your messages.

Rob Heaton, Software engineer

Google’s intent is to make the web a safer and better place for users, look at a https migration from a rankings point of view in my opinion is a narrow minded view, and anything that you can do to better align a website with that intent, can’t be a bad thing.

Dan Taylor, SALT.agency


Wrapping things up

Basically, HTTPS is a backbone of internet security and everyone who owns a website should consider getting the SSL certificate nowadays. If you want to ensure the safety of your customers' personal information, go for it. It will indeed boost the trustworthiness of your business.

Speaking of your business, do you even have your own website at all? If not, switching the HTTPS is not your main goal right now, trust me! First of all, create a website! That's very easy nowadays, just choose one of those WordPress premium themes and you'll have a fully-functional website in a few hours.


Alex Tkachenko

Creative writer passionate about WordPress and all that technical stuff. Meet Alex in person on LinkedIn.

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