If you’re just starting your blog, this article is a little bit on the technical side, but we believe having an HTTPS blog is super important for the future security of your site, and we suggest you taking the time to know the difference.
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Http vs Https
You may have noticed when you type in the domain of your favorite website, that your browser has either HTTP or HTTPS before the domain name in your browser of choice.
When you go to www.startablog.com for example you’ll see your browser puts “HTTPS” before the actual domain URL.
Why does this matter? One is super secure, and the other one is vulnerable to hacking and other anomalies.
Up until recently, most websites defaulted to HTTP formatting. HTTP stands for ” hypertext transfer protocol” and is basically a language in which your domain communicates with the internet. HTTP is an “agreement” with how the internet interacts with your site. It’s a common computer language that can be read by wide variety of hosts and domain providers.
Why HTTP is Not Secure
The problem with HTTP, is that it’s not very secure.
Hackers and bad apples ruin everything.
To make HTTP more secure, SSL or Secure Sockets Layer were developed and included in a new language HTTPS. This extra piece of code/communication interacts with your website and makes your content encrypted so it is not as easily as hacked.
SSL (also known TLS) essentially creates a secure connection, between your webhost and browser. If your information happens to be “intercepted” the “data” is scrambled, so it’s much harder for the hacker to get their hands on anything important.
Of course, SSL/HTTPS doesn’t guarantee anything bad won’t happen (which is why we suggest you back up WordPress) but it makes things significantly harder to be hacked.
This is super important for your website, especially once you start selling products or services through your blog.
An added benefit of having your site run on HTTPS is that Google tends to rank sites with good security practices higher in their search engine. It won’t make a “huge’ difference, but hey it’s certainly better than nothing.
Put simply, sites that run on HTTP are outdated and vulnerable for attack. For a nominal fee HTTPS will ensure your site is as secure as possible, and let’s the internet know your site is using best security practices.
How to Fix HTTP to HTTPS
Luckily, most hosts (like Bluehost) make it easy to switch to HTTPS with a little bit of configuration, which is beyond the scope of this article. We highly recommend you contact your hosting provider and move your site to HTTPS as soon as possible.
If you’re on wordpress, there are two easy fixes that might help.
- Use cloudflare (they will give you an SSL for free)
- Use Really Simple SSL (wordpress plugin) and it will automatically upgrade all your links on your wordpress install instantly.
While it might not seen essential now, having your site hacked is never a fun thing to deal with.
Additional reading on http vs https
Other in-depth reading you might like on this topic.