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What is HTTPS?

July 31, 2018
By Frank Rodriguez
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This article was updated last February 14, 2023.

Google Paving the way for a safer internet. HTTP vs. HTTPS — what’s the difference, and are you secure?

What is HTTPS? – Hypertext transfer protocol secure is the secure version of HTTP, the primary protocol used to send data between a web browser and a website. HTTPS is encrypted to make sure that data transfer is safe. This is especially important when people send sensitive information, like when they login to their bank account, email service, or health insurance provider. There are many advantages of HTTPS

While browsing the Internet, you may have noticed that some sites are now marked as “Not Secure.” This is the outcome of Chrome’s version 68 update. This was one of a series of improvements that had been in the works for a few years! Google’s overarching objective for the upgrades is to transition websites from HTTP to HTTPS in order to provide a better secure internet browsing experience for everyone.

As a result, you can probably see why having a secure connection when accessing any website would be important. However, this is a concerning change for many business owners that still have their sites under HTTP. Simply put, no one wants their customers and visitors to bounce off their websites when they see “Not Secure” displayed prominently, especially when nearly 90% of web users have Google Chrome as their go-to browser.

If you are browsing the web using Chrome, you might have noticed a grey lock next to the URL section. If not, check out ours at the top left of your browser.

secure lock on website
what is https
In 2018, there was a green lock indicating the site was secure with HTTPS. Now, we just have a gray lock up top.

Google is making Secure the new norm.

Nowadays, any site not encrypted with HTTPS will have a red warning sign with “Not Secure” next to it. And in some cases, your site may be blocked entirely for anyone who uses Google Chrome. A few years ago, Google was gently nudging everyone to make the switch. Nowadays, it’s a hard-lined approach. Google is essentially saying, “get secure, or get off the web”.

Danger, Will Robinson!!

In Google Chrome's update in October, Chrome 70 will be showing HTTP websites are not secure.
October 2018 marked the Google Chrome 70 update. Unsecured HTTP sites now display in red with a warning sign. In some cases, they are blocked entirely.

Say hello to a Really Simple solution.

All that said, this was not doomsday. Why? Because despite what may seem like a headache, is actually pretty easy to fix if you’re using WordPress. First and foremost, you’ll need an SSL certificate. Acquiring one can be either straightforward or a more involved process, depending on your website’s host. In fact, many hosting sites nowadays already include SSL with their service. If you created a website after 2020, you probably won’t have to worry about this. If you still haven’t caught up — no worries. Here are a few easy steps to take.

Three Really Simple steps:

Obtain an SSL certificate. (Let’s Encrypt has you covered for free.)
Download and install the Really Simple SSL plugin if you are using WordPress as your CMS. It takes your website to HTTPS in just one click.

A few last steps to complete the change include updating your sitemap, webmaster tools, CDN, analytics and social share accounts with your updated URL. If you’re already familiar with WordPress, then this is no problem. If not, don’t worry — because Mighty Fine is here to help.  We offer a quick and inexpensive fix for WordPress users. Contact us today, and we’d be more than happy to discuss how we can assist you with it.

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