Every website URL you visit starts with either
https, the difference being
http data is passed as plain text while
https data is encrypted. Think of it like
http is sending a post card where anyone can read it along the way, while
https is like writing the message in code, sending it in a locked box, and having it escorted by armed guards.
https was expensive and had additional technical requirements (e.g. a dedicated IP address) and for these reasons few sites used
https. Today the barriers to
https have been reduced to almost nothing. At the same time, the benefits of having
https have grown significantly.
Reasons to Move to HTTPS
Improve Your Position in Search Results
https as a positive ranking signal (source). In other words, having
https helps you rank higher in Google search results.
HTTPS Prices Have Decreased
Let’s Encrypt is a free provider of certificates for
https sponsored by companies who want to help more of the web move to
https. Many hosting providers have integration with Let’s Encrypt to make it easy to add
https through them. Even if your host does not support Let’s Encrypt, prices have come down to where you can purchase a certificate for under $10.
Google Chrome Flagging Passwords on HTTP as Insecure
As of January 2017, Google Chrome marks any webpage with a password field as Insecure if the page is not loaded with
https (source). This means any webpage with a login that is not using
https is going to be marked as insecure.
How to Move to HTTPS
https can be very quick and easy or it can require a little more time depending on your site. Some sites can be moved to
https in a just a few minutes. You can read my post on my personal site about exactly how I moved my websites to https.