Should I Use HTTPS For My Website?
This post addresses the question “should I use https for my website,” and it only came to my attention when I was creating a new sub-domain WordPress site the other day.
My web hosting provider is an excellent company called SiteGround and they, like others, provide the WordPress installation platform, easily accessible within your account’s cPanel area.
I had already installed WP, but not even considered HTTPS for that installation. However, on this new WP install I was prompted, even strongly advised to use HTTPS, so I did.
That then raised the question of my main WP installation, and led to me going on chat with SiteGround to request HTTPS for that one also. When I asked “should I use https for my website?” the help operator simply stated that I could easily have it, if I wished. I said I would like to have HTTPS and they siad they’d “forced” HTTPS and that was the matter resolved. I have accepted this and will monitor things as I go on.
Does It Really Matter If I Use HTTPS Or Not?
The short answer to this nowadays (2018) is “YES!”
It is now vital to have protection in place, in the form of HTTPS, for all of the websites you own. And, it is immaterial whether or not they handle communications of a sensitive nature. HTTPS has become a requirement for a lot of the new features for browser, in particular the ones necessary for progressive web applications. For your websites and users’ personal information, it’s now a must to be providing critical security and data integrity.
When it comes to the question of should I use https for my website, it’ important to know that ALL unprotected resources between your websites and users are open to intruder exploitation.
Your Website’s Integrity Is Protected By HTTPS
It is a common mistake to think that HTTPS is only necessary for websites handling sensitive communications.
Is HTTPS Really Important Or Not?
Just recently, Google made an announcement that HTTPS is now a factor for ranking. BUT, DON”T PANIC, it’s not a big factor (according to the experts).
Google take security very seriously, and it’s more than likely to be a more important factor in future.
Making the switch does provide one other potential benefit. Over and above slightly better search ranking at this point in time, you’ll also get a “valuable” and reassuring secure lock symbol for Firefox and Google Chrome browsers.
Without HTTPS on your website, you do not get the secure lock symbol, and some visitors might receive a warning about your site’s security on certain pages.
Do You Really Need HTTPS?
Using HTTPS is good for SEO and business owners. But do you really need it?
There are two main benefits for answering yes to the question of should I use https for my website:
- A small ranking boost (possibly bigger in future).
- Your website will look and feel more secure for users.
For the big websites, just the smallest boost in SEO results can make sense of using HTTPS.
But, you’ll not notice much difference in your website search traffic if you are just starting up.
So, for now you don’t really need it, but it could make a bigger difference in future.
Overall, if you expect to attract a large amount of search traffic over the next few years, you should consider a switch to using HTTPS.
How Does Security Impact?
It’s unlikely that you really need HTTPS for security purposes, if you’re just running a blog, and you only want users to enter their email address for opting into your email list.
But, on the other hand, if you are going to be accepting payments, or important information of a personal nature, you’ll need to have HTTPS on such pages as a minimum requirement.
By analysing these two factors, you will know if you need to implement HTTPS on your site or not. A lot of websites should have it, but not all of them do.
Here’s an article about “Why HTTPS Matters” to read a bit more about this topic.