HTTP and HTTPS

The difference between HTTP and HTTPS

Why do we need an SSL certificate?

SSL Certificate is a digital certificate that verifies the identity of the website and also allows encrypted connection. Companies and organizations need to add an SSL certificate to their website to secure their online services and protect customer information. When the lock icon appears next to the site URL, it means that SSL has been used for the website.

Websites need an SSL certificate to secure user information, verify website ownership, prevent hackers from creating a fake version of the site, and gain users’ trust. SSL certification is also required for websites that use the HTTPS protocol. In short, the SSL certificate guarantees the security of the following information:

  • Validity of login or login
  • Bank account and credit card information
  • Identifiable personal information such as name, address, date of manufacture and telephone number
  • Legal documents and contracts
  • medical documents
  • private information

What is HTTP?

HTTP is a web protocol that allows you to receive resources such as HTML documents. The basis of this protocol is web-based data exchange, and is actually a server-based server protocol. The term server-based server means that requests are sent by the recipient, usually a web browser, and received by the server. A complete document usually consists of merging a series of smaller received documents. For example, consider a text, image, video, or script that has been reconstructed.

In this protocol, communication between servers and customers is through the exchange of separate messages instead of data flow. Messages sent by the client, which is usually a web browser, are called “Request”, and messages sent by the server to the client are called “Respond”. There are several interfaces between the client and the server called a set of proxies.

There is usually more than one computer on the client side, and as a result many requests are sent by routers, modems, and so on. Due to the layered web design, these interfaces are located in the hidden transfer layers. HTTP is above the hidden layer, so it will not communicate with these intermediaries. Some of the basic features of HTTP are:

  • HTTP is simple.
  •  It is generalizable.
  • HTTP uses the TCP transfer protocol, which is reliable.
  •  It lacks a link between two consecutive requests sent over a line of communication.

What is the meaning of HTTPS?

HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP. This protocol is used to send data between the web browser and the website. HTTP, unlike HTTP, is encrypted to increase data transfer security. This will be especially important when users use this protocol to send important and sensitive data, such as bank accounts, email services, etc.

Every security website, especially websites that require login information, must use the HTTPS protocol. Newer web browsers, such as Google Chrome, mark websites that do not use HTTPS. This is indicated by a red warning sign. If the website uses the HTTPS protocol, a green lock will appear in the URL bar.

HTTPS uses an encryption protocol called TLS (Transfer Layer Security), formerly known as Secure Ports (SSL). In this protocol, a layer called the asymmetric public key is responsible for securing web-based communications. In this layer, two different keys are defined for the server and the client, called the private key and the public key. The private key is controlled by the website itself and the public key is accessible to anyone who wants to connect to the server.

The difference between HTTP and HTTPS

The differences between HTTP and HTTPS can be expressed as follows:

HTTPS uses the SSL protocol, which is an authentication encryption protocol for information, which is based on converting data into code. If someone steals information in this protocol, they will not be able to understand the information through encryption. While this protocol is not used in HTTP, so by stealing information, its content can be accessed.

In addition to the SSL-based security layer, HTTPS also uses the TLS security layer. This security protocol ensures data integrity. In other words, it will prevent the transfer of verified data or authentication data related to users, unsafe.

Reasons to use HTTPS and its benefits

The main advantages of using HTTPS can be summarized as follows:

  • Higher security
  • Server authentication
  • Data transfer encryption
  • Protecting the exchange of information against intentional tampering

These benefits are well known, but there are a number of other side effects that can be for HTTPS.

For example, website operators want to protect their visitors’ information. For websites that pay online, it is essential to use HTTPS in accordance with the PCI Data Security Standard.

Using the HTTPS protocol can also help with site optimization. In 2014, Google announced the HTTPS protocol as a site ranking criterion. Since then, site optimization studies have shown that websites that use HTTPS rank higher than similar websites that do not use the protocol.

Using the HTTPS protocol will make tools like Google Analytics more effective for your site. This is because website security data analyzed by these tools and sent to you will be stored using the HTTPS protocol. Using HTTPS, your site’s referral resources are stored as direct traffic, which will have a positive effect on the site’s SEO.

Websites that use the HTTPS protocol are eligible to use the AMP (Mobile Speed ​​Upload) feature. This is not possible for HTTP-based sites.

How to switch from HTTP to HTTPS

There are four main steps you can take to change your site protocol from HTTP to HTTPS:

1. Buy an SSl certificate.

The best way is to buy the SSL certificate directly from your website hosting company because its activation and correct installation on your server can be guaranteed by this company. Also, if you use shared hosting, they usually have a free SSL license that they can activate for you at no cost. So if you are using shared hosting, you just need to send a ticket to the hosting support and ask them to enable SSL for you.

2- Installing SSL certificate on website hosting account

If you are purchasing SSL from somewhere other than your hosting company, you will need to import the certificate into your hosting environment. This can be a bit of a hassle for beginners so be sure to leave it to a specialist.

3- Review the internal links switched to HTTPS

Before performing the protocol conversion, make sure that all internal links to the website have HTTPS URLs. By raising the site, if there are combined HTTP and HTTPS links in it, because the site pages are not loaded properly, the site will probably have SEO problems.

4- Define 301 redirects so that search engines recognize them.

If you use CMS like WordPress, you can automatically redirect all server traffic to the new HTTPS protocol. Sites that do not use CMS must do this manually. Redirect 301 warns search engines that changes have occurred to your website and they should index your site under the new protocol. Users who have already bookmarked your website will go automatically to your new URL by entering the previous link.

How to detect sites with HTTPS

On websites that use the HTTPS protocol, the term HTTPS replaces HTTP before WWW. If you are using Google Chrome browser, the URL bar for websites that use HTTP will show a “Not secure” alert indicating that the website did not use the HTTPS protocol.

For mobile and PC versions, different types of browsers, including Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer, also provide access to SSL certificate details. If you go to the section and see the SSL certificate for the relevant website, it can be that the website has used the HTTPS protocol.

Conclusion

In general, a website that uses the HTTPS protocol is like a restaurant with a food safety and health inspector. Restaurant customers can trust the restaurant and use its services by viewing the inspector’s approval. For websites, the HTTPS protocol is the same as for a security inspector. HTTPS uses SSL and TLS security protocols for data encryption and data exchange. This protocol also prevents the falsification of websites. This will stop many cyber attacks that steal information and data.

Finally, although many users are not aware of the importance of information security in the Internet space and may not know the exact difference between HTTP and HTTPS protocols, but this issue is very important for web operators and hosting. The benefits of using the HTTPS protocol are so valuable to site owners that once they know it, they will surely use it.