What Is SSL (HTTPS) and Is It Important

The World Wide Web is a wonderful place that offers virtually endless possibilities for E-commerce, information exchange, networking, or entertainment
Unfortunately, not everyone online is sincere and trustworthy
That’s why websites and email servers need to implement strong security measures that will protect their users and visitors

Why do you need an SSL Certificate?

It establishes trust between you and your customers or visitors
Google will rank your website higher
You take all information seriously to protect sensitive information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, licenses and passwords
All pages with sensitive information are protected by SSL running with "HTTPS://" instead of "HTTP://" in your browser
Stops tampering with or changing the data contained in communications to and from your website
Showing a "Site Seal" demonstrating that an SSL Certificate is active on your website and that anyone can verify the security of your website

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What Is HTTP

HTTP stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. A form of communication between client computers and Web Servers. This is done by sending HTTP Requests and receiving HTTP Responses

HTTP Request - Response

Communication between clients and servers is done by requests and responses
A client's Browser sends an HTTP request to the Internet
A Web Server receives this request
The Server then runs an application to process the request
The Server sends back a HTTP response to the Browser
The client's Browser) receives the response and displays the output

A typical HTTP request and response of a webpage
The browser requests an HTML page. (This would contain a list of all files needed to display the webpage) - The Server returns an HTML file
The browser requests a style sheet - The Server returns a CSS file
The browser requests the JPG image's - The Server returns the JPG file's
The browser requests any JavaScript code - The Server returns the JS file
The browser requests any other needed data - The Server returns the data files (xml, sql, db, scripts)

Data transported over the regular HTTP protocol is unencrypted

When a website using HTTP is protected by SSL it inherits the letter “S” at the end
HTTPS keeps your information secured in two separate ways
It encrypts your data to make it impossible to obtain your private information
It also provides a reliable identification mechanism that the site you are visiting is not an impostor


Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is just a secure version of HTTP. This is the primary protocol used today to send data between a web browser and a website. HTTPS is encrypted in order to increase security of data transfer. This is particularly important when users transmit sensitive data

When you connect to an HTTPS Secured website your web browser will check the Website's security certificate and verifies it was issued by a legitimate certificate authority. This helps you ensure that if you see the "“https” in your web browser’s address bar you are actually connected to a secure website

How does HTTPS work

The HTTPS protocol is called Transport Layer Security (TLS). Also known as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). This protocol secures communications by using what is known as an asymmetric public key infrastructure. This type of security system uses two different keys to encrypt communications between the two parties

The Public Key - This key is available to anyone that interacts with the server in a way that is secure. Information that is encrypted by the public key can only be decrypted by a private key
The Private Key - This key is controlled by the Website and is kept private. This key resides on a Web Server and is used to decrypt information encrypted by the public key

Each document such as the html page, images, data files... that are sent to a browser by the HTTPS web Server will include a digital signature that the browser can use to determine that the requested document has not been altered by a third party or otherwise corrupted while in transit. The Web Server calculates a cryptographic hash of the document’s contents, included with its digital certificate, which the Browser can independently calculate to prove that the document’s integrity is intact. Together this will help guarantee the encryption, authentication, and integrity of the web pages Making HTTPS a much safer protocol for browsing and conducting business on the web than standard HTTP

The strongest argument for switching to HTTPS

Is that you are making your website more secure

Although there are limits to this. HTTPS is not like a web application firewall
It is not going to stop your website from getting hacked
It is not going to stop phishing emails getting sent
If you’re using a Content Management System (CMS), like WordPress, or you have any other login where you host any kind of sensitive data
Then setting up a secure HTTPS login is the best precaution you can take
HTTPS is the basic price of security. It is the very minimum you can offer your visitors
Aside from security, HTTPS also will provide your visitors a trust factor

Does HTTPS improve conversion and trust for businesses which do not take online payments?

There is evidence that the use of security seals can improve lead generation by over 40 percent
According to research performed by GlobalSign, more than 87 percent of respondents would abandon a purchase if there was no HTTPS in use
Not only do your visitors pay attention to your site's security,
But so does Google. Security is at the heart of what Google does these days
That’s why Google has listed HTTPS as a ranking factor

HTTPS offers the base level of website security

Switching to HTTPS is fairly straightforward for smaller websites
For larger websites, it can be more complicated, from an SEO perspective and requires skilled technical staff to make the changes

The direction of travel is clear

Using HTTPS will increasingly be the norm rather than the exception, and you should plan to migrate sooner rather than later

We welcome your comments, questions, corrections and additional information relating to this article. Please be aware that off-topic comments will be deleted.
Or if you need specific help with your account, feel free to contact us anytime
Thank you


Debra G
These articles covers what any online store needs. Thank you

Patrick J
Thanks for sharing the HTTPS protocol

Donny P
Does RSH offer any type of SSL certs?
RSH Web - Yes and they are free with all hosting accounts

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