Increased Security, Faster Browsing & Improved SEO - The Benefits of HTTPS

18th January 2017

Categories: Our News

Google has made no secret of the fact that it would prefer all sites to be run completely under HTTPS since the launch of its 'HTTPS Everywhere' campaign back in 2014.  Since then there has been a growing demand in the industry for broader measures to be taken to make the web more secure generally.  

In response, New Mind | tellUs is currently advising its clients to migrate their destination websites to the HTTPS protocol.

So what is HTTPS and how will our clients benefit?

The majority of websites have only used HTTPS (the secure version of HTTP - Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) on the transactional pages of their sites where encryption is required to protect the visitors' sensitive data, ie.when submitting credit card payments for online bookings etc.

HTTPS provides multiple layers of security for all data (not just transactional data) that the visitor provides to your site:

  • Encryption - encrypting the exchanged data to keep it secure from eavesdroppers. That means that while the user is browsing a website, nobody can 'listen' to their conversations, track their activities across multiple pages or steal their information.
  • Data integrity - data cannot be modified or corrupted during transfer, intentionally or otherwise, without being detected.
  • Authentication - proves that your users communicate with the intended website. It protects against man-in-the-middle attacks and builds user trust, which translates into other business benefits.

In order to indicate that an HTTPS connection is in effect, most web browsers (i.e. Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome) display a padlock icon on the address bar which acts to reassure the visitor.

However there are a number of additional benefits to HTTPS other than enhanced security:

Faster Browsing Experience

A web page can comprise hundreds of individual elements e.g. text, CCS, images, widgets etc.  Web browsers typically make individual requests for each of these elements separately which means that multiple round trips may be required across the network between the user and the server to collect all of the information required. Using http2 over SSL, the majority of new browsers (approx. 90%) can now keep a single stream open and capture all of the page resources simultaneously but the website needs to be under HTTPS to make use of this facility. So the end result of HTTPS for users is a faster browsing experience. As part of switching sites to https, we will also be enabling http2.

Improved Search Engine Visibility

Google has announced that HTTPS is a ranking factor which means that HTTPS pages are being indexed over HTTP pages.  Research findings suggest that as much as 30% of the page 1 rankings in Google in 2016 were HTTPS sites and it's still on the increase.

So to summarise, Google favours HTTPS, it's better for user privacy and page download speeds are faster.   New Mind | tellUs is currently helping to remove any perceived barriers by offering to migrate our DMO's sites to HTTPS for a minimal cost (a few hundred pounds) plus a similar annual cost. So pound for pound we feel that an upgrade to HTTPS not only represents good value but also future-proofs your digital strategy going forward. To find out more please contact your Account Manager or call us on (0)330 440 1825.


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