When Should You Consider Moving Your WordPress Website From HTTP to HTTPS/SSL?

http versus https

HyperText Transfer Protocol, or HTTP, is how websites are delivered to individual browsers for viewing. Essentially, it’s like having a universal translator for the Internet. This is what allows virtually any online device to view the same websites regardless of the operating system.

For example, Windows computers will see a near perfect version of a site that Apple users experience. The only real difference is how these two computer systems understand and process that data.

When it comes to securing those sites, people will invest in Secure HyperText Transfer Protocol, or HTTPS. It’s the same programming language as before with one vastly important difference: it uses a Secure Socket Layer, or SSL, to encrypt information.

This means that the system identifies one recipient as an individual while encrypting the data making it near impossible to intercept. This is why many site owners will pay extra for the SSL. When it comes to a WordPress blog, when should you consider HTTP versus HTTPS?

When to Enable HTTPS Encryption for your WordPress website

Even though the benefits truly outweigh the drawbacks, a lot of people are lax when it comes to securing a website. So, when is the best time to start using the SSL in WordPress?

1. When You Use eCommerce on WordPress

Various WordPress plugins allow blog owners to include a shopping platform. In this instance, you would want to make sure your customer’s information is safe and secure from data interception.

Adding SSL to WordPress is what provides that protection. It gives your shoppers peace of mind that their credit cards and personal information are isolated from theft while in transit.

2. When Storing Personal Information

If you plan on storing a great deal of personal information about your visitors, having HTTPS is ideal. Sites such as those for dating or other online business platforms may utilize a large amount of personal data that can be used by identity thieves to create havoc.

Securing this data keeps yourself, visitors and your site from being compromised by hackers and bots.

3. When Using a Login to Access Account Information

Some blogs are set up as a social platform or other public access that stores personal account information. Secure socket layers encrypt credentials such as user name and passwords.

This prevents those using “snooping” programs to steal information as it’s being submitted.

4. When You Use Confidential Data

WordPress can be used as a platform to collect data from clients regarding everything from automobile insurance to medical conditions. This is sensitive information that can cause a great deal of problems if it’s stolen.

In this instance, you would want HTTPS providing a layer of protection for your clients. And remember that it’s not unheard of for users to take a business to court after losing personal information because of a lack of security.

5. When You Use Data Uploads/Downloads

Many site owners implement upload and download of files for customers or employees. Encrypting this information prevents the files from being intercepted by the criminal element.

Depending on the sensitivity of this information, it could be vital to offer SSL gateways to your users for liability purposes.

6. Improving SEO for Your WordPress Blog

Search engines like Google are putting more emphasis on promoting secure sites over unsecure ones. This means simply having an SSL can increase visibility in those search engines.

Run a search in Google for anything you can think of. How many of the top 10 results begin with “https?” Depending on the term, you’re hard pressed to find one that isn’t https today.

7. Do It for Google Chrome

In 2018, Google Chrome began pushing notifications to users regarding the security of a site. If the site is unsecure, a message appears in the web browser next to the URL stating as much.

This has potential to hurt your online reputation as people are less likely to trust a site that is not safe to use. The result may lead potential customers to your competitors.

To Secure or Not to Secure: That is the Online Question

While SSL provides support for some of the most secured websites, not everyone opts to include this certificate when first setting up their domain. Today, this hurts the effectiveness of SEO as well as brand reputation.

In reality, the questioned shouldn’t be “when should you,” but more of “why haven’t you” when it comes to installing an SSL. With the number of benefits available, it only makes sense to keep your site secure regardless if it’s for a massive corporation or a small personal blog.

And thanks to the free system of Let’s Encrypt, anyone can create a secure platform online today.

When have you used a secure website, and did it help increase the quality of visitors? Have you noticed a difference in traffic when implementing HTTPS? What have you done to protect those who use your website? Leave a comment below as we’d love to hear from you.

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