HTTP is more secure than HTTPS? True or False


HTTP or HTTPS: An extra “S” at the end can make a lot of difference”

You wouldn’t write your email and password on a postcard and mail it for the world to see, so why are you doing it online? Every time you log in to any service that connects you through HTTP, it is precisely what you are doing.

If you have ever paid attention to the browser URL while surfing for your favourite movies or games on the Internet, you must have clearly noticed. At the prefix of each website URL you visit, there is either an HTTP or HTTPS. One displays the site you are on is secure (HTTPS), meaning your connection is secure, and it’s much harder for anyone else to see what you’re doing, and the other does not (HTTP).

Now, after looking at your Browser URL, you might think; wait, are there really two of those? Casual users rarely notice them, but HTTP (or, http://) and HTTPS (https://) are options for starting a URL, showcasing an important difference in all those web pages you visit daily.

In this guide, you’ll learn answers to all these queries and questions on why is HTTPS is important and hasn’t taken over the web completely.

Let’s take a look

What is HTTP?

HTTP or Hypertext Transfer Protocol is the way servers and browsers talk to each other. At its core, HTTP allows different systems to communicate with each other. It’s an excellent language for computers, but it’s not encrypted and is mainly used to transfer data packets from web servers to web browsers so that end users can view websites and web pages.

HTTP is the data protocol used for almost every known website in the early days of the Internet. It is also called “a stateless system”, which means that it enables connection on demand. You click on a link requesting a connection, and your web browser sends this request to the server, which responds by opening the page. The quicker the connection is, the faster the data is presented to you.

The latest version of HTTP is HTTP/2, published in May 2015. It is an alternative to its predecessor, HTTP 1.1, but does not it make obsolete.

Does this mean HTTP websites are insecure?

The answer is straightforward, HTTP is OK if you are just browsing the web and looking at trolls and memes. However, when logging into your bank or entering credit card information on a payment page, the URL must be HTTPS. Otherwise, your sensitive data is at risk.

What is HTTPS?

Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is another protocol, except this one is encrypted using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). The biggest issue with the standard HTTP protocol is that all information from a web server to a web browser is unencrypted.

Data is easily manipulated and stolen if it is unencrypted.

The HTTPS protocol uses an SSL (security sockets layer) certificate to remedy this security issue. The SSL certificate’s job is to create a secure and encrypted connection between the web servers and web browsers. This helps protect sensitive information from being stolen by hackers as the information gets transferred between servers and browsers.

In simple words, imagine if everyone in the world spoke Spanish except two people who spoke Chinese. If we happened to overhear them talking in Chinese, no one wouldn’t understand them. It’s the same with HTTPS browsers while passing information. Even though attackers did manage to capture the data, they can’t read the information.

Advantages of HTTPS

According to the PCI Data Security Standard, site operators want and need to protect their visitor’s data (HTTPS is a requirement for any sites collecting personal and payment information). The user wants to know that their data is being transmitted securely.

The growing demand for data privacy and security from the general public is another advantage to using HTTPS. In fact, according to We Make Websites, 13% of all cart abandonment is due to payment security concerns. Site visitors want to know that they can trust your site, especially when entering financial details. Using HTTPS is one way to do that (i.e., showing your visitors that any information they enter will be encrypted).

HTTPS can also help with your SEO. Back in 2014, Google announced HTTPS as a ranking signal. Since then, some studies and anecdotal experience from companies implementing HTTPS indicate a correlation to higher rankings and page visibility.

Browsers are also jumping in on increasing HTTPS usage by implementing UI changes that will negatively affect non-HTTPS sites.

Is HTTPS all about the advantages? So why isn’t the web using it?

Some practical issues come along while switching over to the HTTPS protocol, such as the high cost of SSL certificates. Still, that’s not as much of a significant issue with corporate Web services with millions of dollars of budgets.

1. Caching Issue

The real problem also lies with the inability to cache while on HTTPS. Even this isn’t an issue when servers and clients are in the same region (meaning continent of server). But people in America (for example) would love it when something can be cached and served without a considerable response time.

2. Performance

Speaking about performance, then there’s another minor hit when using HTTPS, since “the SSL initial key exchange adds to an increase in latency.” To break it down for you, a security-focused, HTTPS-only Web would make it a lot slower with today’s technology.

For sites that don’t intend to encrypt anything—in other words, no login or signup activity is happening, so there’s nothing to protect—the overhead and loss of caching that comes with HTTPS doesn’t make sense. However, for big giants like Google, Facebook, or Twitter, many users comply with taking the slight performance hit in exchange for a more secure and reliable connection. And the fact that a lot of websites are joining HTTPS support over HTTP shows that users value security over speed, with the minimal speed difference.

3. Cost

Another problem with operating an HTTPS site is the cost of operations. Although servers show lightning-fast response times and implementations of SSL are more optimized, it still costs more than doing plain HTTP. While less of a concern for smaller sites with little traffic, HTTPS can add up should your site suddenly become popular.

Perhaps most of us are not using HTTPS to serve our websites because it doesn’t work with Virtual Hosting. It is the most common cheap Web hosting providers offer. It allows the Web host to serve numerous websites from the same physical server—almost hundreds of sites with the same IP address. That serves just fine with regular HTTP connections, but it doesn’t work at all with HTTPS. To read more about hosting and types of Hosting, follow the Ultimate Guide to Web Hosting 2021.

switch http to https

Things to Consider before Switching to HTTPS

Even though the process of switching from HTTP to HTTPS is pretty simple, there are still many people who get side-tracked, probably due to a large number of options placed before them.

In brief, the switching process consists of these four steps:

  1. Getting an SSL certificate from a trusted Certificate Authority or your Hosting Provider. (Hostgator provides some of the best SSL Certificates)
  2. Installing it on your site’s hosting account
  3. Setting up 301 Redirects by editing the .htaccess file in your root folder by adding:

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
    RewriteRule (.*) https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]

  4. Notifying search engines that your website’s address has changed and that anyone is visiting your site after that is automatically redirected to the HTTPS address.

If this still confuses you, don’t worry. Your options are not exhausted!

Almost all hosting companies nowadays offer SSL Certificates as part of their hosting package, performing most of the tasks themselves (the first three of four steps mentioned above). The only step you are required is to point out your visitors to the new addresses of (HTTPS).


Be it as it may, there are more than 4 billion users on the internet, content consumers and the like. The combination of user demand (site visitors are more conscious of data security than ever before), regulations (e.g. PCI DSS), and encouragement from browsers (e.g. plans to flag HTTP sites as non-secure), makes it clear that the full transition from HTTP to HTTPS will soon be due.

Check out the WebFlare blog for more valuable content.

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Our team comprises seasoned professionals with a passion for all things digital. From content creation to SEO optimization, graphic design, tech innovation, and social media management, we collaborate to deliver compelling and impactful blog content that resonates with our audience and drives results.

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