What is HTTPS Everywhere?
Before we jump into what the HTTPS everywhere initiative is about, a brief understanding of HTTPS and SSL might be in order.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and the communication protocol HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) provide secure, private communication between a server and browser.
This is important because there are a lot of computer infrastructure, or “hops”, between your browser and the server you are ultimately communicating with. Any of these hops can be a point where sensitive information such as credit card information, passwords and personal information could be at risk of eavesdropping.
Traditionally websites that use SSL involved banking, eCommerce, and personal information. Some sites might have only used SSL on specific pages that deal with this information rather than the entire site, like a checkout page for an online store.
Times Have Changed!
Now SSL is recommended for all websites and webpages. With faster computers, better communications and more (even free) ways of obtaining SSL certificates, many of the hurdles to getting SSL have been overcome.
Recent industry response sets the trend to implement SSL for all.
Since August 2014, Google has been promoting HTTPS everywhere and at the time gave a signal of a ranking boost to HTTPS sites. Yes, better rankings for SSL sites.
In their December 17, 2015 Webmaster Blog titled “Indexing HTTPS pages by default”, Google announced they would adjust their indexing system to look for more HTTPS pages.
Then in July 2016, cPanel & WHM, one of the most popular web hosting control panels systems, announced their AutoSSL feature which provides easy, automatic installation and renewal of SSLs for websites managed under their framework.
WordPress, the web’s most deployed CMS, announced “2017 is going to be the year that we’re going to see features in WordPress which require hosts to have HTTPS available“.
Get SSL if you don’t already have SSL.
You can clearly see the trend towards universal SSL and it is time to get on the bandwagon if you haven’t already. Besides joining the movement, you will be helping provide a secure connection for your site visitors.
Already have SSL?
Check your site’s SSL grade at Qualys SSL Labs. Not all SSL implementations are created equal.
WARNING! SSL does not mean a secure site!
Don’t confuse SSL with having a secure site. SSL provides a secure, encrypted connection between a browser and the server. It may imply a secure site but you could be just allowing a secure connection to a compromised website.