Should small websites shift to https?

chatterbox

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If you're using a basic hosting plan, converting your http site to a an https site can cost more than the hosting plan and domain. I have plans to eventually monetize my blog through Google Adsense or other revenue sharing networks. If I have no plans of selling something on my domain, do I really need to shift to https? Can this affect my traffic or application for an Adsense Account?
 

Rob Whisonant

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If you are not passing sensitive data back and forth like credit card number, address etc I would stay with http for now. Currently Google only appears to give a very tiny ranking hike if any to sites. I still have not personally seen a https site rank higher because it changed from http. Maybe they will give https more value in the rankings in the future, but don't worry about it today.
 

channave

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If you have just started your website, I strongly recommend switching to HTTPS. It is secure protocol and encrypts all the traffic of your site.

If you get a plenty of backlinks in a year and if you switch to HTTPS after a year then chances are you will lose all your backlinks and rankings.

Google will take 3-6 months to index all your backlinks after HTTPS switch. SSL Certificate costs less than $10, so it is worth switching to HTTPS
 

Mike001

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I agree with Rob. If you are not passing sensitive data back and forth on the site, HTTP will be good for the next year or so. Keep in mind though that eventually all sites will be moved to HTTPS, the question is how long will that take.

A few years ago, they, all the search engines, were saying that we would all need to be on secure connections by now, how has that worked out....

A lot of this depends on what you have currently and the anticipated traffic on your site. How big an inconvenience will the switch be when you need to make it. The longer you wait and the more popular the site becomes, the more impact it will have on your traffic when you make the switch.

But even then, if you setup your routing tables and forwarding correctly, it should be stable again in a few weeks.
 

virtubox

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SSL certificates are free with Let's Encrypt or Cloudflare, provide better performance with HTTP/2 and give you a small SEO Bonus.
There is no reason to no use HTTPS nowadays.

Google do everything to force webmaster to use SSL/TLS everywhere.

 

georgeuser

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The whole argument to get SSL for the sake of SEO is kind of shaky. None of my sites are ecommerce related and pass any sensitive info back, and hence are not on SSL. I haven't seen any penalties from Google since they announced SSL would be ranking signal. Get SSL for the right reasons, and not speculative is what I say.
 

virtubox

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Yes, "SEO bonus" can even be the opposite if Google detect new content on https links as duplicate content of http links. Be careful with sitemap usage.
But it doesn't require to pay anymore to get a SSL certificate, so there is no other reason to use http anymore.
 

HostmeJa

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SSL is for site protection. If you don't have anything to protect then there is no need to switch to https. As your site grows and you require more data from users, then you will need to switch https.
 

virtubox

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It's not only related to security. Without https it's not possible to use new protocol like HTTP/2 which provide better performance.
And switching from http to https isn't an easy task, especially with sitemaps, if google see your content as duplicated, it may create issues.

SSL Certificates are free with Let's Encrypt or Cloudflare, so there is no reason to create a website under http nowadays.
 

HostmeJa

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That is true. But many host still do not provide free SSL or let's encrypt plugin. The cost of a SSL is still $9-15 year adding to costing a site as stated above.Yes there is a ""Bonus"" but is that good for a starter website with limited resources and content? I am not a Seo expert so I will not debate Google ranking system. Is there no way to remove that content as it only a different protocol ?
 

virtubox

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I was not talking about SEO "bonus", only about the fact than switching from http to https may create issues. In my opinion, if a hosting provider does not provide free ssl in 2017, it's a good reason to choose another one.
 

soladrive

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If you plan on just sharing ideas and content, an HTTP will do just fine for now especially if you are a small and unknown website.
If you plan on collecting sensitive data or sharing one e.g. card payment details, personal verification details and the sort of, using HTTPS might be a preferred choice as it keeps your site more secured. It also send a message to your customers that you mean "business".

Summary: Plan on sharing confidential information > HTTPS
else > HTTP (will do just fine for now)
 

Talaa

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Sooner or later, all HTTP sites will move to HTTPS. HTTPS is a reference factor in Google search ranking algorithms, unless you don't want to rank higher. Lets encrypt is the best option for SSL certificate, it is totally free, but you have to renew it every 3 months.
 

dejan.kolar

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It's like wondering if wearing rubber boots is better then bear-foot while working with electricity. Http of SSL for 100% !
 

Knightrider

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Going https will not cost you any extra bucks nowadays. Top hosting companies like SiteGround, Bluehost provide Lets encrypt SSL with their basic plan of $3/mo for free.

Google chrome and many other browsers started displaying not secure before your URL, if you dont use SSL. This can create a trust issue with your visitors eventhough you dont buy or sell anything on website.
 

paul1129

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Going https will not cost you any extra bucks nowadays. Top hosting companies like SiteGround, Bluehost provide Lets encrypt SSL with their basic plan of $3/mo for free.

Google chrome and many other browsers started displaying not secure before your URL, if you dont use SSL. This can create a trust issue with your visitors eventhough you dont buy or sell anything on website.
Free SSL certificates often show problems. Letsencrypt or Cloudflare may provide free certificates but they cause problem too.

If you are not passing sensitive data back and forth like credit card number, address etc I would stay with http for now. Currently Google only appears to give a very tiny ranking hike if any to sites. I still have not personally seen a https site rank higher because it changed from http. Maybe they will give https more value in the rankings in the future, but don't worry about it today.
And I agree with Rob here. If you are not doing any payment transactions with your site or collecting personal information then its completely irrelevant. Just collecting your email subscribers addresses isn't much of an issue.
 

Rob Whisonant

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Going to append my response. There is a good reason to switch to https even though you are not passing sensitive data.

Your stats will show referring URLs from other https sites. Referring URLs are not passed from an https site to a http site.
 

Nemanja

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Even it is not for these reasons because it is a trending and people like seeing sites with https, it makes them feel secured when browsing web pages.
 

Carlos

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I agree with this comment. In fact, I've gotten people to register just because the site is https. They didn't register to my competitor's website for this very reason. :) Their loss, MY GAIN. :D
 

tonnymartin

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If you're using a basic hosting plan, converting your http site to a an https site can cost more than the hosting plan and domain. I have plans to eventually monetize my blog through Google Adsense or other revenue sharing networks. If I have no plans of selling something on my domain, do I really need to shift to https? Can this affect my traffic or application for an Adsense Account?
I think you should move it to https that is more secure
 

Kingfish85

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Yes, move to https. Chrome even shows "not secure" if the site is using http only.
 

Traffic

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Years ago thawte was pushing this but customers only need to see https on payment. I wont be suprised if whole web turns into https:// over time eventually it may be the standard for hosting.
 

Ruesnam

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Technically, if you have any data transmitted through a form, yes, it's highly recommended. But if you don't, it's up to you. I would personally do it anyway because it helps being ranked a bit better on Google (just a bit :) not the first ranking criteria at all)
 

Traffic

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I debated this 20 years ago buying Thawte certificates etc. but as long as your order processing is secure nobody cares.

It has already started some time ago. The majority of the sites I visit are using https even if they're not processing any information.
I will say I also am noticing this but customers are savvy they know not to put in credit card details into non secure sites and still think it is all normal till payment gateway.
 

Scopehosts

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With smartphones coming with ease of payments, customers or let's say newbies are unaware of the security and they tend to provide details to even non-secure sites. This is a major reason of so many cybercrimes.
 
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