Why Else You Need HTTPS

Konstantin KomelinKonstantin Komelin
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Everybody knows what the green lock in the browser address bar means. Briefly, it means security. But what if you have nothing to secure? What if you do not sell anything through your site and do not store any private data of your users. Well, it is in your interests to enable HTTPS, anyway. In this post, I will give you four reasons why.

1. To improve search ranking

There is information that Google uses HTTPS as a ranking signal. It means that your site can be displayed higher in the search results.

2. To be able to use HTTP/2

Did you know that the new version of HTTP protocol gives performance improvements? Now you know, it does. See this video from Chrome Dev Summit 2015 for more information about HTTP/2 and its benefits. Although not all web servers has support of HTTP/2 today, my favorite web server Nginx supports at least some of the features.

HTTP/2 protocol itself works without HTTPS but most browsers require it. Thus, to be able to use HTTP/2 you must enable TLS on your site, i.e. you have to obtain an SSL certificate and configure your server to encrypt the data.

3. To be able to use Service Worker

From my point of view, one of the next big things in web development is Service Worker. Service Worker API allows building applications that operate offline. Just imagine that your Internet connection goes down but your app continues to respond to your requests as usual, and you do not even notice the difference.

For security reasons, Service Workers only run over HTTPS.

You may say that you do not care about offline-use of your application and not all browsers support Service Workers yet. Okay then, the next reason applies to any web application.

4. To deserve user's trust

The green lock in the address bar works as a subconscious indicator of serious attitude of the site owner and develops trust by giving users a sense of safety. What do you feel when you get to a site with HTTPS enabled? I personally want to trust such sites because I think they care about me, and I believe that there are people who react in the same way.

To sum up, there are at least four sufficient reasons to enable HTTPS on your site except security matters. You may ignore some of them because you cannot catch up with the fast pace of technologies for some reasons, but I do not know a person who would not like to improve positions of their site in the search results and develop better relationships with their users based on trust and safety.