What is HTTPS and what is its importance for your site and the difference between http and https

HTTP stands for hypertext transfer protocol, meaning hypertext transfer protocol. While HTTPS is an abbreviation of: hypertext transfer protocol secure, which means transferring secure hypertext, as it transfers data from the computer to the server in a completely encrypted way. Requires SSL / TLS certificate for HTTPS.


What is HTTPS and what is its importance for your site and the difference between http and https
What is HTTPS and what is its importance for your site and the difference between http and https


Learn about the concept of https, how it affects the security of your site, how it is vital to the survival of any website, what is the difference between http and https, and how the protocol for both works.


You may have ever wondered about the padlock sign next to the link of the web page you are visiting, and what are its benefits? Or, you may have wondered why sometimes the Internet browser stops you from visiting certain websites and tells you that it is not safe.

Perhaps you own a site and do not know why its pages do not top the search results, or are about to create a new website and look for the security factors of websites and how any browser deals with them.

Or you might be wondering about the difference between http and https?
Is https useful for SEO website? Is switching from http to https necessary?
Often your most important question if you already own a website is how does https work?

In this article I will answer all these questions and more, God willing, in a simple and practical step-by-step manner, so that you understand everything about the https protocol and its importance and why many web developers talk about it. After reading this full article, you will become a better site manager, or a more aware and understanding Internet user.

What is HTTPS?

HTTPS is an acronym for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure or we can say it is a secure version of http.

What is meant by a protocol is the method or method by which two parties can easily communicate:

Whoever asks for information or data, here he is an internet user through his private browser.
Whoever stores that information or data, and here is the server or server used to store website files.
When you go to the post office to get a parcel that has arrived for you, you inform the employee of the code or transfer number so that he can get what you want easily, searching with the code here is easier and faster than searching by name.


By analogy with the previous example, your browser (which asks for information) communicates with the server (where the information is stored) with a specific protocol or method in order for the server to give it the exact information it wants as quickly as possible.

To understand more about https, we first need to understand what http is.

What is the http protocol?

When you open your PC to see an image or movie, for example, you open the partition and then open a folder or perhaps even more to get what you want.

But in this case you know the path or location of this file that you want, and therefore this process is easy for you.

But in case you do not know the location of the file, you search for it by name, for example in the search box, and it takes your device several seconds or minutes to search all the files it owns in order to find what you want.

When you connect to the Internet, the information (such as pictures and videos) that you want is stored in specific places on the Internet (it can be likened to a large computer that more than one person can access at the same time).

In order to get what you want from these places and sources, you must communicate with them in a way that you understand, so that they give you what you want ... just as your computer answers you.

Thus, the task of a protocol like http, as we mentioned earlier, is to facilitate this communication process, so that the owner of the information or its source knows what you specifically want when you visit a specific site in order to give it to you, whether it is a video, image or written text.

In order for the image to become clearer to you, you need to learn some basic related concepts:

Server

On your personal computer or mobile phone, you store various files in its internal memory, and only those files have the authority to obtain them. But in the online world, that information is stored on private servers or servers so that it can be easily obtained from anywhere around the world.


What is a client

The customer is the one who asks for this information at the server, and it refers to any internet user represented by the internet browser he is using.

What is a Resource?

You store various types of content on your personal computer, text files, images or video.

Any page on the web consists of a different set of content, this page you are viewing now contains images and written content as well.
Each content has several different types. For example, the images can be PNG, JPEG, or any other type.


The server stores and arranges the content, so that when any client requests it they give it.

What is a URI?

Every file on your personal computer has a name that you have chosen, you may have named a video file ”123 ″ This name will be understood only by you.

But the matter is different on the Internet. These names must be standardized and have a certain way for any browser or client to understand them when they request them from the server.

URI, an acronym for Uniform Resource Identifier, is a globally defined and standardized method for naming files on any server.

One of its most important types is the URL for the Uniform Resource Locator, which you will find at the top of the page you are currently visiting. You can learn more information through an article.


How is the process of communication between the client and the server
Imagine you are a business owner and want to get goods and supplies for your company from one of the big factories. You give all the information about the names and specifications of the goods that you want to your company's employee in addition to the factory address ... and the following steps clearly represent what is happening:

The employee looks at the address in order to accurately locate the factory on the road network or on Google Maps, for example.
The employee decides the best way for him to reach the site he wants.
When he reaches the specified location, he gives an order sheet that accurately identifies the goods to the factory official.
The factory official looks at the requests, making sure they are available and that he understands them according to the factory’s system.

The factory official gives the goods to the employee, then the employee returns from the same way to your company.
This is simply what happens when transferring information or data on the Internet, see the image below:

Communication between the server and the browser through the web

Any Internet connection is in the form of specific layers or steps, and each layer or protocol has a specific role. Let's review the previous example of your company with its application on the Internet.

1- The Internet is the giant road network that connects places - whether servers or clients - different.


2- Each entity on this giant map has a specific name and location that is determined by the IP address or ICMP system, which saves for each server or a specific location its unique, specific location, so that it can be easily accessed and the matter is not confused for whoever is searching.
It is worth noting that each computer or smartphone also has a unique IP address, and this is the one that guarantees the required information is delivered to this particular device only.

3- Choosing the appropriate address and the shortest path to access the information, as well as ensuring its arrival in order ... is a separate role played by several protocols, the most famous of which is TCP.

4- The same way of understanding between the customer and determining exactly what he wants in an agreed-upon manner (just as I sent the order sheet to the factory) responsible for several protocols, the most famous of which is http that we talk about today.

Note that there are other types of these protocols, such as FTP and also a web socket.

This is how you understood how to transfer information in a simple and easy way, and you also know what http represents and its role in the data transfer process.
Now it's time to find out more information about this great http protocol.



How does the http protocol work?

After you understand how the communication process works between your browser and the server that contains the data, you have to understand a little bit what exactly is the way in which the understanding is done.

When you visit any website on the Internet you are either asking to see some information, or you are entering information and modifying it.
When your browser visited this page from the Winners website through which you read these lines now, the understanding between the client and the server on our site, which is the company we work with, is the following image:

As you can see, the connection is via request messages, then a response comes from the server (Response). This connection also contains an http copy - of course the version we use is https - which is communicated, and the name and type of the content as well.

Of course there are other details and technical information that I do not want to go into now, so that it remains simple and clear to everyone, but what I would like you to know about the way to communicate using the http protocol is as follows:

Request Methods

As I told you before, the connection between the browser and the server is either because of data acquisition, or giving and modifying data in the server itself.

As you indicated in the previous image, you will find the request method is Get, which represents the desire of the browser or the client in this case to obtain the information, and in the table below you can see the most important methods of requests in the http protocol.


Get when the client wants to obtain files (resources) from the server.
Post When the client wants to send data or information to the server.
Put when the client wants to update specific data within a server's resource file
Delete When a client wants to delete a file (resources) from the server
These represent the most popular methods of requests that you communicate with daily through your browser with various sites. This is how you upload specific images to a specific server or delete a specific file and other requests.

Response Status Types

Didn't you sometimes notice that when you visit a specific page on the web that number is in the middle of the 404 page which is a mistake?


This represents the server's response to the browser in the absence of this name or file. The server replies and says "Error I don't own this file." This is why sometimes you find that the browser itself tells you that you have to make sure of the address of the page you want to visit (URL) in order to solve this problem.

Also, as I indicated in the image where we explained the method of communication between the server and the client, you will find code 200, which indicates that the connection is successful and that the server has found what the browser wants.

These were the most important codes (200 and 404) that indicate the status of responses between the browser and the server, and there are other codes of course.

You now have a good understanding of what http is, and how to communicate and transmit information on the Internet in general, especially regarding web content.

But of course there are protocols and other methods of communication, such as those that occur in the case of online games, and e-mail communication. We may review this in a future article, God willing.
Let us return to your most important question now, if it is https or rather what is the difference between it and http in a practical way ... so let's complete the article then?

What’s the difference between http and https in action
We have previously shown that S means Secure, meaning https is the secure or protected version of http. But how, and what is meant by that protection.

Transfer of information by http


As shown in the image above, the http protocol sends and receives information in plain text. For example, unlike https, the username and password are sent directly and clearly.



Transmission of information via https


As shown in the previous image, the https protocol depends on the encryption of the information that is transmitted between the browser and the server, and therefore no one can obtain or spy on that information easily. And let me make this clear to you further.



How does https protect you?

Whether you are a website owner or web user, https provides you with a very good degree of protection for your important information and data.

Let's say you're sitting in a place with a public Wi-Fi network available, and you're communicating with the web via http, and I'm sitting next to you or near this network.

Using a very simple program, I can log on to the network and spy on any connection that takes place, so I can know the site you are visiting and the data that you send to it.

Supposing you enter your credit card data or other important data, I can steal it and use it as I want.

But if the same connection is via https, then I see that information in the form of encrypted messages as we mentioned earlier, in which case I do not have a key to it, and therefore your internet connection is more secure.

Why do world tech leaders believe in the inevitability of using https?

Do you know that anyone who has access to your internet not only can spy on the data you send, but can change the sites or pages that you visit as well?

Among those who can do that is the contracted internet service company, which can know which page you visit and which information you receive and send, and even modify these pages in any way you wish.
Also, many government institutions around the world can.

This is why technology and information security pioneers around the world want to implement the https protocol more broadly, and also develop the protocol itself to be more secure, so that the Internet becomes a more free and secure place at the same time.

Benefits of the https protocol for your site
If you own a site, then surely you know which indicates modifying and improving your site to appear in the first search results.

In the latest updates to Google, it indicated that it is not possible to issue search results for any site that does not use the https protocol.

Also, when the site is new and does not use the https protocol, the browser itself (whether Google Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge) will not allow the user to pass through easily to visit this site, and therefore this affects your site significantly.


On the other hand, https makes your visitors secure, if your site is an online store, or allows visitors to register accounts to access specific content, then the https protocol secures that information and data from hacking to a large extent.

If you would like to know how to activate the Https protocol, how to obtain an SSL certificate, how it is issued, and who is responsible for it.

Also, some important caveats if you already have a site when converting from http to https, we have presented a separate article that explains it to you step by step, and you can access it through the link below:

What is an SSL Certificate and how to get it (SSL Explanation)

And if you have any questions, leave it to us in the comments ... You will find me waiting for you there.

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