What is HTTPS and how does it work? 

what is https

No matter what kinds of information businesses are communicating or storing, website security is critical. Authentication and encryption configurations mean the difference between providing users with a secure website and disclosing personal data. Data transmission between a web server and a web browser is secure when using HTTPS. Delve into what HTTPS is, how it varies from HTTP, and how to implement this essential security feature on your website by reading on.   

What is HTTPS?  

The primary protocol used to send data between a web browser and a website is the hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS), a secure variation of HTTP. So, exactly what is HTTPS? HTTPS is encrypted to increase the security of data transfers. This is especially crucial when customers send sensitive information, including when they enter into an email service, bank account, or health insurance company.  

Users are protected by the protocol from man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks and eavesdroppers. Additionally, it guards against DNS spoofing attacks on valid domains.  

HTTPS should be used by all websites, particularly those that require login information. Websites that use HTTPS are distinguished from those that don’t by modern web browsers like Chrome. A padlock in the URL bar indicates that the website is secure. Web browsers treat HTTPS seriously; Google Chrome and other browsers mark all non-HTTPS websites as insecure.  

How does HTTPS work?  

Similar to HTTP, HTTPS operates on a request-response model, in which the browser makes a request and the server answers it. However, HTTPS encrypts data using a transport layer security (TLS) certificate and a secure sockets layer (SSL). These are electronic records that attest to a website’s legitimacy, allowing the establishment of an encrypted connection.  

So, how does https work? This is how the entire procedure operates:   

1. Browser connects to website: The user’s web browser attempts an HTTPS connection to a website.  

2. SSL certificate transmits: In response, the website’s server provides the browser its SSL/TLS certificate. This certificate, which is used to create a secure connection, contains the public key (encryption key) for the website.  

3. Certificate verification by browser: The browser confirms the certificate’s validity and issuer (such as GoDaddy, DigiCert, Comodo, etc.) by checking the certificate. This is an essential step in verifying the legitimacy of a website.  

4. Encryption key exchange: After the certificate is validated, the browser and the server exchange key to create an encrypted connection. Information is encrypted by the browser using the public key of the server. Only the private key, or decryption key, that the server possesses can decrypt the data.  

5. Encrypted data transfer: After a secure connection is made, all data sent back and forth between the browser and the server is encrypted. This guarantees that anyone intercepting the data cannot read it.  

6. Data decryption and display: The server decrypts the data it receives using the private key. The data is then processed, and the requested data is returned. Additionally, this data is encrypted. After decrypting the incoming data, the browser shows the user the website’s content. 


After learning how HTTPS functions, let’s quickly review how it differs from HTTP. There are multiple ways in which HTTP and HTTPS operate differently:  

  • The use of encryption:   

Text-based data is transferred via HTTP. This implies that anyone can read and intercept it with ease. Conversely, HTTPS uses encryption to protect the information. Thus, even in the event that it is intercepted, the data is protected and unreadable. This implies that hackers would only see a jumbled string of characters instead of seeing the actual data. This is the primary way that HTTP and HTTPS differ from one another.  

  • Ports:  

Ports are similar to virtual doors that allow data to pass between a web server and a browser. A number is also given to every port. Both HTTP and HTTPS use standard ports to enable communication. Port 80 is usually used by HTTP by default; it was chosen early in the web’s creation to facilitate content sending and receiving.   

HTTPS uses port 443. This is only allowed to carry encrypted data. HTTPS utilises port 443 URL Format, whereas HTTP uses port 80 by default.  

  • URL Format:  

The address for finding resources on the internet is a uniform resource locator or URL. Additionally, the HTTP vs HTTPS format varies significantly.    

“https://” is used to start HTTPS URLs. This suggests that the connection is secure.   

However, HTTP URLs begin with “http://.” Moreover, the absent “s” indicates the absence of security.  

While HTTPS URLs begin with “https://,” HTTP URLs begin with “http://.”  

  • TLS/SSL Certificate:  

Remember from earlier that an SSL/TLS certificate is a digital certificate that verifies the identity and legitimacy of a website? Only HTTPS communication uses this extra layer of security; conventional HTTP communication does not.  

In what other ways does HTTPS vary from HTTP?  

In a technical sense, HTTPS and HTTP are the same protocol. All it does is encrypt HTTP traffic with TLS/SSL. Transmission of TLS/SSL certificates, which confirm that a particular provider is who they claim to be, is the foundation of HTTPS.  

A webpage will provide its SSL certificate, containing the public key required to initiate a secure session, to the user upon connection. Next, in order to create a secure connection, the client and server computers engage in a series of back-and-forth exchanges known as an SSL/TLS handshake. To gain further insight into encryption and the SSL/TLS handshake, learn about the TLS handshake process.   

Advantages of HTTPS  

Although we have already discussed some of the advantages of HTTPS, here are a few more in case you need it:  

  • Enhanced Data Privacy  

HTTPS protects users’ privacy. As a result, hackers cannot access or obtain their essential information, such as credit card numbers or login credentials. In contrast, consider HTTP when data is transmitted in plain text and is readily interceptable. It puts consumer privacy at risk. They are susceptible to assaults such as session hijacking, packet sniffing, and man-in-the-middle attacks.  

These attacks are prevented by the encryption used in HTTPS connections, which completely secures data transfer between a browser and the website server.  

  • Enhanced User Experience  

As it creates trust in consumers when they browse, shop, or share information online, HTTPS enhances the user experience. People are becoming more conscious of the fact that, in order to determine whether a website is secure, they should seek the padlock icon. Websites that employ HTTPS may be able to enhance conversion rates, decrease bounce rates, and retain visitors longer as people feel more comfortable conducting purchases.   

  • Increased Search Engine Rankings  

HTTPS can improve the visibility and ranking of your website on search engines such as Google. Why? Since HTTPS is a ranking indicator used by Google. Thus, HTTPS-enabled websites have a greater chance of ranking higher on search engine results pages (SERPs), drawing in more organic traffic and prospective clients.  

Look for HTTPS problems on your website if SEO is important to you. Those are typical issues of websites that switched from HTTP to HTTPS recently.  

Among these problems are:  

  • Internal links or connections from one page on your website to another that still need to be updated to HTTPS (during the transition).  
  • Problems with mixed content when a webpage’s additional resources (such as photos and CSS files) are still sent over HTTP.  
  • There is a discrepancy between the name in your browser’s address bar and the name under which your SSL/TLS certificate is registered.  

Note: You can examine your website for all these problems with the help of the Site Audit tool. Check the HTTPS section of the Thematics Reports after auditing your website. You can observe how your website performs with several HTTPS-related problems. Selecting the “Learn more” or “Why and how to fix it” links beneath each item can also get additional information about a specific issue. You can then find out how to resolve any particular problems.  

Browser compatibility  

For a long time, popular browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari have supported HTTPS encryption and essential security protocols.  

Therefore, unless they are using incredibly outdated software, you don’t need to be concerned about your website users being unable to access an HTTPS site. Which hardly anybody ever does.  

What makes HTTPS crucial? What occurs if HTTPS isn’t present on a website?  

HTTPS prevents data from being broadcast on websites in a way that would be simple for a network eavesdropper to obtain. Information transferred over standard HTTP is divided into data packets that can quickly be “sniffed” with the help of free software. This makes it more likely that information transmitted over unprotected networks, such as open Wi-Fi, may be intercepted. All HTTP communications occur in plain text, making them highly vulnerable to on-path attacks and easily accessible to anybody with the necessary resources.  

When using HTTPS, traffic is encrypted so that packets will seem like random characters, even if they are sniffed or otherwise intercepted. Let’s examine an illustration:  

  • Before encryption:  

This text passage can be read in its entirety.  

  • Following encryption:  


When a website lacks HTTPS, Internet service providers (ISPs) or other intermediaries can add content to it without the owner’s consent. This usually takes the form of paid advertising, which is injected into customers’ web pages by an Internet service provider (ISP) in an attempt to boost income. It should come as no surprise that the website owner receives no portion of the revenue from the adverts or the quality control of those advertisements. Thanks to HTTPS, unmoderated third parties can no longer push advertisements into site content. 


Understanding HTTPS displays its key characteristics, functionality, and benefits. HTTPS is essential for online security, providing secure connections and encrypting data transmission. Its deployment improves trust and dependability in digital interactions while protecting sensitive data. After learning about HTTPS’s characteristics, functionality, and benefits, it is clear that adopting it has many advantages for both online businesses and users. 


What is HTTPS, and why is it used?  

The primary protocol used to send data between a web browser and a website is the hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS), a secure variation of HTTP. HTTPS is encrypted to increase the security of data transfers.    

What is the difference between HTTP and HTTPS?   

HTTPS is just HTTP with verification and encryption. The only difference between HTTP and HTTPS protocols is that HTTPS encrypts and digitally signs standard HTTP requests and answers using TLS (SSL). As a result, HTTPS is much more secure than HTTP.  

What is an HTTPS example?  

The website offers a legitimate certificate, indicating that a reliable authority signed it. When the browser visits “,” indicating that the certificate correctly identifies the website. The obtained certificate is appropriate for “” and not some other organisation.   

What is the meaning of HTTPS on the web?  

The primary protocol used to convey data between a web browser and a website is called Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), which is an encrypted version of HTTP. HTTPS is encrypted to increase the security of data transfers.  

Which port is used by HTTPS?  

Port 443 is used by HTTPS. This sets HTTPS apart from HTTP, which utilises port 80. (A port is a virtual software-based location where network connections begin and stop in networking. Every computer linked to a network exposes a number of ports so that other computers can communicate with it. Every port has a distinct function or service related to it, and various protocols employ distinct ports.  

How does an HTTPS website get started?  

Many website hosts and other services offer TLS/SSL certificates for a charge. These certifications will frequently be distributed to numerous clients. There are more costly certificates that can be registered explicitly to specific web properties.