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Does it make a difference if you use http://www.example.com vs https://www.example.com?

Does it make a difference if you use http://www.example.com vs https://www.example.com? Is there a reason you used http://www.example.com rather than the secure https://www.example.com?

2 Answers

Hi Matt,

HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol and it's method by which web pages are delivered to your browser from whichever server they are stored on. It's the de-facto method used when browsing the web.

HTTPS simply adds an extra layer of security when dealing with things online, such as online banking and personal or sensitive information.

In the same way that SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) is the secured version of FTP.

In order for a site to use HTTPS it must be backed up by a 'certificate' that can be obtained online from vendors such as Verisign, GeoTrust etc. This allows the web browser / client to verify that the person they are dealing with is who they say they are.

I've included a link below which will help you to read more into the difference between HTTP / HTTPS: http://www.blogtechnika.com/what-is-difference-between-http-and-https-protocol/

Hope this helps you to understand the concept a little better - and good luck with your Treehouse progress!

Kind Regards, Anthony

Thanks so much Anthony! Quick follow up question: When I use a url in an a href="" element, how can I tell which protocol to use (or will it matter)?

Thanks again for the help :)

Hi Matt,

I'm going to go out on a limb here, but sometimes when you visit a site that is in https, even if you browse to the http variant it will still switch (pretty much like the Treehouse site), if you notice in the browser it shows https://teamtreehouse.com - yet you wouldn't have needed to type that in to get here.

Although when linked to a URL it does make sense to double check the link just in case, so you can avoid 'broken' or 'dead' links (links that don't work).

Give Dustin's link a read through btw - great article (you can never know too much!) and it's relevant to your question.

Hope this helps! Anthony

Matt, Google is now providing an SEO advantage for sites using the secure protocol if you're interested in that.

Thanks for this Dustin!