The Difference between http and https – Why Is It Important?

With no time to waste, we will start this article with the essentials because this is going to be vital evidence in this argument. Have we grabbed your interest? We hope so, and we hope you read further. First up, what do “http” and its sibling “https” stand for?

Naming Difference Between http and https

The early computer geeks loved their acronyms, and the unveiling of the internet provided a great opportunity to expand their mysterious naming conventions. Put simply, this is what these two close derivatives stand for:

Hypertext Transfer Protocol is the long-winded meaning of http. Our faithful Wiki informs us that it “is an application protocol for distributed, collaborative, and hypermedia information systems”. Thank you big brother – you can learn more here.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure is what https stands for. It refers to http over Transport Layer Security (TLS), http over SSL, and http Secure. No worries if you are still confused, let’s drill down further.

The Essentials

– The http URL in your browser’s address bar is literally that: http://
– Likewise, the https reflects as https:// in the address bar
– Whereas http is unsecured, https is always secure
– Https sends data using port 443, while http defaults to port 80
– The hypertext with the “s” at the end (https) operates at transport layer
– Http operates at application layer
– Http does not require Secure Socket Layer Certification (SSL), whereas,
– Https requires domain validation at the very least
– Https always encrypts data before sending, http requires no encryption

Pay Attention to the Browser Address Bar

The difference between http and https lies with security issues. If we have achieved nothing else, perhaps we have convinced you to look where you are going. None of us would willingly select an unsecured message server over a secure one, surely. If you do not know where you are going, more likely than not you will never get there!

Once Upon a Time

In the beginning, the internet was another zone that few mere mortals ventured out on, but things have changed massively. The World Wide Web is exactly that, and it has succeeded in redefining the planet as a global village. It is important to know from where we came before plotting our futures, none of us wants to make the common mistake of not learning from our history!

One Ted Nelson coined the term hypertext way back in 1965, when the author of this article was a pimply youth in the exciting world of pop culture in the United Kingdom. This time belonged to the likes of the Beatles, Stones and many more. The first http was the brainchild of Tim Berners-Lee, director of W3C, or World Wide Web Consortium to give it its proper name. The mission statement was to “lead the web to its full potential by developing protocols and guidelines that ensure the long-term growth of the web”. By heavens! Have they achieved that and more…

Spare a Thought

Switching from http to https is not that difficult; consult your webmaster, who will provide you with the complete migration guide. These days, online environments are more secure. Can you see the difference between http and https? Make the switch as soon as possible.