The Fatal Difference Between HTTP & HTTPS

March 19, 2023

Reading Time: 5 minutes


I am a 200% introverted geek, a turbo charged nerd. The digital Commander of bits and bytes. I don’t believe in rumours. Actually I don’t believe in anything. Well almost anything.

I experiment and I test. Like crazy. And I love it.

Imagine this: you’re browsing the web, and suddenly, you stumble across a website that you just HAVE to see. You click the link, and wait for the page to load. But, what you don’t see is the behind-the-scenes magic that makes it all possible.

That’s where Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) comes in. This nifty little protocol is responsible for transferring data from the web server to your browser, so that you can access and load websites with ease. You’ve probably seen it before – it’s the thing that comes before the website address in your browser’s address bar (e.g.

But wait, there’s more! Have you ever heard of HTTPS? It’s the acronym for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure – and it’s a game-changer. Just like HTTP, its purpose is to transfer data from a server to your browser, so that you can load websites. But here’s the kicker: HTTPS uses an ENCRYPTED connection to communicate between the server and your browser. That means a SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate protects your data from being stolen as it’s exchanged.

Now, here’s the thing: HTTPS was actually created way back in 1994, but it wasn’t widely used until 2019. So what changed? Well, it’s mostly due to Google. In 2014, the search engine giant started recommending that websites switch to HTTPS. And boy, did they listen. Slowly but they all did. Almost all!

Now, HTTPS is the gold standard for secure web browsing.


What is the difference between HTTP & HTTPS

Picture this: you’re browsing a website, entering sensitive information like your credit card number, and suddenly, you get that sinking feeling in your gut. Is your information really safe? Can hackers intercept it and steal your identity?

Well, fear not! HTTPS is here to save the day. Thanks to its encrypted connection, HTTPS is WAY more secure than HTTP.

But here’s the thing: website security is important even if you don’t have an ecommerce site or a website that handles sensitive data. Why? Because a secure site protects your customers from getting their data stolen and protects YOUR website from security breaches that can cost you time, money, and your reputation.

And that’s not all – there are other benefits to using HTTPS. For one thing, users TRUST HTTPS. When they see that extra layer of security, they feel more comfortable sharing sensitive data or making purchases on your website.

But wait, there’s more! HTTPS can also give your website’s SEO ranking a BOOST. That’s right, Google was a big advocate for the switch from HTTP to HTTPS back in 2014, because it makes the web safer and better for users. And they confirmed that websites using HTTPS have the potential to rank HIGHER than those using HTTP.

So, there you have it. HTTPS isn’t just a fancy acronym – it’s the key to a secure, trustworthy, and successful website.


The Test

This test is an accidental test. We have a site that we don’t give all the attention it really needs. It is kinda neglected because it doesn’t make much money and probably never will. But it is a site that is very close to my musician heart so wee keep it out of nostalgia.

We never upgraded this site to run HTTPS and the results was very interesting. Mostly because still today there are sites out there STIL running HTTP without S. Without security that is!

And Google don’t like it. They don’t like it AT ALL. So let’s get into it right away!

We’re conducting a plethora of tests, frantically trying out around a hundred websites to see how Google operates. It’s a great way for us to understand how this search engine juggernaut really works.

Today, we’ve got a test that’ll make your heart race. We’re going to show you what happens to your website when you DON’T use HTTPS. You know, the kind of security that encrypts your data from start to finish.

The name of the site is and 99% of our website’s traffic comes from Google – it’s organic traffic.

Before Google started demanding HTTPS, we saw around 10 visitors a day. Not much – as I mentioned it is a neglected site, but nevertheless it serves our purpose here.

From May 6, 2019 to May 14, 2020, our website was hit with a punishment. There was absolutely NO organic traffic from Google – only 8 direct visits and 2 referral visits for the entire year. This was the day Google flatlined HTTPS.

We didn’t do anything for this site for exactly a year and the results for this year would be easy for a first grader to count. Between May 6, 2019 (when Google started punishing websites without HTTPS) and May 1, 2020 (when we finally switched to HTTPS), we only had a measly 9 visitors. Not even spambots bothered visiting the site!

AudioSchematics Visitor Analytics HTTP vs. HTTPS

The exact day Google Killed HTTP is the day this site lost all traffic. The Exact day we implemented HTTPS is the day our traffic immediately came back!

Once we implemented HTTPS, we started seeing around 8 visitors a day for the first couple of weeks. But within a few weeks more, we were back to our usual 10 visitors a day – just like before Google demanded HTTPS. And today in 2022 we are at 40 visitors per day. Still not much but let’s just say we are in it for the long run.



The way to test if you run HTTPS or not is to open a browser enter HTTPS:// and if you see your site it works. If not you need to check why. HTTPS works differently on different servers (hosting companies) but the most common solution is fount in your cPanel – which also can be differently setup. This means you might have to contact your hosting company. Other hosting companies recommend to use plugins like Really Simple SLL – but check with your host first. You need to look for an SSL certificate and get this implemented.


Your Database

Your WordPress database contains thousands of internal links to your website. They need to be changed. I usually export my database. Take a copy just in case and then I use Notepad++ to search and replace HTTP:// with HTTPS://

Then I check if it looks OK and import my database back to the SQL server.


Your Website

Check your Media library. Click on an image and look at its location, and check your WordPress URL under General Settings in your Admin Panel. They should be OK as they are located in the database you just changed.



You need a few changes in your .htaccess file which is located in the root of your website installation. Add this:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI}


So, let this be a lesson to you. If you’re wondering where your traffic went and you haven’t installed HTTPS on your website, then you’ve got your explanation right here. Use HTTPS, and Google will reward you with more customers. ALWAYS use HTTPS/SSL – it’ll make Google happy, and send more traffic your way.



Übernörd & Digital Dictator


By David Holywood

Author of 10 books for men in relationships and 2 huge novels. Web designer and SEO expert since 1999. Hard Core user of Google Ads, Google Business Profile, AdSense, Analytics & Search Console. Expert in Speed & Load Optimization. Musician. Composer & Martial Artist. Psycho Therapist.

Running a few other blogs: which is a book store and has a lot of resources for men in tough relationships. which is an AdSense site. which is a web agency and some kind of a Danish version of

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