What are HTTP and HTTPS Protocols?

HTTP and HTTPS protocols are the protocols in place that make the world wide web work.  Both HTTP and HTTPS are languages that allow web browsers and web servers to talk to one another and create the internet.  There is, however, a small difference between HTTP and HTTPS.

HTTP Protocol

HTTP Protocol stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol.

HTTPS Protocol

HTTPS Protocol stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. HTTPS encrypts every communication between your web browser and the address using random code.

How  does HTTP and HTTPS work?

When an internet user puts a web address into the internet, HTTP and HTTPS are the languages that communicate with servers and browsers all over the world to make a specific website appear on that user’s screen in response.

In other words, a user sends a request to the internet via the address bar for information and in response to that request servers and browsers search their files for resources. These resources include URLs (User Resource Locators) and  The servers source the specific web address and send the translated data to the user’s browser.

This process occurs every time an action takes place on the internet.

The Language of HTTP and HTTPS

As languages, HTTP and HTTPS are rather complex. Each communication is independent of the communication before it which allows the internet to function individually for each user.  HTTP and HTTPS are composed of two essential elements – Hypertext and hyperlinks.

Below are the definitions of hypertext and hyperlinks.

  • Hypertext: Hypertext is text on the internet that is linked directly to other text.  Typically associated with internet web pages, hypertext consists of both text style links and graphics.
  • Hyperlinks: Hyperlinks are a form of hypertext that directly connects one online document to another.  Created by using clickable anchor text, hyperlinks appear on every website and search engine.

Another component of HTTP and HTTPS Protocol are Status Codes. To completely understand the language of HTTP and HTTPS, one must also understand the meaning of HTTP and HTTPS status codes.

The most common HTTP Status Code is Status 404, File not found. If there is a message sent via HTTP or HTTPS protocol and the right resources cannot be located, this status occurs. Other Status Codes include Status 401 (Unauthorized), Status 400 (Bad File Request), Status 403 (Forbidden/Access Denied), Status 408 (Request Timeout), Status 500 (Internal Error), Status 501 (Not Implemented), and Status 503 (Service Unavailable).

HTTP and HTTPS Updates

Developers constantly update standards for HTTP and HTTPS to provide for the constant evolution of the world wide web.  One of the biggest current updates to HTTP and HTTPS protocols is the ability for the language to respond to users’ individual preferences on websites.

Learn more from other feature courses

Learn more about eCommerce