HTTPS and SSL are Not the Same Thing

FAQ: Are HTTPS and SSL the same thing?

No. Many people will use the acronyms interchangeably. And while HTTPS and SSL can and should be used in the same sentence, they are not synonymous.

Just like peanut butter and jelly, HTTPS and SSL, create a nice one-two punch, but outside of their relationship, they are strong independents. They are the Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell of web communications.

The Technical Definitions


SSL, short for Secure Sockets Layer, is a standard security protocol for establishing encrypted links between a web server and a browser in an online communication. The usage of SSL technology ensures that all data transmitted between the web server and browser remains encrypted.

A certificate is necessary to create an SSL connection. There are many different kinds: check out this guide for more info on the different types of SSL Certificates. Once purchased, validated, and installed, two cryptographic, a Private Key and a Public Key, are created.


HTTPS is a communications protocol for secure communication over a computer network which is widely used on the Internet. HTTPS consists of communication over Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) within a connection encrypted by Transport Layer Security, or its predecessor, Secure Sockets Layer.

The Layman’s Version

HTTPS connections are enabled when a SSL certificate is configured for a website on a web server. To make matters more confusing, you could also use TLS (Transport Layer Security) to obtain HTTPS.

Either way, without setting up a TLS/SSL certificate a web browser can only access websites via HTTP and all data sent to the server can be read over the network. This is becoming increasingly problematic, especially as major search engines and web browsers begin to put more stock in HTTPS.

Still Confused?

We find that the easiest way to remember the relationship between SSL and HTTPS is to sing tune:

Ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough, ain’t no river wide enough, to keep me (SSL) from getting to you babe (HTTPS).

About Orpical Group

Orpical Group is a full-service online marketing agency and business consulting firm. With locations in New Jersey and Philadelphia, we specialize in logo design, branding, web design and development, search engine optimization (SEO), and pay per click management.

Since 2012, we have helped our clients realize and sustain high levels of individual and organizational performance. We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all marketing approach. We believe in our clients. And our clients believe in us because we are invested in success.