What is an SSL Certificate?
Without getting too technical, here is a quick explanation of what an SSL Certificate is and why your website needs one.
SSL is short for Secure Sockets Layer and it’s a way of telling the customers on your website that there is an encrypted link between the website and the client. This will ensure that the visitors on your website will have their information transferred safely when signing in, browsing or buying products or services.
SSL Certificates change your URL
Using an SSL Certificate will also change what your web address looks like on a browser. With an SSL Certificate, your URL will start with “https://” – this stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. Unlike “http://”, you will have the added “s” to show visitors that your website is secure.
When a customer is viewing your website, it will be very easy for them to find out if your website is encrypted with an SSL Certificate or not. All they have to do is look at the URL bar and identify the small padlock icon. If there is a padlock, the website is secure, if there isn’t one – the customer will usually be notified by the browser that the connection to the website is not secure.
In 2018, Google announced that websites with an “http://” web address will be flagged as “Not Secure”. In efforts to keep Google Chrome users safe, Google has deemed any website without an SSL Certificate not secure and will prompt the user if personal data like credit cards and email addresses are used.
Do SSL Certificates improve SEO ranking?
In 2015, Google stated that websites with an SSL Certificate (https://), will likely be ranked higher than others that only have a http:// web address. Since 2015, this encouragement from Google has shown to be effective with a correlation between HTTPS and higher rankings on Google Search.
Higher Conversion rates with SSL Certificates
When a user is visiting your website and notices an unsecured connection – they are highly likely to leave from fear of someone intercepting and accessing their personal information. This is why conversions are much more likely with an encrypted connection. With an SSL Certificate, your customers will have the peace of mind that their information will be transferred directly, and safely to where they intend.
How to Secure your Website
The process of getting an SSL Certificate for your website is no longer as hard or expensive as it used to be. There are many providers that are helpful in making this process as integrated as possible, but there are also providers that are dedicated to encrypting all websites to ensure that users’ information isn’t getting into the wrong hands. There are many low-cost options to secure your website, read about the different providers here. There are also free options to secure your website through Let’s Encrypt. Let’s Encrypt has issued a billion certificates and they aren’t stopping there, this nonprofit website is on a mission to get all websites to adopt HTTPS to encourage more security and privacy on the web.
Why is an SSL Certificate a MUST?
Here are 5 reasons why SSL Certificates should be a necessity on your website:
- You’re expecting many website visitors
- You want customers to sign up for an account on your site
- You take payments on your website
- You want your customers’ trust
- You want to improve SEO ranking
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