Business owners are often not up to date with the constant stream of updates that come out affecting their website. One of the big ones that came into place last year was SSL certificates. They are an essential part of website security and have been for a while. Even though they are so important, many website owners still don’t have them or even know what they are.
What is an SSL Certificate
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. An SSL certificate authenticates your website and encrypts and information on the site that is sent to the server.
On your browser, you can see which sites have an SSL certificate letting you know they are secure. Websites whose address starts with HTTPS (as opposed to just HTTP) will have an SSL certificate. You will also see a small green padlock at the beginning of the URL or the word ‘Secure’ in green text.
Why does your website need one?
Keep your website secure
SSL gives your site a secure connection because all the information sent to the server is encrypted. If hackers were able to gain access to the server, without the encryption key, all the data is useless, just a scrambled mess of characters. Meaning, visitors to your website can trust that if they put in personal information that it will be kept safe.
Chrome has started marking pages without SLL certificates as ‘Not Secure.’ As opposed to having the green ‘Secure’ your site will have a red ‘Not Secure’ before the URL. This is a reasonably significant deterrent, if you visit a site and your browser tells you it’s not secure are you going to keep browsing or click back?
Google and other search engines want to maintain their reputation for their excellent service. They aim to provide the best sites possible for terms users are searching. Part of this is the content on the site, but another part is security. Google is now using HTTPS as a ranking factor in its algorithm; it wants to ensure it’s only sending its users to secure sites.
If you don’t have an SSL certificate, it’s likely hurting your Google rankings. You may find that competitors with SSL certificates begin to outrank you and as a consequence, you lose valuable organic traffic.
Building trust with your users
Even if you don’t take payments on your site, or collect data from your users, it’s still important to show them that security matters to you. By showing them you value their security you build trust, securing relationships and possible future sales. Without having an SSL certificate in place, you could lose visitors to competitors sites that do.
SSL certificates come at a low cost and with so many advantages to having one, if you don’t already, it’s time to implement one on your site.
For a quote for SSL implementation or to enquire with any questions you may have, please get in touch.