For over 10 years SSL encryption has been the standard method for encrypting websites and is still one of the best systems for protecting sensitive information sent by users.
However, with the recent surges in identity theft, malware, hacking, and more, websites are utilizing SSL certificates to make their sites more secure.
What is a SSL
A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate is a security protocol that encrypts data and allows information to be safely passed between a user’s browser and a server.
This has been particularly useful for ecommerce sites that regularly receive payment information. When you have an SSL certificate installed on your server, your site URL switches from HTTP to HTTPS and shows a green padlock to the left of the url. It’ll look like this.
How Can It Affect My Business?
SSL Certificates provide 3 main benefits for all websites:
- The main benefit of SSL is increased security. Ecommerce stores frequently send and receive sensitive information and securing this data is a top priority for all businesses.Having a security breach or leaking information and dealing with consumer backlash is messy and something all businesses strive to avoid.That being said, SSL certificates greatly reduce the chances of such information being intercepted.
- The other benefit is customer trust and site authority.That green padlock in the url bar communicates to customers that your website is trustworthy, credible, and secure.Now, we’re not saying a SSL certificate will cause conversion rates to skyrocket, but it doesn’t hurt to ease a customer’s fears about sending payment information and purchasing anything from your business.
- The third attraction is that Google openly supports data encrypted sites and wants to create a more secure internet.To promote the adoption of SSL, Google now rewards websites that use SSL with higher page rank. That’s right, SSL certificates can boost your page rank on search engine ranking pages (SERPs) thereby rewarding your site with increased traffic.
Does My Site Need a SSL Certificate?
Ecommerce - Yes, SSL certificates are a necessity for all ecommerce sites. However, some ecommerce sites may not need it if the site uses external payment methods like paypal. By external payment methods, I mean that all sensitive information is entered on another more secure domain. Basically, if your customers don’t type anything while under your domain, then you won’t be needing an SSL certificate for the usual security reasons.
Membership sites - Yes, if your site requires users to enter a username, password, and other information, then it is in everyone’s best interests to protect customers that are logging in and willingly sharing sensitive information with your site.
Blogs & photography & personal sites - It is not “necessary”, although blogs and personal sites with SSL will get a small SEO boost and more and more sites are using SSL certificates.
After you’re done installing it, you can always double check that everything is working properly with an SSL Certificate Checker.
Why else do I need SSL encryption?
Mozilla and Apple have both indicated that they want more web encryption. And even the US government has taken important steps in that direction, requiring all .gov websites to be HTTPS by default.
It is highly recommended to acquire a SSL certificate, because HTTPS will likely keep being the standard in the following years and it would be wise for many websites to stay ahead of the pack and switch now if they haven’t.
Currently, people can choose from free or premium SSL certificates. The free certificates, such as Let's Encrypt, certainly do their job well, but usually require manual installation.
Premium certificates bought from your host provider or others like Digicert, are often installed for you, but at a higher cost while also adding more security features.
Need help with making your website SSL secured? Contact us here and one of our Growth Strategists will reach out to you quickly!