What is an SSL Certificate, and why is it important?

An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that legitimizes your website, coupling together your domain name, company name, and location with a unique cryptographic key. When installed properly, it ensures a secure connection between your client/user and the web server.

There are a couple of different SSL certificates available. Which one you pick depends on the kind of web presence you have. For the sake of keeping this post simple, I won’t get into that.

 

With SSL, your domain name changes to “httpS://sitename.com”, instead of the regular “http://sitename.com”. The “S” in this case, makes all the difference. Another way to tell if a site has an SSL certificate in place is when the address section in your browser reflects a lock icon along with the word “Secure” next to it. This shows up to the left of the domain name in the address bar.

 

Why does your website require an SSL certificate?

Here are some great reasons why:

  • Potential clients/customers/visitors are less likely to interact with a website that has a “Not Secure” red warning in the address bar.
  • With an SSL certificate, your customers see the secure lock that indicates a secure connection is in use. This also translates to all their interactions with your website are protected. Obviously, this increases brand credibility, loyalty and trust.
  • SSL certificates give you better SEO ranking. Google gives websites with an SSL certificate a preference in searches over websites that do not have it.
  • Online shop owners, SSL is required for Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance.

 

What happens if you do not have an SSL certificate?

  • Hack Attack: Your website’s security is at risk, which means there are high chances of your website getting hacked. A very common occurrence today. You do not want to go down this path, because this involves possibilites of your website taken offline and your content being riddled with spam. Not pretty and difficult to get out of without the proper assistance.
  • SEO Affected: In 2017, with Google pushed for a more secure and performant web, which included perks like a search ranking boost for secure web pages. So your SEO ranking is affected in a massive way.
  • Broken Trust:This makes you look bad to your clients/users, because it looks like you don’t care enough to give them a sercure online experience with your website.

 

How can you get an SSL Certificate for your website?

There are a couple of ways you can get an SSL certificate installed for your website.

You can obtain or purchase an SSL certificate from your own hosting provider. Some hosting companies off an SSL Certificate for free with your hosting package. That’s always a nice perk yea.

And yes, you can get Free SSL via Let’s Encrypt. Ask your web host if they have that.

You can reach out to your trusted web designer/developer and they can hook your website up with a secure connection.

Or, I can help with that setup if you have no idea where to start or would rather have someone else take care of it. Just send me message.

 

In Conclusion

SSL isn’t a “nice to have” option anymore. It is a “must have”, for your network, client security and that boost in Google searches.

 

Is your website secure?

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