SSL Certificates: What are they? Does your website need one?
Posted on 16th May 2020
You may have heard the term SSL certificate. So what is it and just how essential is it to your website?
One person's told you it's vital, another's told you not to bother with it because it's an extra expense (although, SSL certificates are included with every it'seeze website.)
What is an SSL certificate?
Think of it as a digital passport. A stamp of approval that signifies to your web visitors your site is a safe place to be.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) keeps everything visitors send to you encrypted, so they can use your website knowing their sensitive information won't be compromised.
When someone enters details into their computer, SSL stops all the computers in-between theirs and yours ( called a 'man in the middle' attack) intercepting those details or posing as you.
How do I know if I already have an SSL certificate?
Have you ever wondered why some websites start with http and others https? It's because of Secure Socket Layer, or SSL.
The extra 's' is a sign to web users you have a safe, secure website.
You can also click on the padlock in the search window, and if you have SSL, it will provide details of your certificate.
If you're unsure, it'seeze can run a digital health check on your website to check whether you have SSL. We'll analyse its speed, Google-friendliness and responsiveness too.
Your browser address bar will indicate if the site is secure
Do I need an SSL certificate?
We've all been there. We've clicked on a website, and it tells us the connection to it is not private. We panic. Does that mean people are stealing our information as we speak? We click away just in case.
It's all about cofidence and peace of mind for people who visit your website.
That is why you need to install an SSL certificate on your website. Would you continue to your site if you saw a non-secure pop-up box?
Since Google introduced this message indicating a non-secure connection, it's made it even more essential to a business that you have SSL.
Most websites collect some kind of information from its users. If you're an online shop or e-commerce business, an SSL certificate is non-negotiable. Not having one is like leaving an open window for hackers to steal your customers' card details or identities.
Even if your site only collects names, email addresses or telephone numbers, it's still sensitive information that needs to be protected.
First and foremost, SSL keeps your web visitors safe. It also effects your organic search engine results on Google. It's been a ranking signal since 2014.
Do I need an SSL certificate for my blog?
If you use your website just as a blog for musings, with no memberships, email sign-ups or items for sale, then you don't need SSL. Still, the words 'not secure' or 'not private' that may show up before people visit could put them off visiting.
And if you aim to be 'seen' online, SSL will help with your blog's search rankings.
How much do SSL certificates cost?
They vary in price from a few pounds up to thousands, depending on the level of security you need.
But, it'seeze provides them free of charge on every new website we design.
In 2017, we introduced SSL certificates as standard to every website we hosted at no extra cost. We save you the hassle of getting one yourself and the cost too.
Our existing clients are all receiving one free too - we don't forget you once you're a client - you're as valuable as any new customer.
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