Do you need an SSL certificate on your website?
If your website doesn’t collect sensitive data, like credit cards or social security numbers, you may not have needed an SSL certificate in the past. However, with the new browser notices, it’s now important to ensure every website has an SSL certificate and is loaded via HTTPS. SSL Certificates protect your sensitive information such as credit card information, usernames, passwords etc.
What is SSL?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer which is a standard security protocol for establishing encrypted links between a web server and a browser in an online communication. The usage of SSL technology ensures that all data transmitted between the web server and browser remains encrypted.
A website secured with an SSL certificate will start with https:// instead of http://. It will also have the closed padlock in the domain search bar. If you see a red line through the padlock or the words ‘Not secure’, this is a sign that the website is not secure and does not have a SSL certificate.
Why do I need an SSL certificate?
Ideally every website should be secured with a SSL certificate, here’s why.
Keeps data secure between servers
SSL is the standard technology for keeping an internet connection secure and safeguarding any sensitive data that is being sent between two systems. It’s Safety and Security. When an SSL certificate is used, the information becomes unreadable to everyone except for the server you are sending the information to. This protects it from hackers and identity thieves. No site is too small to get hacked.
Increases your Google rankings
Google gives up to a 5% search rankings boost to websites with SSL. Starting in 2017, Google began to factor the presence of an SSL certificate with search relevance.
Builds and enhances customer trust
Having an SSL certificate will help inspire customer trust in you. Customers want confidence in your security and identity, basically they want you to know that they are a legitimate company and can prove it. For online businesses that take credit card transactions, trust is a huge consideration and as internet users become more aware of scams they will look out for certain trust markers on your website. However it is not just payments that can be affected. Hackers could intercept passwords and contact forms without a SSL certificate in place. Make them trust you from the beginning.
Stop your site getting blocked by a warning message
You have probably come across this before where a warning message is shown before allowing access to the website. It will say something like ‘Your connection is not private’ or ‘This site can’t provide a secure connection’. Users will be able to ‘Accept the Risk and Continue’ but most likely users will turn back and find another site, probably your competitor. Setting up a SSL certificate will prevent losing any conversions.
Improves conversion rates
As with the above, better rankings, reliable connections and customer trust will in turn improve your conversion rates.