An SSL certificate is becoming an increasingly important security feature for website owners, but what does the term, SLL certificate mean? SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It’s the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private, whether it is submitting a contact form or completing a transaction online. SSL is a simple but essential way to keep sensitive information safe while giving your visitors the confidence they need to interact on your website.
Why every website needs an SSL certificate
If you still haven’t invested in an SSL certificate for your website, there is now a very important reason to make this a top priority.
Website security is not only important where credit card transactions are involved. Not everyone collects money online; some websites only collect information. Therefore, your website needs security regardless of whether it is an e-commerce site or a small blog. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), a cryptographic protocol, is the industry standard in website protection and website owners use it to protect their customer’s details and transactions as it travels across the world’s computer networks. Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is Google’s way of stating a site is secure and the safe version of HTTP (the protocol over which data is sent between the user and the website).
You may be thinking, why should I bother, what happens if I don’t have an SSL certificate? Since Google announced that it prefers secure sites, and that they will make it known to anyone visiting a site that it is not secure, you will be doing your website and visitors a disservice.
What does this mean for your website?
In October 2017 with the release of Chrome 62, Google began to mark any website with insecure fields “not secure” for all users to see. This isn’t just a warning for pages with an insecure password field, now it’s anywhere a user can type in the information.
This is part of Google’s push for universal encryption. The change towards more secure (or encrypted) websites has been ongoing for quite a while, and Google has been one of the leaders in driving this development forward with the pressure on websites to add SSL. Furthermore, Google won’t stop at just warning Chrome users about insecure forms, either – Google plans to roll out a warning for all HTTP websites very soon (and other browsers are following suit!).
Your users need to trust you, make it easy for them.
Not convinced you need an SSL certificate for your website? You will after realising that you are losing potential customers!
An SSL certificate is necessary because it will secure your website, which will improve your brand’s credibility and increase trust with current and future customers. Nothing kills conversion faster than users not trusting a site. And with Google placing a “Not Secure” notification in your address bar or adding a warning when a customer attempts to type in one of your website’s fields, you will lose even more potential business. When Google tells a user that he or she is not safe on a website, the vast majority of people will quickly click away. Customers are more likely to trust and complete purchases from sites that use HTTPS.
So, what to do?
Whether you’re just collecting an email address as part of a marketing strategy, or you’ve got a form somewhere, you’ll regret it if you don’t secure your website as soon as possible. To secure your website, you need to buy a trusted SSL Certificate from a trusted provider. There are different certificates to choose from, so be sure to check which one suits your needs.
Bonus! Get a better SEO ranking
SSL and HTTPS are not only valuable to security, but they’re also very helpful when it comes to SEO. Google usually gets exactly what Google wants, so if they want all websites to move to HTTPS, they will reward you, by increasing your rankings, if you also do!
The forthcoming changes mean that SSL Certificates are no longer a choice, it is now a must for all website owners.