do i need an ssl certificate on my website

SSL Certificates: Does Your Website Need One?

Do I Need an SSL Certificate on My Website?

If you’re wondering if you need an SSL certificate on your website, the short answer is YES. Not only does it let your customers know that your website is secure, providing brand trust and loyalty, but Google will also give your site an SEO boost. Cool, right?

You’d be amazed by how many customers look for that fancy green lock and secure sign in the address bar when they’re visiting websites – especially with privacy being such a hot topic these days.

And if you’re still on the fence about getting an SSL certificate, here’s another plus. Depending on your hosting company, you could get an SSL certificate for free. So you can’t argue about price.

If you’re still on the fence about purchasing an SSL certificate, here’s some more information on how it can help your website – and your business.

SSL Terminology

If you’re unfamiliar with the technology, SSL terminology can be confusing. Here are some quick descriptions.

  • SSL (Secure Sockets Layer): is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser.
  • HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure): is a combination of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) with the Secure Socket Layer (SSL)/Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol.

Get a Ranking Boost with a Secure Website

Google announced that they would use HTTPS as a ranking signal and called for “HTTPS Everywhere”. The actual amount of “SEO boost” you get out of having a secure website is unknown as Google keeps their algorithm secrets pretty “hush hush”. Even if the gains are minimal, you should do everything you can to optimize your website for rankings and adding an SSL is an excellent way to get the upper hand on your competition.

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The Fancy Green Lock Icon

Internet security is a hot topic in today’s world. With credit card and data breaches being concerns for everyone, it’s essential to have a secure website. The green lock that comes from having a safe website is unanimously known to give users a sense of security. People are wary of filling out information on websites and letting the user know your website is secure will help you convert better.

The Cost of an SSL

With the emergence of Let’s Encrypt paying for an SSL is a thing of the past. Some hosting companies don’t offer the ability to use their service and require you to purchase one, but more and more hosting companies are adopting their services and automatically including them with hosting. You can also install them yourselves if you use a VPS (virtual private server) using their “get started” guide. So now that they are more commonly free, there’s really no reason NOT to have one on your website.

Things to Consider

If you have an existing website and install the SSL your site, it still could not be considered “Secure”. If you are going to run your website as HTTPS, that means all of your images, stylesheets, javascript files, etc.. all have to be loaded over HTTPS. So if your website has an image of http://www.mywebsite.com/images/myimage.jpg being loaded, you will get a mixed content error and your website will say not secure. That’s because the URL for that image starts as HTTP. As mentioned earlier, it would need to be HTTPS. Now, this can be a HUGE pain if you have an existing, large website with a ton of images and resources loading over HTTP. Luckily, there are ways to fix this through the database. The mixed content issue also includes internal links. If you are struggling with this, please feel free to reach out to us.

Already have an SSL?

Test your website to make sure everything is running properly. Go to https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/index.html

Eric Franklin

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Eric’s passion for technology translates into work that he loves. With an eye-for-detail and strong tech skill, Eric helps perfect the functionality behind each client’s website.