Have you got an SSL certificate on your website?

It’s the little padlock on the top left of your browser window and looks like this:

SSL Certificate secure
If you don’t have one it looks like this:

SSL Certificate unsecure

What is an SSL Certificate?

The padlock shows that your site has an SSL certificate. An SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website, and encrypts sensitive information so that any passwords, addresses or credit card numbers cannot be intercepted or read by anyone other than the intended recipient.

Another way to check if a website is secure is to see if the website URL uses https rather than http. The “S” at the end of HTTPS stands for “Secure”. This means all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted.

In previous years SSL certificates were used mostly for ecommerce and financial sites. But times have changed, and it is far more important for your website to have an SSL certificate to enable HTTPS.

Do you really need an SSL Certificate?

5 good reasons why you should consider getting an SSL Certificate on your website

1. Boost Your Google Rankings

HTTPS provides websites with a modest SEO ranking boost. Google rewards sites with a valid SSL certificate by ranking them higher.

2. Protect your website against hackers

SSL certificates authenticate and verify the owner of a website, preventing that site from any potential phishing attacks, where third-party hackers often impersonate a website in order to obtain personal information. It also protects your website against hackers who are using man-in-the-middle attacks. Hackers can steal your WP Admin login details using a man-in-the-middle attack.

3. Provide Data security

It’s not just credit card details that are vulnerable to attacks online. Other personal information such as email addresses and social media messaging are also at risk. SSL encryption allows for the safe passage of this information, blocking it from any potential third-party access or unwanted hacks. If your website encourages its visitors to sign up to any memberships, or fill out any contact forms, then SSL encryption should be considered in order to safeguard this information.

4. It’s industry best practice

Google, Mozilla, and other internet organizations now recommend that website use HTTPS. Since Google has such an oversized influence on how successful your website is, it’s advisable for small business owners to follow Google’s recommended practices.

5. Verification of information

SSL certificates also provide verification of the information that is listed on websites. This is particularly apparent on news sites such as the BBC or Guardian, and further prevents a user’s content from being altered by any third-parties.

If you need one, I can help

All the websites I build come with an SSL certificate but if yours doesn’t, get in touch and I can arrange the purchase and installation of one quickly and easily.