What are SSL certificates and why are they so important?
The term SSL certificate has been mentioned a lot recently, however many website owners are still unsure about what exactly an SSL certificate is and if they need one or not. In this post we will help explain the benefits of the SSL certificate and why it is so important to have one.
What is an SSL Certificate?
An SSL certificate stands for a Secure Sockets Layer Certificate, which is a digital certificate that helps create a secure link between your website and a visitor’s browser. The main purpose of an SSL certificate is to encrypt information so that it can only be read and understood by the intended parties. It is essentially a maximum-security certificate for your website to protect it from getting hacked; which is especially important when handling sensitive information such as visitors’ personal information and credit card numbers.
When a website has an SSL certificate, the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is changed to Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) which shows to website visitors if the website has an SSL certificate and is secure or not.
How does an SSL Certificate work?
An SSL certificate creates a secure connection between a customer’s web browser and the server of the company they are interacting with.
There are three main security principles that SSL follows:
- Encryption-ensures that a user’s activity cannot be tracked, or their information stolen
- Data integrity-prevents files from being corrupted as they are transferred
- Authentication-protects against attacks and builds user trust
Information submitted through the internet often passes through and stops at more than one computer before it reaches its destination, and the more stops it makes, the less secure it is and higher chance it might be hacked. An SSL certificate inserts random characters into the information that is being sent, ensuring anyone without the proper encryption key cannot access it.
Does my website need an SSL certificate?
One of the most important questions most website owners ask is Do I need an SSL certificate? Until recently, only those website owners who were conducting transactions, or collecting important personal information were likely to take special measures to secure their web pages.
However, since August Google now officially recommends every website secures themselves with an SSL certificate. Additionally, back in 2015 Google stated that websites with HTTPS ranking could be the ultimatum between two different websites, even if they are equal in terms on content freshness, speed, and title tags.
Therefore, although you might not be taking transactions or any personal information from your website users, your site will be viewed as much more credible, trustworthy, and will rank higher in Google you do so.
Benefits of having an SSL Certificate for your website
Below are the main advantages of your website having an SSL certificate.
- Protects company and user data
Once you have an SSL certificate, every bit of information is encrypted, ensuring IDs, passwords, credit cards are protected from hackers and scammers.
SSL certificates provide identity verification to the website, saving it from imposters, and enhancing your reputation.
- Better search engine ranking
Google algorithm favours websites which have an SSL certificate, improving your websites SEO, bringing more potential customers onto the site and therefore improving conversion rates.
- Secure payments equal safe shopping
It is mandatory for a business website to have an SSL certificate to meet the PCI security standards, without this a business site should never expect to have a successful credit card transaction.
- Improves customer trust
When visitors see your website is secure, it builds and enhances their trust in the company, therefore increasing conversion rates and sales.
If you would like an SSL certificate for your website, contact us here at Crush
We have qualified web developers that are happy to ensure your website is as safe and secure as it can be. The steps we will take to do this are as follows:
- Host your website with a dedicated IP address
- Buy and activate the SSL certificate
- Install the SSL certificate
- Update your site to use HTTPS
For more information or help contact us.