If you’ve been browsing the internet over the last few months – and we know you have, since you ended up here – you’ve probably started to notice green “locks” in the address bar on your favorite websites. Perhaps more alarming – you may have seen a bright red “Not Secure” warning on your own website. What does this mean?
Your browser automatically checks to see if a website is protected with an SSL (or secure socket layer) certificate to determine if the website that it is transmitting to your computer, tablet or phone is processed over a secure connection. If it does, you see the green lock to show that you are protected. If not, you may get a grayed out “Not Secure” notice or worse a red “Not Secure” notification with a broken lock.
Now I know what you may be thinking – I don’t sell anything on my website, do I really need to have an SSL certificate? The answer: yes, and here’s why…
- SSL certificates secure data.
If you are selling goods or transferring payment information of any kind, you absolutely should have an SSL certificate for your site. It seems like every day there is a news story about major companies having a data breach and you don’t want your company to be one of them. It is more important than ever to protect your customer’s data and prevent cyber attacks in every way possible.
Even if users can’t make a purchase on your website, it is still important to protect other information that you may be collecting through a contact form or email subscription form. If your customers are trusting you with their personal information it is your duty to protect it.
- SSL certificates build trust.
When a new customer visits your website, the address bar is one of the first impressions that they have of your company. Do you want them to be greeted with a comforting green lock or an alarming red warning? Identify your business as a reputable organization that customers can trust.
- SSL certificates improve search engine optimization and pay-per-click ads.As of July 2018, SSL certificates are officially part of Google’s ranking algorithm meaning that websites labeled as secure will see a bump in their organic search rankings. If you’re running Google Ads you also need to secure your site as Google started sending ad traffic to the https version of your site by default as of October 2018. If you don’t have a secure site, visitors are probably greeted by a warning alerting them that your website is unsecured and to proceed back to safety (yikes!).
It’s important to note that there are many factors that play into your organic ranking on Google so adding an SSL certificate alone won’t get you to the first page. At the end of the day, it’s an easy fix and there are many other benefits to having an SSL certificate so it’s a no-brainer to get one.
How do i get one?
Depending on your hosting provider, you may need to purchase an SSL certificate if it is not included in your hosting plan. This is typically done on an annual basis and costs about $50 – $80.
Once you get a valid certificate, you’ll essentially have two versions of your site: the secure version (https) and the insecure version (http). To fully take advantage of all of the benefits of your new certificate, you’ll need to redirect the traffic to the secure version of your site. This can be done with a simple WordPress plugin like Easy HTTPS Redirection or by adding a few lines of code to your .htaccess file through your FTP server.
Securing your website can be tricky, but our experts can help! Contact us or give us a call at 800.926.2451 and we’ll help you acquire and set up an SSL certificate today!