The website buzzword of the year is SSL Certificate.
Most people who have a website have probably heard of the term SSL but may not know why is it important all the sudden. Suffice to say that when Google lays down the law about something on the web, it’s a good idea to follow along or be left in the dust. Google recently made a big change to benefit websites with an SSL certificate, and admonish those that don’t.
What does SSL mean?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It’s the standard technology used for securing website information.
What Is An SSL Certificate?
An SSL certificate allows the user to get a secure connection with your server. This works to ensure that any information transferred is kept private. This is particularly important for retail websites, but all websites really should get an SSL Certificate.
The SSL certificate connects the information given on a website with a cryptographic key. The process includes checking the name of the certificate holder, serial number and expiration, copy of the certificate holder’s public key, and a digital signature from the issuer of the certificate. It then encrypts the website users session to ensure that it is secure. Basically, that means that only the intended server can “read” transmitted information.
When an SSL certificate is NOT used on a website, information submitted by users can be read by any computer it passes through on its way to the server. The SSL certificate makes the information unreadable to anyone besides the intended server.
How Can You Tell If A Website Has An SSL Certificate?
There are two easy ways to see if a website has an SSL Certificate installed. If the URL starts with https: the site IS secure; if you only see http: the site is not secure.
When you’re browsing on Google Chrome, you will see just before the URL an alert that the website is not secure. Other browsers make the URL bar green.
Why Do You Need One?
There are several reasons why your website needs an SSL certificate.
- Better for SEO. Google, the master of SERPs, gives a boost to websites that are secured with an SSL certificate. This means that everything else being even, Google will show your content above competitors that do not have an SSL certificate.
- Secure information transfer. SSL encrypts information that is being transferred to a given website to help prevent information theft. This is all information that a user can enter on your website including contact forms, logins, as well as payments. Users like to know that they are protected online.
- Required for credit card payment. For E-commerce websites, an SSL is a must. An SSL is required to comply with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Standards. It protects your user’s personal information during the checkout process. This is to combat the rise of digital identity theft.
- Google flags all websites without an SSL certificate. We mentioned this above as a way to see if your website is secure or not. As of the beginning of 2018, Google marks all unencrypted sites as “unsecured” to ensure the user is aware of the site’s security. This can be a poor reflection on your brand.
How Do You Get The Certificate?
An SSL certificate must be purchased, activated, and installed on your website. After this is completed, you need to update your site to ensure the certificate is working, and you must update information with third parties like Google analytics that can be affected by the SSL change.
At Get Online NOLA, we do the hard work for you! All of our hosting packages include an SSL certificate; plus we manage the installation and upkeep for free.
At Get Online NOLA, we get nerdy so you don’t have to! Want to chat about making your website better for Google? Let’s set up a free strategy session!