Do You Know What an SSL Certificate Is? (You Should)

Why you need an SSL Certificate

Have you bought an SSL certificate for your website yet? Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t hold off on being a part of this trend.

What an SSL Certificate Is and Why You Should Care

If you look at the top of your browser, you will notice that most web addresses begin with “http://” followed by the website URL, and on some sites, you may notice “https://.” The “s” on the end stands for “secure.”

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates affirm that your web address is secure, allowing visitors on your site to know it’s a safe place to enter sensitive information like emails and credit card information. And while in the past this has only really been important for sites that require credit cards for purchases, it’s been recently announced by Google that secure sites gain a higher ranking in their search engine, even if they are non-e-commerce websites.

To put things in perspective and encourage site owners to get an SSL certificate, Google Chrome’s browser has been adding this warning on sites that aren’t secure, making your site look unreliable to visitors.

(Source)

Not only that, but around 2% of the top million websites are already using a secure address. Keep reading to find out how this recent influx is effecting your search engine optimization.

Benefits of Switching to HTTPS

Previously, many people weren’t interested in the thought of switching over to https. As recently as 2014, over 57% of people said they weren’t interested in the switch according to a poll conducted by Moz. But since Google’s announcement the tide has certainly turned.

Now more than ever, there are clear benefits to getting your site secured. Here are two key reasons you should consider it:

  1. It can help prevent your site from getting hackedWeb hosting providers such as GoDaddy suggest that protecting your site is a smart move, even if you won’t be collecting sensitive information from visitors.
  1. It can boost your SEOWhile numerous companies practice many of the same SEO tactics to increase their online rankings, you can get ahead and receive a boost by making your site secure as soon as possible.While Search Engine Journal states the change will only have a slight effect in your ranking currently, based on previous Google changes we can assume that in the near future it will be a significant factor in your Google standing.

Getting Started on Becoming Secure: Things to Keep in Mind

Going through the process of becoming secure is no easy feat. Make sure to keep these things in mind when you start the process.

  • One of the first steps in securing your site is to find out which type of certificate your website needs. You have three options:
    • Single domain
    • Multi-domain
    • Wildcard certificate (for websites with subdomains)
  • Purchase your SSL certificate through your web host provider, such as GoDaddy, Bluehost, etc.
    • This is to make sure you get SSL certificates issued by trusted Certificate Authorities to ensure all legal regulations are in place, and so the site is verified as a trusted resource
    • There are plenty of spam-y sites out there that will say you can get a certificate for free, but be wary of what you are agreeing to
    • And if you use WordPress, you should check with your hosting provider to see if they offer SSL certificates for free, like Bluehost.
  • You will need to redirect pages to point search engines like Google, as well as the users visiting your site, to the new secured https pages
  • Make sure that you use a server that supports HSTS (HTTP Strict Transport Security)
  • Just in case any mishaps happen during the process, make sure to have a backup of your site and database

Need Some Help Making Your Website Secure?

We know that if you aren’t familiar with the complexity of a website’s inner workings all of this can look a little overwhelming. But no need to fret, we can help!

Contact us today to see how Sixth City Marketing can help your company’s site become secure, along with providing for other web development needs.

We look forward to working with you.

Additional Services Offered by Sixth City

Whether you work in manufacturing, or are a local small business in NEO, we can help your business meet your marketing goals. Here are some of the services we can provide:

Share This Post