In today’s digital world, having a website has become an essential part of any business or individual’s online presence. However, it is not just enough to have a website – you need to ensure that it is secure for your visitors, even if you think your website is small or basic. The one thing every website should have is an SSL certificate. And do not panic, SSL certificates have a significant impact for a nominal price. In this article, we will explore why your website should have an SSL certificate
To start, we need to understand what an SSL certificate is. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and it is a security protocol that encrypts data between the server and the browser. This link ensures that all data transferred between the two is secure and private. SSL certificates are issued by a trusted third-party organization, known as a Certificate Authority (CA). When a website has an SSL certificate, the browser displays a padlock icon in the address bar, this provides a visual cue to visitors that the website is secure.
Now let’s explore the reasons why your website should have an SSL Certificate
1. Security – Protection of Sensitive Information
Hackers- Nobody likes them, but they are out there, and they target websites of all sizes. One of the primary reasons to have an SSL certificate on your website is improved security. Without an SSL certificate, any data sent between a user’s browser and your web server is vulnerable to interception and hacking. With an SSL certificate, this data is encrypted, making it much more difficult for hackers to intercept and steal. An SSL certificate is not just very important if your website collects sensitive information, such as personal or financial information, it is a must have.
2. SEO – Boosts Website Rankings
While my reasons for getting an SSL on your website are not in any particular order, I should have considered putting this as number one. Most people ask about how to get better rankings on Google before they ask if their website is secure. When you get an SSL Certificate for your website, your address goes from http://yourwebsite.com to https://yourwebsite.com, the focus is on the “S” at the end of the HTTP. This “S” indicates the site is secure.
In 2014, Google announced that HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) would be a ranking signal in its search algorithm. This means that websites with an SSL certificate rank higher than those without one. This is because Google wants to provide its users the best possible user experience, and having a secure website is one way to achieve that.
This means that having an SSL certificate can help improve your website’s visibility and ranking on search engines, leading to more traffic and potential customers.
3. Trust – Builds Trust with Visitors
When visiting a website, one thing is certain, I will not use a website that doesn’t have an SSL certificate. You want visitors to use your website, after all, you took the time to create and build it. Trust is important in any relationship. When users see the padlock icon in the address bar and the “https” in the url bar, they feel more confident in sharing their personal information. It tells them that their connection to your website is secure, something worth repeating several times in this article. This, in turn, builds trust with your website visitors. If your website does not have an SSL certificate, users (like me) may be hesitant to provide their personal information, which can result in lost sales and lower conversion rates. This is the case even if your website only has a basic “Contact Us” form and nothing else.
4. Scams – Protects Against Phishing Scams
Phishing is a fraudulent activity where hackers create fake websites that look like legitimate ones to steal personal information. We have personally known people who were victims of this. Scammers are good at making a site look like your bank’s website, PayPal’s website, or Microsoft’s website to name a few examples. An SSL certificate protects your website against such phishing scams. When a user visits a website with an SSL certificate, the browser displays a green address bar, indicating that the website is genuine. This helps search engines and users identify fake websites and protect them from phishing scams.
5. User Data – Protects User Data
Again, this is another thing worth repeating in this article, it is something you need to take seriously. If your website collects any sensitive user data, such as passwords or credit card information, it’s crucial to have an SSL certificate. Without one, this data is vulnerable to interception and theft, which could lead to legal and financial consequences for your business. With an SSL certificate, you can ensure that any data collected is encrypted and secure.
6. Browser Warnings – SSL Helps Avoid Browser Warnings
Nothing can keep a person from visiting your website like a browser warning staring them in the face. Many modern web browsers, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge, now display warnings when users try to access websites that are not secure. These warnings can be a significant deterrent for users, leading to a loss of traffic and potential customers. Having an SSL certificate ensures that your website does not trigger these warnings, providing a better user experience and reducing the risk of losing visitors.
7. Compliance – Data Protection Laws
Many modern web browsers, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge, now display warnings when users try to access websites that are not secure. These warnings can be a significant deterrent for users, leading to a loss of traffic and potential customers. Having an SSL certificate ensures that your website does not trigger these warnings, providing a better user experience and reducing the risk of losing visitors.
In conclusion, having an SSL certificate is essential for any website that wants to protect its users’ personal information, rank higher in search engines, build trust, protect against phishing scams, and comply with data protection laws. If your website does not have an SSL certificate, it’s time to consider getting one. If you are not sure if you already have one or how to get and install one, feel free to Contact Us, and we will gladly help you with this process. If you are looking to save money and get a new hosting company for your website, our hosting services offer free SSL when you host your website with us.