Everything You Need to Know About SSL Certificates
Security should be the number one priority for any website owner, and it starts with your hosting and SSL certificate, but what exactly is an SSL certificate, and why do you need one? This blog will give you everything you need to know about what SSL certificates are and why you need to have one for your website!
What Is an SSL Certificate?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and an SSL certificate secures the transmission of data between a user’s browser and a server. Put another way, it encrypts the information being sent between the user and the website server, so it is less likely to be hacked or stolen. This is especially important for websites where personal information is collected, or payments are handled, such as eCommerce stores.
It is easy to spot websites with an SSL installed as they will have a padlock next to their URL in the browser and have an HTTPS:// address like in the image below.
Why Do You Need an SSL Certificate?
Due to changes in how data is handled and how search engines treat websites, every website should have an SSL certificate. Browsers such as Google Chrome have started to warn users that the website they are visiting is not secure when the website has no SSL certificate. They have also taken steps towards it, affecting its chances of being shown on search engine results pages.
It could be tempting to think that if your website does not collect any customer data or handle online payments, you shouldn’t be required to have an SSL. However, even if your website does not collect any data via contact forms or eCommerce purchases, if you have any tracking software on your websites such as analytics software or website monitoring software, you are still collecting visitors’ data, which needs to be secure.
How to Get an SSL Certificate for Your Website
Getting an SSL certificate could not be more accessible. Almost all website hosting providers now provide a basic one free of charge. There are several types of SSL certificates:
- Multi-Domain SSL Certificates
- Wildcard SSL Certificates
- Single Domain SSL
- Extended Validation and Organization Validated SSL
- Domain Validated SSL
Most hosting providers will provide a free to use wildcard SSL certificate as standard. The only reason you may need to upgrade from these to more advanced SSLs is if you have eCommerce functions or need that additional level of security. Always seek professional advice before purchasing any additional levels of SSL as they can be expensive – and, as said above, not always needed over a basic one.
The benefits of having an SSL certificate for your website far outweigh any costs or effort involved. Most online users expect websites to have them now as they are a sign that the website is secure and there is less chance of any details being hijacked. Thanks to organisations like LetsEncrypt, they are more accessible than ever, and 99.99% of websites can access one free of charge. So there really is no excuse not to have one!
Need further advice? Get in touch with us here at Morgan Branding we have a fully dedicated team ready to help you and your business get ahead online. You can get in touch via our contact page or get social with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn!
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