Do I need an SSL certificate for my website?

If you haven’t already done so now is a very good time for you to secure your website with an SSL certificate .

Let’s start with an answer to the obvious question “What’s an SSL certificate?”

It’s a good question as this is still a relatively new development. “SSL” stands for Secure Sockets Layer – in simple terms, it’s a way for businesses to communicate with clients and customers so that they can browse, buy things and share information safely online. Without getting overly technical adding an SSL creates a safe connection for all those types of activities. You can tell when a site has SSL in place because you’ll see ‘https’ instead of ‘http’ in the address bar right in front of the website URL along with an image of a small padlock.

The main thing to understand is that an SSL certificate protects your site from hackers and malware. You might be tempted to say your site is too small to be a target but do bear in mind that most interceptions are carried out electronically without any human ever deciding which website is to be attacked. An automated programme doesn’t care about size, it has one goal which is to find vulnerabilities. As far as it’s concerned no website is too small to get hacked.

Here are just some of the key reasons for installing SSL.

Password Login Security

A major reason you might want to add an SSL certificate to your website is if any of your pages are password protected this includes your WordPress login page for the administrator. Membership sites with multiple logins also create more opportunities for hackers to attack.

Anything that needs to be secure online should operate under the safety net of an SSL certificate.It’s a sad fact that the the web is filled with bots seeking poorly protected password pages to provide them access to your website. You don’t want to make things easy for them – and this assumes you’ve already upgraded to complicated passwords.

Secure Web Forms

Many websites collect information online. Even if you you collecting even the most basic information such as name, address, phone number and email address the chances are your clients would not want that information leaked.

Without an SSL certificate, some types of form mail can be intercepted. This is why securing your online forms with an SSL certificate is fast becoming a must. .

Payment Protection

This is a big one if you accept major credit card payments direct online. Most online store and shopping cart programs come with a built-in secure payment system. In these cases, a third party handles the credit cards or provides another method of paying online.

Perceived Security

Once your site is protected by SSL visitors will see the padlock icon in the address bar which assures them the website is secure. People are becoming more and more concerned about their privacy. Who can blame us in an age where viruses, malware, phishing and other dirty tricks are becoming commonplace?

As a result, major internet technology companies like Google are taking a stand and treating HTTPS as a “must have”. For example, Google Chrome will now show a warning that a site is “not secure” if it’s not running HTTPS.

A warning like this doesn’t actually mean there is a problem with the site, but Google is now taking the responsibility of warning Chrome users to not enter sensitive information on this site. As you can imagine seeing the words “this site is not secure” does not exactly instill confidence in your website. More and more people are looking for that little padlock icon to give them peace of mind about their privacy and security.

SEO Boost

Back in 2014, Google shook things up by including HTTPS as a ranking signal for their search engine. It’s by no means a large factor in your rankings but it can come in handy if your site ties with a competitor on every other ranking signal because if you have HTTPS you will rank higher. If you’re competing for some major search keywords it’s a ‘nice to have’.

What To Do Next

I hope you found this summary of the case for SSL useful. We can get your website set up with an SSL certificate and sort things out on the WordPress side of things for £60 ex VAT

Drop me an email if you’d like to go ahead and I’ll get the job scheduled.