Does your site need an SSL certificate?
What is an SSL certificate?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, it’s used to encrypt data that is sent between a website and the visitor’s web browser. By encrypting the data you are ensuring that anything passed to and from your website is safe, secure, and cannot be intercepted by hackers.
An SSL certificate is important if you require the user to send sensitive data via a website, for example credit card / bank details or personal information that they may not want shared with other people.
Does an eCommerce website need an SSL certificate?
If you’re customers enter their card details directly onto your website, then you need to have a SSL certificate installed to encrypt this information. However if they are taken to a 3rd party payment processor like PayPal, SagePay or WorldPay, you won’t need one on your site, this is because the third party processor will take care of the data encryption on their site.
It could still be wise to have an SSL even if you are using a 3rd party site for all your transactions. This is Studies have shown that consumers will often abandon their shopping baskets if they cannot see the site is secure, so even having one for the customers peace of mind could help increase sales through your site.
What about non eCommerce sites?
Your site doesn’t just need to be eCommerce focused to require an SSL, if you are dealing with any sort of personal information about a visitor then you should use an SSL to encrypt this data when it is being transmitted.
An SSL certificate can also be used for more than just encrypting the data passed through your site, it can be a way to show a visitor that your website is trustworthy and has been shown to help increase sales and enquirers through contact forms.
Is an SSL good for SEO?
Yes – Google announced that having an SSL certificate on your website will give you a small rankings boost. On their official blog they have said:
Over the past few months we’ve been running tests taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in our search ranking algorithms. We’ve seen positive results, so we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. For now it’s only a very lightweight signal — affecting fewer than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content — while we give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS. But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.
How do I get an SSL for my website?
There are many different types of certificate for websites, which one you need will depend on the type of security your website requires. Most web hosting companies will offer a variety of SSL certificates for their customers, so once you know which one you need then they may be able to offer it for an additional cost.
If you are a Team Valley Web customer and we host your website then get in touch and we can help guide you through getting the right SSL certificate onto your website.