If you’ve worked with us in the past year, you will have heard us talking about SSL certificates and HTTPS. You might have brushed off the extra cost as an unnecessary add-on at the time. But in reality, you’re only delaying the inevitable.
Do something positive for your business and read about why you should have an SSL certificate for your website – without delay. After all, it will benefit you and, more importantly, your customer experience.
What is an SSL certificate, and what does HTTPS stand for?
Without scaring you off straight away, this is about as technical as this article will get. So, HTTPS stands for ‘HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure,’ sounds great. And probably slightly daunting for you non-technical folk reading this. But worry not.
HTTPS is the golden standard for secure communication between a browser, for example, Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge or any other platform you use to browse the web and the web server which stores that website’s code and data.
With an insecure connection – shown as HTTP in your browser – anyone with the know-how can see the connection between the two. They can read the data customers input into a site which is then sent to the server. Worrying huh?
Using HTTPS, you solve that issue by encrypting that line of communication. Imagine it’s like a private corridor that only your customer’s computer and web server have the key to pass information along.
By purchasing an SSL certificate, you can display your URL with HTTPS in the browser’s address bar and the green padlock icon. That way, your customers will know their data is secure when using your site.
Does my website need an SSL certificate?
In short, yes! It doesn’t matter how big or small your site is; if your customers send their information to you through a contact form, an email signup field or purchasing goods or services, you require an SSL. So say goodbye to HTTP and hello to HTTPS.
Accepting online payments
If you’re running an online store or taking one-off payments for a service directly on your website via credit card, you 100% need an SSL. Would you want your credit card information made available for anyone to see? Nope, and neither do your customers.
Memberships and logins
If you have a membership area, paid or free, or a logged-in area that customers access, then an SSL is a must-have. Your members are storing personal email addresses, names, and passwords, which you don’t want getting out and being used for malicious practices. It’s not worth the headache a major breach of this personal information can bring.
If you’re not collecting money online or don’t have some fancy user area, you will probably collect customer information through a contact form or email signup. Basic information such as names, phone numbers, and email addresses should be protected. We’re sure a potential client doesn’t want these personal details leaked.
Without an SSL certificate, there is still a chance this information can be intercepted. That’s why even the simplest of sites should be secured. Don’t give a potential lead a reason not to get in touch. If they can’t see HTTPS displayed on your site, they might run for the hills! That lost business could have been worth thousands and have meant a long-lasting relationship. Don’t take the risk.
More reasons why you should move to HTTPS
Even if you’re not doing the above, there are more reasons to move to HTTPS.
It’s the right thing to do
Morally, it’s something you should be doing. Why risk someone’s personal information being intercepted? It’s a small cost to make sure it’s being transferred securely.
HTTPS makes your site load faster. If you don’t believe us check this site out and compare the load times of HTTP vs HTTPS https://www.httpvshttps.com/.
You’re making Google and browsers happy
Search engines and browsers, notably Chrome and Firefox, like secured sites. These browsers will even warn you if a website isn’t secured with an SSL. If not, it may prompt people to second guess whether they leave their details on your site.
Get a boost from Google
Security is a top priority for Google, and they will physically boost the rankings for sites with an SSL. It’s a minor boost – content is still king – but they will promote sites displaying HTTPS over HTTP. See what Google has to say about it.
When traffic passes through an HTTP site, you’ll end up with a lot of referrals that display as ‘direct traffic’ in your analytics software, which isn’t very useful. When you use HTTPS, the referral information is usually preserved, giving you a more accurate representation of where your traffic is coming from.
How do you go about installing an SSL?
Now you understand the benefits, it’s time to get serious and secure your data. We’re here to help. Our hosting provider offers certificates at a minimal cost, and we will happily set this up for you.
If you’re not hosted with us but have had a site built by us, then ask for our help, and we’ll happily oblige.
Get in touch with us to secure your customer’s details today.