SSL & Your Website
A while back ago, in April, Google announced that if your website didn’t have an SSL certificate, it would be listed as UNSECURE.
Ah! Doesn’t that strike fear into every nerve cell?
What does SSL do?
Let’s look at a definition of SSL first…..
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral. … To be able to create an SSL connection a web server requires an SSL Certificate.
If your website has a form such as a contact us or subscription form, the information transfer is hackable if your site doesn’t have SSL.
This is because the information isn’t encrypted and can be intercepted by a hacker.
When your site is encrypted with an SSL a secure connection between the browser and the web server is created. No one else can peek at what is being transferred.
With the Chrome browser, a glaring NOT SECURE note appears near the URL. Good grief!
That’s enough to have most people running away from your site.
This is a big problem for your business considering more than half of the people browsing the internet are using Chrome. Not having an SSL will significantly reduce the amount of traffic your website gets and keeps.
Do You Need An SSL?
Let me ask that another way: Do you want to make money? Do you want your website to ever see the light of day on a Google search?
If you answered no, enjoy those cats! MEEEEEEE–OWWWW
If you answered yes, then you need an SSL. In fact, Google has stated that if you and your competitor’s websites would be tied for a place in the organic search and your competitor’s site had SSL and your’s didn’t then their site would appear instead of your site.
Therefore, an SSL helps your SEO.
How to Get an SSL Certificate?
You can get a free SSL certificate here (letsencrypt.org) but it needs to be updated every 90 days. What a pain in the …. While it is free, most of us don’t have time to keep renewing much less remembering to renew!
[Update: You can — if you have enough savvy — set an auto renewal for the SSL from Let’s Encrypt. I’ve not worked through this protocol yet to figure out if I can do it with my hosting plan. I’ll let you know when I find out.]
You can buy one for up to three years from here. ((That’s my other business.))
Three years of not worrying about your SSL sounds like a good deal to me.
Once you have purchased the SSL, you will receive an email directing you on what to do next.
It is fairly straightforward when you stop hyperventilating about adding this to your website.