Since Google started to say that secure sites would be given a ranking boost, although only a minor boost this has made lots of web hosting companies start to push the benefits of SSL beyond just E-commerce websites. We have had some clients come to us asking if an SSL certificate is necessary so we thought we would put together an article explaining the benefits.
What is SSL?
SSL stands for “secure sockets layer” and is a form of security for websites that handle sensitive information such as customer names, phone numbers, addresses and credit card numbers. It creates a secure connection between a customer’s web browser and the server of the company they’re interacting with. SSL is essential for any site that sells goods or services as it ensures that all information handled stays private and secure.
To check if a website has an SSL certificate you can view the full url which will have https rather than http. Browsers make it a little easier by displaying ‘Secure’ in the address bar:
The Benefits of an SSL Certificate
The main purpose of an SSL Certificate is to keep sensitive information encrypted while it is passed from one computer to another to reach its destination. This prevents sensitive information such as passwords and financial details being seen during its journey preventing hackers and thieves using it for their advantage. If your website accepts customer payments it is necessary to have an SSL Certificate to meet the Payment Card Industry compliance data encryption standards.
In addition to encryption an SSL Certificate also provides authentication which ensures that data sent from your website reaches the intended destination and not an external party trying to steal the information.
SSL also guards against phishing emails which lead unsuspecting customers to a convincing replica of an otherwise reputable website. These emails attempt to gather financial information for illegal gain. People who create these fake websites find it very difficult to obtain an authentic SSL Certificate. When a customer can see that the site is not secure it shows a clear sign that the website is not genuine.
Strengthening Your Brand
Customers are becoming increasingly aware of the dangers online and increasingly knowledgeable about the status of websites. Having a safe and secure website gives your customers an added level of assurance when they visit your site. This helps to build the trust between you and your customers by showing that you are concerned for their security whilst using your website.
As SSL becomes more important not just for eCommerce websites, but also a ranking factor it is an excellent way to get ahead of your competitors and future proof your website.
Until recently one of the only disadvantages of an SSL Certificate was cost. This has really improved recently, our Professional Managed Hosting package now includes a free SSL Certificate for no extra cost.
If you would like to purchase an SSL certificate for your website visit our Web Hosting page to see our great prices.Back