In a blog post from 2013, I wrote about some ways to secure your website. A lot has changed in the last 3 years, and today, having a secure website with a SSL connection should be standard. In this blog post, I briefly explain what SSL is and why every website owner should have a SSL security certificate.
What is SSL?
Simply put, SSL (“Secure Sockets Layer”) is a method of encryption that lets a website visitor use that website securely, making it much more difficult for attackers to view information that the visitor sends to the website (such as a password or a credit card number).
You can think of the connection between your web browser and a particular website as a real-time “mailman.” The mailman sends letters (data) back and forth between the sender and receiver. When a website doesn’t have a SSL security certificate, the equivalent would be someone writing a postcard and putting it into the mail. Anyone who handles that postcard between the sender and the receiver can easily read what is written on the postcard.
Customers on our shared web hosting platform get a SSL certificate for free. Learn more at https://barredowlweb.com/services/.
SSL Increases Google SEO
SSL is good for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). As early as 2014, Google has said that, as security is a top priority for them, they would use HTTPS as a “ranking signal” meaning that, for all else equals, a website that has a SSL security certificate would rank higher in Google search results than a website without such a security certificate.
Google Will Mark Websites That Don’t Have SSL as Not Secure
Beginning next month (January 2017), Google announced that their Chrome web browser will explicitly mark websites that don’t have a SSL security certificate as “Not Secure” for pages that accept passwords or credit card numbers (in the future, Google will mark all websites without a SSL security certificate as “Not Secure”, regardless of whether or not personal information is transferred to said website).
Where To Purchase a SSL Security Certificate
SSL certificates are typically purchased from your web hosting provider and range from a few dollars to over $200 each. The typical amount of time a SSL certificate is valid for is, at a minimum, 1 year.
Customers on our shared web hosting platform here at Barred Owl Web automatically get a SSL certificate for free.