The Importance of Having An SSL Certificate On Your Website
In this day of hackers and security intrusions, it's important to ensure that your website is well protected with an SSL certificate.
What is an SSL?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer which is a technology that establishes a secure and encrypted connection between your web browser and the web server that may be storing your data. Basically it encrypts or makes unreadable by the wrong people any data shared by your users and your website. Having an SSL Certificate installed on your website also greatly improves user and visitor privacy.
A few years ago it would cost hundreds of dollars per year to have an SSL certificate on your website, but recently prices have come down making them much more affordable for everyone to have one installed. It now makes good business sense for anybody with a website that has users submitting any type of private or sensitive information to have and use SSL.
Besides securing your users' data here are a few more reasons to use SSL:
An SSL Increases Website Compliance
If you are in the healthcare industry you have to deal with HIPAA compliance or if your website involves e-commerce you have to deal with PCI compliance. There are a wide range of regulations and compliance schemes that your website might need to take into account and encrypting website communications with SSL is often one piece in the compliance puzzle. In the case of HIPAA if you don't take the proper steps like using SSL to encrypt and protect a patient's private data, you could be subject to civil and criminal penalties based on the degree of your negligence.
An SSL Builds Trust
When a website visitor comes to your site and notices that it uses SSL they will feel more confident engaging since their information is being protected. You can further increase your website visitors and users trust by getting an Extended Validation SSL certificate (EV SSL). Your organization will go through an extra third party verification process with an EV SSL certificate implement, this can greatly add more credibility to your website.
An SSL Promotes Conversion
Since SSL helps build trust, it also increases user engagement which then leads to better conversion rates across a variety of actions. Whether it is buying a product, signing up for an email newsletter, requesting a quote, submitting a contact form or making an appointment online.
An SSL Improves Your Website SEO
Google announced a few years ago that they would be using SSL as a ranking signal for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). If your business niche is competitive, having an SSL installed will improve your web ranking perhaps more so over your competitors if they don't have one implemented.
How Do I Know If I Have An SSL Installed?
When visiting your website, your URL will begin with https:// versus http://, the "s" indicating secure. You will also want to look for a closed padlock icon in your address bar. When you click upon the padlock icon, you will see the details of the installed SSL certificate. Both the https and the padlock icon are required indications that your website is protected with SSL.
What Is The Cost Of An SSL?
SSL certificates range anywhere from free to a couple hundred dollars for an EV SSL certificate. At that price, why not reap all the benefits that we listed above? Depending upon whom you have as your website service host provider, there are numerous ways to purchase and install an SSL certificate. Most host providers have made it fairly easy to implement an SSL certificate, but if you have any questions or are running into any problems or simply do not want to do it yourself Left+Right can help.