If you’re a website owner, you might have heard that it’s important you have an SSL Certificate; but do you know why? An SSL Certificate is beneficial for a number of reasons including security, authentication, trust and even contributes to the coveted SEO ranking. Below we take you through how an SSL Certificate works, what the benefits are and how WP Sparks can help you obtain the certification.
What is an SSL Certificate?
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates are small data files that are bound to your organisation’s details by a cryptographic key. When installed on a webserver, a padlock and http protocol are activated, allowing secure connections from a web server to browser. SSL is commonly used to secure data transfer and logins as well as credit card transactions. More recently it is being used to securely browse social media sites. SSL Certificates bind together a server name, domain name or host name and an organisation’s identity.
Why do you need one?
Put simply, SSL is essential for protecting your website, especially for ecommerce websites that collect customer’s credit card details. However, SSL is important for all websites that handle sensitive information – even if that is only name, email and phone number data – as it provides privacy, data integrity and critical security for your website, as well as your user’s personal information.
In light of this, the primary reason you need an SSL certificate is to encrypt sensitive information so that only the intended recipient has access to it. The information you send on the internet is passed between several computers to get to the intended server, therefore any of these computers have access to credit card numbers, usernames, passwords and other private information. However, with an SSL certificate, this information becomes unreadable to everyone except for the destination server, protecting it from identity thieves and hackers.
In addition to security, an SSL certificate also provides authentication so you can be sure you’re sending the right information to the right server. This is important because, as mentioned before, information gets sent through several computers before it reaches its intended destination. Unfortunately, any of these computers could actually pretend to be your website and trick users into sharing personal information. The only way to avoid this and get authentication is to get an SSL Certificate from a trusted SSL provider, such as WP Sparks.
The number one thing customers look for on a website is trust and needless to say, a customer that trusts your website will be more likely to purchase from you. One way to tell if a website is trusted will be the web browser showing a lock icon or a green bar, letting visitors know that their connection is secure. An SSL provider will give you a trust seal to show customers that you have an SSL Certificate and that their information is safe. In addition, HTTPS protects against phishing attacks, which is an email sent by someone trying to impersonate your website that usually includes a link to their website instead. However, it is hard for these criminals to obtain an SSL Certificate. Therefore, if you have one, it will be difficult for them to seamlessly impersonate your site and your users will be far less likely to fall victim to a phishing attack.
As you are probably aware, having a good SEO ranking can do wonders for bringing traffic to your website, and thus, more opportunity for sales. However, it can be a difficult thing to navigate. Google recently announced that one of the easiest things you can do to boost your website’s SEO ranking is to obtain an SSL certificate. HTTPS websites will receive an automatic SEO boost in Google’s algorithm and become the default search result above other websites that may not have an SSL Certificate. This is because SSL has become the new standard, therefore encouraging all sites to implement the certificate.
How WP Sparks can help
As beneficial as SSL Certificates are, they can be quite expensive to purchase without a website hosting package, and even more complicated to install and configure yourself. WP Sparks provide and install SSL Certification with all our website hosting packages at no additional cost to ensure your website performs well from the beginning.