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What Is SSL And Do You Need It for Your Website?
No matter what type of website you have, SSL (short for Secure Sockets Layer) should be part of your online business strategy. SSL helps create a trusted web environment for visitors, and provides a small boost in search rankings.
When you see a URLs that start with https://, the website you're visiting is using the SLL encryption protocol .
We'll take you through the basics of SSL and how to get started.
Why You Need SSL
Protecting user data is vital to establishing trust, whether you are a small business owner asking for email addresses for a newsletter or a large company selling widgets. Any website that asks for any type of user information via a form or input field should be using SSL.
What makes SSL even more important is that Google provides a small search boost to websites that have a valid SSL certificate and downgrades those that do not. Google's Chrome browser even shows a warning when a user tries to visit a website that doesn't have a valid certificate with a “Not Secure" message in the URL bar.
An SSL certificate proves website ownership and protects user data on your website, and users have come to expect it. With so many data breaches and concerns over privacy, users will leave a website that's flagged as not secure. Don't let that happen to your website.
How To Set Up SSL
An SSL certificate includes information about who owns the website and domain, including the name of the certificate holder, a serial number and expiration date, public key, and digital signature from an issuing agency.
You won't get a certificate in the mail. It's all done online and connected to your website.
The most common method of obtaining an SSL certificate is through your website host provider. Most hosts offer a certificate for free as an incentive to use their service or for a small annual fee. Setup with a host is relatively simple, and you can verify information and install it with a few clicks.
The other option is to purchase an SSL certificate. With a purchased certificate from a third-party vendor, there is some coding involved.
Once the certificate is installed, you'll need to force your website to use HTTPS and ensure that all content on every page of the website uses HTTPS elements, otherwise the “Not Secure" error can still pop up.
Finally, you'll want to let Google know about the changes you've made to your website. While Google will automatically re-index your site over time, this ensures that it happens sooner.
If this seems like a foreign language to you, talk to your web developer about getting the certificate and installation.
SSL can help do protect payment information, passwords, and logins, and secures web forms. It makes your website less attractive to hackers and more credible and trustworthy to users.
Most registrars offer all levels of website builders, hosting, email, and SSL certificates from an easy-to-use interface that directly connects to your domain name. If you are new to website creation, investigate all of your options before your get started.