What is SSL?
If you keep up to date with tech news you may have heard of an “SSL certificate” and how Google are penalising sites if you don’t have one. You may have already seen on some sites a little warning message pop up telling you the site isn’t ‘secure’. And, you may have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about so this month, my lovely, you’re in for a (boring) technical treat!
What is an SSL Certificate?
Putting it simply, it’s a way of showing visitors to your website that your site is secure and data is encrypted.
You can tell if a site is secure by either a green padlock in the browser or by the URL starting with https instead of http. However, some sites that are ‘http’ still may have a certificate, like mine for example. You can check to see if a site is secure here.
Seeing these instill trust into a customer and they know by using your site their data is secure.
Do you need a certificate?
Yes! Regardless of the type of website you have, an SSL certificate is a must.
Google are constantly changing their algorithms. In one of their latest actions to fight fraud and insecure websites is to label non-https sites as “not secure”. This doesn’t mean your site isn’t secure but do you really want a potential customer landing on your site for their browser to tell them it’s not secure? Hell no.
How to get a certificate
SSL certificates are best purchased from your website host and start from £5/month upwards. Once purchased you may need to update a few links on your site but reach out for support from your host. In most cases, it’s handled for you.
Some hosts are now automatically adding certificates to WordPress hosting so you may notice your site is already secure, wahoo!
What will happen if you don’t buy a certificate?
Your site will start to be flagged to visits as “non-secure” and Google may prevent access. You also may notice a drop in your Google rankings .
Google are pretty serious about the implementation of SSL certificates on sites so the sooner you get your SSL certificate the better you’re protected against everything Google will throw at us in the future.