what is an ssl certificate and why your site needs one…

tl;dr

An SSL certificate shows your site is secure to visitors, without one, Google will block visitors to your site and your site will show as non-secure.

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 I need a certificate?

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.

For those of you with ecommerce sites, I’d recommend adding a certificate to your site at your earliest convenience. If you’re not selling online or collecting sensitive data, there’s no urgency but I’d recommend you add this to your to-do list to avoid any disruption to your customer’s experience.

How do I get a certificate?

SSL certificates are best purchased from your website host but can be purchased from sites like Comodo and Symantec. Certificates 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 or the above sites. 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 I don’t purchase one?

Your site will start to show as insecure to visits and Google will block visitors to your site. You’ll notice a drop in your rankings on Google too.

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.

If you have any queries regarding your site, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Love,

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