You are on the verge of completing your brand new website, and you are very satisfied with it. You are a bit nit-picky, so you have taken your time to make it perfect. You type in the address to make sure that everything is up and running, and you get a white circle with an “i” next to the address, or even worse, you get a “Not secure” sticker slapped on the left. When you go to https://www.google.com/, for instance, you will see a locked padlock on the left. That’s more reassuring than the warning on your own site. You start asking yourself what that is. Will it turn potential customers away? How do I get it fixed? It’s a warning that your site is not secure, and it may scare people off. Read more below.
What you need is an SSL certificate. It’s something you may have heard of, but not something you have looked into. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. In layman’s terms, it’s what helps create an encrypted connection between the device of the visitor and your website. In the past, an SSL certificate was required for online shops or sites that collect data from the visitors or customers. Within the last several years, there has been a push to make all sites on the Web use SSL. It is surely beneficial to know that no one is intercepting the data your site sends to visitors and modifying it on the go. This won’t look good for your business, and it may scare people. Nowadays, having an SSL certificate helps you rank better in Google search results. Back in 2014, Google announced that sites using HTTPS will be ranked higher than ones that don’t utilize it (click here for their blog post).
The HTTPS protocol is used to securely access websites. HTTPS stands for HTTP over TLS. The TLS cryptographic protocol is actually the successor of SSL. Even though we still predominantly use SSL when we talk about certificates, it is HTTP over TLS and not HTTP over SSL that helps create an encrypted connection.
Getting a certificate can be an expensive endeavour. There are different types of certificates in different price categories, but they ultimately serve the same purpose – they help in encrypting the connection between your customers or visitors and your website. We offer several types of certificates, and you can check them here:
Around the time Google was already starting the push for HTTPS, high-ranking personnel from different tech companies such as the Mozilla Foundation and Cisco started a project that provides free and legitimate certificates. It’s called Let’s Encrypt. These certificates offer the same level of protection as commercial certificates, but they are free. The main difference is that while commercial certificates are usually issued for one, two, or more years, Let’s Encrypt certificates expire in 90 days. That issue is remedied by an automatic renewal system, and this effectively nullifies the problem.
In addition to selling commercial certificates, we offer Let’s Encrypt certificates that you can install with a few clicks through the hosting Control Panel. You can check our SSL certificates FAQ for more information.
There is little to no reason to avoid installing an SSL certificate on your site. Benefits include better security, improved Google Search ranking, and a better visitors experience in various browsers. Luckily, getting an SSL certificate nowadays is only a few clicks away. If you have not set up your site with a certificate yet, we would recommend that you do that at your earliest convenience.
We are working on an article that will cover the actual SSL installation process, so you may want to keep checking the blog for it. We promise that it will provide easy-to-follow instructions for setting up your site with SSL.