You may have noticed a lot of talk around SSL certificates and https websites recently. While it has been an essential requirement for ecommerce sites for many years, it is now important for all websites. With more and more users using the web in their daily lives, cybersecurity and data protection have become a hot topic. Especially in a world driven by data and intelligence. Google is leading the change from HTTP to HTTPS by making it more clear which websites are secure and which are insecure. If you are wondering, does my website really need an SSL certificate? Then carry on reading.
What is SSL and how it works?
SSL is short for “secure sockets layer”. It encrypts information sent between a website and a user’s browser, so it can’t be read as it is sent across the internet. It is most commonly used on websites that request sensitive information from the user, such as passwords, bank details, credit card numbers etc. The complexity of how SSL works remain invisible to the user, so it doesn’t impact their user experience. All the user will see is a green lock icon to show them that their data will be protected.
Why is it important now?
According to Google, there was a 32% rise in hacked websites in 2016. An SSL can protect your site and your users from hacking. It protects the data shared between your users and website. Google has always encouraged users to purchase an SSL certificate for their sites. In fact, since 2014, SSL has been a factor in your website ranking. Encrypted sites would rank higher than their insecure counterparts. However, this incentive was not enough. Google has now started marking websites insecure when you visit them. You may have already noticed this change. In some cases, Google will even show a message to users telling them of the risks of going onto an insecure website. This is where SSL becomes really important to your business.
So, does your website really need an SSL certificate?
If you are still deciding on whether an SSL is important, then decide no longer. An SSL is crucial to all websites, no matter if you’re an individual, small business or a big corporation. Here are a couple of reasons for getting SSL for your site:
- Improving conversions: Did you know that 84% of users would abandon a purchase if they were on an insecure site (Global Sign, 2016)? Data and cyber security is a big issue for all users. If you want to avoid losing sales, then an SSL certificate is a must have.
- Improving website ranking: There have been many studies that have a correlation between having an SSL and site ranking in search engines. In fact, 50% of Google’s page 1 results have an SSL (Moz, 2017).
- Building trust: When a user visits your site and see’s a green secure icon, they are likely to feel safe in navigating your site and engaging with your site, such as leaving comments or subscribing to your blog.
- Avoiding phishing attacks: Phishing emails are sent to users by criminals pretending to be you. Their emails will contain a website address identical to yours, so they can use it to steal your customer’s data. If you have an SSL your customers are less likely to fall for a phishing attack, as they will be looking for trust signals such as the green lock in the address bar.
Is your SSL certificate about to expire?
If you already have an SSL certificate and think that it is over and done with. Then think again. Unlike some other services which automatically renew, SSL certificates require renewing manually. If you forget to renew your SSL, your site could be in danger of the following:
- Trust lowered: Your users might start to think that your site is a fake or something suspicious is going on, if there is no longer an SSL. Concerns about phishing, fraud and cyber-attacks could prompt the user to leave.
- Loss of sales: Because users will no longer see the green secure lock, they will leave your site without purchasing anything. In some cases, they might even see a warning message telling them that the site is insecure and to leave.
It is essential that you always renew your SSL certificate. Otherwise, you will be subjected to the same issues of not having an SSL. You can even check out our SSL certificate infographic for a more handy version of this blog post!
Does your site have SSL?
An SSL is not a choice, it’s a must-have to keep users safe in the digital world. Do you agree that an SSL is essential for all websites? Let us know in the comments below. In the meantime, if you are confused or not sure about securing your website, see our SSL packages page or contact our team today.