What is an SSL Certificate?
An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is a digital certificate that is used to establish a secure encrypted connection between a web server (host) and a web browser (client).
What does it do exactly?
SSL certificates provide authentication, encryption, and integrity for web traffic. They ensure that any sensitive information transmitted between the web server and browser (passwords, credit card numbers, personal data etc) remains private and cannot be intercepted by hackers.
SSL certificates are usually issued by trusted third-party Certificate Authorities (CAs), which verify the identity of the website owner and their domain before issuing the certificate.
Once installed on our server, an SSL certificate enables the use of HTTPS (HTTP Secure) protocol and displays the padlock icon in the web browser's address bar, indicating that the connection is secure for your user.
Ok, do I have to have one?
Having an SSL certificate is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended for websites that collect or transmit sensitive information such as login credentials, personal data, and financial transactions.
Moreover, most modern web browsers now flag non-HTTPS websites as "Not Secure," which can harm your website's credibility and user trust. In contrast, having an SSL certificate can enhance your website's security, privacy, and trustworthiness, and even boost its search engine rankings.
SSL certificates are increasingly becoming the standard for secure web communication and a best practice for any website that values security and user privacy. Which should really be any website.
But if my website isn't selling anything should I still have one?
Yes, even if your website is not selling anything, an SSL certificate can still benefit your website and your visitors in several ways.
Firstly, an SSL certificate can encrypt any information that visitors may submit through your website, such as contact forms, comments, or newsletter sign-ups. This can help prevent any unauthorized access or interception of this information, protecting your users' privacy and your website's reputation.
Secondly, having an SSL certificate can help establish trust and credibility with your visitors. As mentioned earlier, most modern web browsers now display a warning message on non-HTTPS websites, which can negatively impact your website's reputation and deter visitors from interacting with it.
Finally, some search engines like Google consider HTTPS as a ranking signal, meaning that websites with HTTPS may rank higher in search engine results than those without it. This can potentially help your website attract more visitors and improve your online visibility.
How do I know if I have one or not?
To check if your website has an SSL certificate, you can follow these simple steps:
Open your web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.) and go to your website's URL.
Look at the address bar of your web browser. If your website has an SSL certificate installed, you should see a padlock icon to the left of the URL, indicating that the connection is secure.
You can also click on the padlock icon to view more details about the SSL certificate, such as the issuer, the expiration date, and the level of encryption.
If your website does not have an SSL certificate, you may see a warning message in your web browser indicating that the connection is not secure. In this case, you should contact us immediately and request that we install one for you.
• SSL Certificates protect the transfer of data between your website and your visitor from being intercepted by hackers.
• SSL Certificates benefit your website in many other ways, including your search engine rankings.
• Whilst not mandatory, they are increasingly becoming a standard expectation by search engines like Google.
• If you're unsure if you have an SSL Certificate you should check and then ask us to install one if you do not.