What is an SSL certificate
Stands for Secure Sockets Layer, an encryption technology – when installed on a web server, it activates the green padlock and the https protocol and allows secure connections from a web server to a browser.
Typically, SSL is used to secure credit card transactions like when shopping online, data transfer and logins, and more recently is becoming the norm when browsing social media sites.
Why you need an SSL certificate
For many years, only time websites needed to worry about having an SSL certificate was when doing eCommerce – but in 2014 Google announced that SSL was going to be a ranking factor on their search results page. Might be a small boost, but hey, anything that helps is a plus.
Then in August of 2016, Google announced that starting January 2017 they will mark “HTTP pages that collect passwords or credit cards as non-secure, as part of a long-term plan to mark all HTTP sites as non-secure.”
Google plans to expand this feature to treat all HTTP pages and mark them “Non Secure”.
With these 2 recent announcements, it’s easy to see why everyone should consider having an SSL certificate for their website.
How to get an SSL certificate
Usually the SSL certificate is provided by the hosting company – you should reach out to your web host and inquire about getting a SSL cert. You can also purchase one from a different provider and still have it installed by your web hosting company.
There are different types of certificates at different costs, from simple SSL certs to extended validation certs.
We offer SSL certs for our web hosting customers and clients that host their site at a different web host – let us know if you need any help.
Some tips to help your transition into an HTTPS:
- Decide the kind of certificate you need
- Use 2048-bit key certificates
- Use relative URLs for resources that reside on the same secure domain
- Use protocol relative URLs for all other domains
- Don’t block your HTTPS site from crawling using robots.txt
- Allow indexing of your pages by search engines where possible. Avoid the noindex robots meta tag.”