If your website is vital for your business, SSL protection is vital for your website. It’s that simple.
SSL certificates protect a huge amount of traffic on the internet. According to Google:
- SSLs protect over 68% of Chrome browser traffic on Android and Windows devices;
- SSLs protect over 78% of traffic on Chrome and Mac OS;
- 81 of the top 100 sites on the web use https:// by default.
As you can see, having an SSL certificate on your website will put you in good company.
If you’ve been holding out because you weren’t sure if you needed one or how to get started, never fear. In this article we’re going to give you a few reasons why you’ll want to set up SSL protection on your website.
What are SSL Certificates?
First, if you’re unfamiliar with the term, SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer.
This added layer of protection provides encryption for data that’s transmitted through a website to a server or browser. Critical data such as passwords, email addresses, credit card and banking information, email, and other private messages is protected by SSL encryption. SSL protocols encrypt the data before it gets transmitted, making it worthless to anyone who tries to intercept it as it travels through the Internet.
SSLs also verify the sender and receiver of the data, so you know all parties involved are who they say they are. Fraudulent activities like spoofing and phishing are much more difficult to get away with on a site that has SSL.
You’ll recognize a site that uses SSL because it will have a URL, or site address, that starts with “https://” rather than just “http://”. The letters “https” stand for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol, Secure.” Other SSL indicators which are displayed on secure sites include a padlock icon or a “green bar” in the URL.
If you’re curious about how SSLs work, we have a special guide on the topic. Google also offers an article that explains https and SSL certificates in more detail, as well as a video presentation on https.
Why are SSL Certificates Important?
All websites involve the sharing of data over the Internet, and as we use the Internet, we have basic expectations that we’re dealing with legitimate companies and our data will be protected.
When a customer submits their personal information to your website, they trust that the transaction is secure and the data will not fall into the wrong hands.
In fact, protecting website visitors’ data is so important that Google has begun actively encouraging sites to add SSL protection. Currently, Google displays security warnings for e-commerce sites that lack an SSL certificate, and by July 2018, the Chrome browser will start displaying “site not secure” notices for all sites without SSL protection.
One of the most popular ways to convey security on a website and gain repeat customers is by using SSL trust seals (also known as ‘trust badges’ or ‘site seals’). These are images issued by a Certificate Authority that can attest that your site has met a set of standards and criteria for trustworthiness. According to the Comodo blog, “consumers are very aware of trust marks and understand what they represent… only one in five shoppers did not know what purpose trust marks served.”
Increase Your Website’s SEO
SSL certificates do more than keep your data safe, too. Believe it or not, they can also help your site rank higher in search engines.
Google wants all websites to have SSL certificates, and they’ve made no secret of their efforts to reward compliant sites. As far back as 2014, they began giving HTTPS sites a small boost in search results, and in December 2015, Google even admitted that they give search priority to these more secure sites.
With this mounting pressure to have more SSL coverage, it’s likely that sites with SSLs will continue to benefit from Google’s search algorithms. This means that, even for simple websites that don’t request customer data, having an SSL certificate will help your site get found in organic searches.
Promote Trust Among Your Site Visitors
Building trust with your customers may be one of the best reasons to set up SSL certificates on your websites.
Anyone who visits a website wants to be sure that their data is secure, especially when providing credit card information or other sensitive data. In fact, according to Baymard Institute, on average 69% of customers indicated they would abandon their shopping carts if they thought the website was unsafe.
And even for sites that don’t require credit cards, trust is still important. SSLs provide reassurance and in turn, give your blog or membership site more credibility. Why? Every time someone leaves a comment or logs in, they are transmitting data. An SSL is a simple way to show that that data is kept private and secure.
As mentioned above, HTTPS sites (especially those with the green bar visuals) also help reassure visitors that they’re on the correct and official site, and not a fraudulent or phishing site.
The bottom line is that by increasing your customer’s confidence, they will be more likely to do business with you.
But What If I Don’t Run an E-commerce Site?
Perhaps you’re a small business owner or blogger who doesn’t feel the immediate need for SSL. You take payments using PayPal instead of through your site, for example, or perhaps you’re not concerned with SEO because your customers don’t find you through search engines.
Besides customer confidence, are there other benefits in adding an extra layer of security like SSL?
Absolutely. Securing data on your personal corner of the web is one more step in creating a less vulnerable, more robust, and generally more trustworthy network. Hackers don’t always target big business as a point of entry to a network. In some cases, sites with even a peripheral connection to that network can provide a perfect insertion point for malware. Think of adding SSL as contributing your own link in a wider protective fence around the Internet.
According to Mad Tomatoes, an online content marketing and blogging publication, the threat to non-e-commerce sites is even more ominous:
“Personal data is just as lucrative as financial information, if not more so. While credit card companies and other financial institutions have taken major steps to combat fraud, thereby negating the value of financial and payment card information on the black market, other personal information like home addresses, social security numbers, healthcare information, and email addresses and passwords still goes for big money on the dark web, making it an enticing grab for hackers, and an easy grab without encryption.”
So, even if you don’t make a dime from your website, you still have a lot to lose if you choose not to secure it.
How to Get an SSL For Your Site
Regardless of the kind of website you run, we hope you now understand how important it is for you to add an SSL certificate to your site.
Companies like Namecheap offer a variety of SSLs to meet all of your security needs, so you don’t need to go too far to set up your SSL certificate.
Once you’ve chosen the SSL assurance that’s best for your website, the provider (e.g. Namecheap) submits your information to a separate company known as a Certificate Authority (CA) such as Comodo for validation. The CA then confirms your information as valid and issues your SSL in the form of a cryptographic key that protects your site’s data via encryption.
Once you purchase your certificate through Namecheap, we’ll provide instructions on how to activate and install the certificate on your website, ensuring your website connection is safe. And you can do this knowing we have 24/7 support on hand if you get stuck.
Have we convinced you to take the next step and secure your site? If so, there’s never been a better time. Check out Namecheap’s wide range of SSLs for up to 49% off regular prices. We have options that will be perfect for every site.