If you’re thinking about creating a website, getting an SSL certificate may not be at the top of your to-do list. But it should be. Why is that? First, let’s quickly define what an SSL certificate is, then we’ll dive into the top three reasons you should get one for your site.
An SSL certificate is a digital certificate you install on your website’s server to create an encrypted connection between your site and a user’s web browser. An encrypted connection keeps data sent over that connection private. No malicious third-parties or prying eyes can get their hands on it.
If that’s not enough of a reason to get yourself an SSL, here are three more:
1. It protects your users
As previously mentioned, an encrypted connection is of great benefit to both you and your users. This is true no matter what kind of website you run, but particularly if you run an e-commerce store or a website where you ask users to hand over personal information, such as forms or logins. Running such a site without an SSL puts your user data at risk. Not good.
Furthermore, web users are becoming savvier. Many know to look for the ubiquitous SSL padlock symbol in the address bar before making a purchase or sign up to a site they’re unfamiliar with. If they don’t see it, they may leave your site and never come back. Not only will installing an SSL protect your users, but it will also encourage trust in new users.
2. It can help boost search engine rankings
Search engine optimization is a vast topic that we won’t delve too deeply into just now. By way of easy definition, it’s the process of improving your website to make it more appealing to search engines, such as Google. There are many search engine ranking factors you can apply to your site to help it appear higher on search engine results pages. Having an SSL is one of them. A few years ago, Google announced that a website with an SSL would always rank higher than a website that does not.
3. Your website will work in major browser
Web encryption has been a hot topic for the past number of years, and even major web browsers have gotten on board. You may have noticed that sometimes when you try to visit a particular website, you’re greeted with a message saying that the site is “not secure”. This usually happens because a site has a faulty SSL certificate or if they don’t have one at all. So if you decide against getting an SSL, this could be your site too. More often than not, users won’t continue to a site when greeted with such a big, scary message. So if you don’t want to lose users, an SSL certificate is paramount.
These are just three reasons you should get an SSL for your site, but they are pretty pertinent ones. If you want to foster trust with your website visitors, attract new ones, and ensure your site will load across all major browsers, installing an SSL certificate is of the utmost importance.