What is an SSL?
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) creates an encrypted connection between your web server and your visitors’ web browser allowing for private information to be transmitted securely.
When an SSL certificate is installed on a website, your visitors and customers will know that the information they enter on your site (i.e. credit card account numbers) is secure and will only be seen by the owers of that site.
HTTPS vs HTTP
Once an SSL is installed, your site url changes from HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) to HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure).
Do you need an SSL Certificate?
If you are collecting private information from visitors, whether or not you have an e-commerce site, you should have an SSL certificate. Some payment gateways such as Paypal are requiring them in order to continue processing transactions smoothly. They set a dateline of June 17, 2016 to have the certificates installed.
The online industry would eventually like ALL websites to have SSLs. This may be something we will all need to have installed in the future.
If you do need a certificate, contact your host to purchase a certificate and have the host install it.
- You gain your customers/visitors trust when they see you are an https site
- Google takes security very seriously and they are ranking https sites higher
- Cost — there is an annual fee associated with installing an SSL certificate on your site.
- Because of all the encryption taking place, extra resources are needed by your server and you may find that your site loads lowers.
The general feeling is that the advantages outweigh the negatives. So if you are collecting personal, sensitive information, consider installing an SSL certificate on your site.