Any serious website owner is always not only concerned about boosting their search engine rankings but also ensuring that their visitors are guaranteed the best possible online security. One of the surest ways to achieve a highly secure website connection, while enhancing your rankings is through SSL certificates. Though the certificates will normally cost you some money, it is essentially possible to get cheap SSL certificates from SSL2BUY.
So, What is an SSL Certificate and Why Do You Need It?
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. This is a typical technology for encryption that is applied in the transfer of data from the browser of a user to the web server. SSL encryption comes in handy in preventing hackers from intercepting and mishandling any data that users might inadvertently leave on websites. This is likely to happen through contact or registration forms, as well as checkout pages. A website uses a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate to prove its identity to a Web browser.
You might have noticed that, sometimes, websites begin with “http://” while others begin with “https://” accompanied by a green padlock close by. These two are simply examples of end results of SSL Certificates. But there is always much behind the scenes. Any unsecured connection allows third-parties to snoop on the information flowing between your web server and your visitor’s browser. This can be a serious issue, especially when you are exchanging highly sensitive information such as the private details of credit cards.
Vital Factors to Bear in Mind When Getting Your SSL Certificate
As much as SSL Certificates are crucial in any website, they are of different types, and many factors need to be looked into when making a choice of a suitable one. According to Google, some of these factors include:
- Knowing what you want – You have to make a decision whether you need a single, multi-domain or a wildcard certificate.
- Reliability of the Certificate Sources – This will guarantee the maximum protection of your visitors since the certificates normally authenticate the website as a trustworthy resource.
- Protocol relative URLs – These need to be used to reduce any likelihood of serving 404 error pages whenever a user a visitor lands on a URL that is loaded from a development area.
- 301 redirectors – They are used to direct both search engines and users to the https pages.
- You web server – One which supports HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) is highly recommended.
- Page-testing – It’s recommended that you use Qualys SSL/TLS to test your pages.
The above steps are just part of the bigger process getting your SSL. However, it is important to note that the certificate alone is never enough to offer a safe exchange of information on your site. Many other steps need to be taken so as to ensure that Google indexes the site correctly.
How to install SSL Certificates
You have to get proper directions from your host’s website to guide you in doing a proper installation. The process only takes a number of clicks, which should be taken seriously. Server settings must be checked in order to correctly redirect all URLs to point to their new https editions through editing of your website’s access file.
The entire procedure should include the following.
- Redirection of your server to point to https as opposed to http
- Finally, set SSL for your CDN (Content Delivery Network).
The Main Benefits of SSL Certificates
Some time back, most webmasters only cared for SSL due to e-commerce SEO purposes. This fact would take a dramatic turn in late 2014 when the search engine giant Google dropped a bombshell: SSL was going to be applied as an important web ranking factor. In fact, the websites which use SSL Certificates benefit from a boost in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). As much as the boost might not be that huge, there is no increase in search rankings that can be described as insignificant.
Now, Google considers any HTTP pages that collect credit cards or passwords as non-secure. This means that your WordPress login page might be marked as unprotected, especially when you are not using SSL.
The main benefits of SSL include:
1. Maximum Security
Perhaps the best thing about SSL protection is that it makes all transactions confidential. All the data used on your website is encrypted and protected by the certificate. This includes all your personal information, login details, debit or credit card numbers and much more. Random digits are added to the original information making it tough for any other person to make sense out of the details. A decryption key is normally needed for anyone to decode and read the information. This makes your information safe even when it falls into wrong hands.
2. Boosts Client Confidence
The certificate not only improves your e-commerce SEO but will also boost your clients’ confidence. Customer’s confidence tends to soar any time they realize that you have taken all the necessary steps to ensure that their information is protected. The more they trust your website, the more traffic you are likely to get. It is for this reason that most prominent websites will always prominently display their SSL certificate icon making it the first thing visitors see anytime they land on the sites.
3. Provides Authentication
A proper SSL Certificate offers authentication. It helps clients to be sure that they are sending information to the correct server and not any fraudster trying to steal valuable information. Since your customers will be sending information via several computers, any of the computers can easily masquerade as your website hence tricking your users to send them sensitive personal details.
4. SSL is a Requirement for PCI Compliance
For you to accept any credit card information on your site, you need to pass some audits which will show that you are compliant with the acceptable Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards. One of the requisite audits that you need to pass is the proper usage of the SSL Certificate.
In conclusion, it is always imperative that you use SSL properly on all sites. This will, without a doubt, come in handy in protecting all your clients’ sensitive information hence enabling you to earn your clients’ trust and make more sales. It is imperative to note that SSL Certificates might not eliminate the likelihood of theft of crucial information. However, all the sites which use SSL are considerably more secured against any attempts to steal sensitive information. This makes the SSL certificate a must have for any serious website.