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What is an SSL certificate and why you need one in 2019?

Firstly, it is likely that you have all seen the ‘padlock’ before the web address in a browser. Have you ever wondered what it means? Even thought “why doesn’t my website have one?” SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and works by encrypting user information between the user’s browser and the server on which the website is hosted.

The padlock lets users know that your website has a secure connection and any interactions are encrypted and safe. The browser can tell that the site is secure by checking to see if a valid certificate is installed; this happens when users visit your site via https:// instead of http://, which is the default. When you have an SSL, https:// becomes the default.

In the past, it was mainly e-commerce sites that would use SSL due to the amount of customer interactions, such as sales, questions and more importantly, sending sensitive information such as bank details.

However, as web standards have improved, it has become standard practise to have SSL on your website, even if your site gets little interaction. If your site is built on WordPress and has a contact form, then it needs to be protected with SSL.

The two above images are an example of what you will see and should look out for. The image on the left is an unsecure site and the one on the right is secured, clearly displaying the padlock icon.

Here are a few reasons why you should have SSL installed on your website:

Build Trust with your visitors

New users hitting your website can easily lose confidence if they see their web browser warning them that your site is not secure; it’s a major flaw in your website.

Be cautious when using a site that is not secure; be certain not to send any sensitive information to the website. Never use an e-commerce site that is not secure… Never Ever!!

Better Rankings on Google

Google ranks websites higher when they have taken precautions to protect their users online. This makes a lot of sense; website owners that put this kind of care into their website to protect users must mean business.

Better Performance

At Helliwells, our server and integrated tools allow for better site loading speeds, which also helps Search Engine rankings. Our powerful tools make sure that all directories of your website are secured.

Future Proofing

We think that it should be a minimum website requirement to have SSL. It is only a matter of time before Google also makes this decision. It is important to advocate online safety and security.

Do you need an SSL Certificate?

We can have your SSL applied to your website swiftly and effectively. Please get in touch with any questions.

By Karl Helliwell

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