What is an SSL Certificate and Why Do I Need One?

SSL certificate

As a website owner, you may have heard of the term “SSL certificate”. So what is it? In the easiest terms, it’s a digital certificate that changes your website from being at http:// to https://. No big deal, right? Wrong. Since early 2016, Google has been warning us that they would start using SSL certificates as a search engine ranking factor. Google’s reasoning for this is that they want their users to have the best experience online, and SSL certificates offer an extra layer of security for users. Let’s take a deeper dive.

What is an SSL Certificate?

Once you install an SSL certificate on your website, it creates a secure connection between the user’s browser and the web server where the website is hosted. Without an SSL certificate, a moderately skilled hacker could capture important information, such as credit card numbers, when the website user is typing it into a form on an unsecured website.

Why Should You Get an SSL Certificate?

Besides not wanting your website to be hacked, SSL’s are extremely important, if not essential, for websites in 2019. Here’s why:

  • Having a secured site helps a user trust you and your business.
  • As of July 2018, Google Chrome posts a warning that a site is “unsecure” to everyone who visits a website without an SSL. This will deter people from visiting your website, and completing a transaction on your website.
  • Although Google hasn’t come out and said that they will demote unsecured sites from their rankings, showing a warning will likely decrease the clicks to the site, increase the bounce rate, and negatively affect your search engine rankings.

How Do I Get an SSL Certificate for My Website?

Your hosting company should sell SSL certificates and help you set them up. Some website hosting companies provide a free SSL certificate to earn your business.

If you are a website owner, an SSL certificate is essential in 2019.

website without ssl
SSL certificate