It’s official. Google announced in September that it will label websites containing passwords or credit card forms “not secure” if they do not have an SSL certificate when visitors access them through Chrome. Chrome is currently the most popular browser.
Ultimately, the famous search engine and advertising giant also made it clear that all non-secure websites will be labelled “not secure” in red letters next to the url when visitors use Chrome to access websites that do not use SSL certificates.
Historically, most of us were told that only e-commerce websites really needed SSL. Well, this is simply not the case anymore. But what is SSL exactly? SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. Its aim is to ensure that no one can see traffic between a website viewer and the server that host the website when someone visits a website. It may surprise you but it is way too easy for any ill-intentioned person to see traffic between someone accessing a website through their browser and the server.
I hear a lot of people getting a bit upset at this announcement and saying: “Why would I need an SSL certificate if I don’t take payments online through my site?”. If you are a WordPress user for example, you have to type your login and password to access your website’s dashboard. If your site does not have an SSL certificate, someone on the internet could potentially see what you type. Can you imagine the kind of damage they could do? In other words, your connection is definitely not 100% secure. SSL encrypts the connection between your tablet, phone, or computer and the server that hosts the website.
So SSL is good news. However, not all SSL certificates are created equal. There are currently three main kinds of SSL certificates. Domain validated certificates only verify a domain. They do not verify the domain’s ownership. If your domain is mywebsite.com, they just verify that your domain is actually mywebsite.com. However, organization validated certificates also verify who the owner of the domain is. The idea is that illegitimate organizations such as dangerous hackers will have a harder time getting this kind of SSL. Nothing is 100% efficient, however organization validated certificates do a pretty good job at keeping the bad guys from getting an SSL and appearing legitimate. Ultimately, there is also another category of certificate called extended validated certificates that are part of a more thorough verification and vetting process of the entity that owns the domain.
SSL certificate benefits also include improved SEO. Web design, and digital marketing agencies such as TiktoPlus have long known about the benefits of SSL certificates for search engine optimization. It is one of hundreds of variables used for your site’s ranking position. In addition, nobody wants their potential customers to see the words “not secure” in red when they access their website. The psychological impact is likely to make your customers think that your website has been compromised or worse.
After you decide which certificate is right for you, you will have to install the certificate on your server. You may also need to set up some sort of permanent server redirect from your old http url to your new https url. In addition, you may also need to change your WordPress settings and your cache setting if you use one.
TiktoPlus is Wilmington-based, but we can provide guidance and solutions no matter where you are in the U.S. We can help you decide which certificate is best for you. We can also take care of all the technical details such as installation, etc… for you so you can focus on your business. Call us now for a free website evaluation: 910-408-2272.