Why is SSL important for a website?

Why use SSL on websites - ask apromptFor years now, SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) has been critical for eCommerce websites where customers data may be stored. It is now critical to have website SSL installed on any website that has a form or login of any kind. So if you have a CMS website you'll have a login, therefore you'll need SSL installed on your website.

You don't have to store customers data in your website to need an SSL certificate. If you have an enquiry form on your website, you need an SSL installed on your website. If you login to an admin area to change content on your website... you need an SSL to encrypt the username and password that you're entering.

For more articles see: Google deadline for HTTPS and SSL certificates

Why have SSL on a website

SSL is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral. This is anything that is sent via a website after you click 'enquire', 'login', 'send', etc.

Why SSL certificates are critical for websites

Encrypts your information

SSL certificates encrypt sensitive information that is sent from one computer to another until it reaches it's destination server. Any computer therefore, in between you and the destination server can see the information you're sending, like credit card numbers, usernames and password (login details), name and email addresses, etc - a bit like sending a postcard with the information on rather than a sealed envelope.

So if you come across a website that doesn't have a padlock bit does have the words 'NOT SECURE' next to it's URL, then it doesn't have SSL installed which also means that firewalls may prevent users accessing that website for security reasons.

What is SSL

Protects you from cyber-thieves

There are very clever online thieves (cyber-thieves) out there who would love to get in to your web server. So if you don't have an SSL certificate, a secure connection can't be made, meaning your company information cannot be digitally connected to a cryptographic key (so any clever thief can nip in and route around your information/website/website data held on your hosting server).

This all sounds scary.

Well, unfortunately this is the way of the online world now and cybercrime is increasing. It's expected that cyber damages will cost us (and I mean the world...) over 6 trillion dollars EACH YEAR. That's a lot of damage! So the very least you can do is protect yourself by having SSL installed on your website to encrypt any data that is sent from your website to the server.

There are criminals that can intercept and capture data while it's moving between destinations. And - as if that wasn't enough - if SSL isn't present on your website server, thieves can identify weaknesses in your network. The more websites that share the network/server and SSL the weaker your website security will be.

Instils trust and shows you care

By having SSL installed on your website will instil trust for your customers and shows you care that the information they will be sending you will be safe on its journey to you. Your customers are your internal customers (your staff) as well as external customers. 

What are SSL's?

SSL stand for Secure Sockets Layer. The quality of an SSL can vary enormously depending on who provides it. They vary in cost too. The cheaper they are, the more likely they are to be shared with hundreds, thousands or millions of other websites (which can lower the quality). From experience, the bigger the company selling the service, the less helpful and experienced customer service you'll receive or if you're going really cheap you may not get any customer service to help you.

You may also have to do all the work involved in applying for the SSL certificate then installing the SSL certificate yourself. You'd also have to tell Google what you've done. You'll also need to ensure it doesn't expire and your renewals are kept up to date and ensure it's compatible with your website.

I'm not sure about other companies but in our website design studios in Wiltshire, we ensure the SSL certificate is compatible with your website and everything is managed for you.

When we install SSL certificates for your website/s, we apply for the SSL certificate on your behalf. We install it on your hosting server and integrate it in your website. We also advise Google that all your pages will be served as HTTPS, instead of HTTP - this is something that is vital but some larger companies, like GoDaddy or Wix may not do this - so it's best to check.

If you'd like SSL installed on your website, please get in touch with our website designers in Wiltshire