Following on from my “How Compliant Really Are You?” article, get ready to find out exactly what an SSL Certificate is, and what they do for you and your clients.
The web is a place full of hackers, just waiting to get their hands on your clients’ data. To put it in short, an SSL Certificate encrypts your website visitors’ data while it is being sent across the net, preventing this from happening.
It doesn’t stop at security either; not having an SSL Certificate installed means that Google will flag your website as untrusted, and therefore punish you in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
What’s more, is that traffic referred from an HTTPS:// (secure) site won’t count as a referral, meaning you won’t be able to accurately track your traffic.
You’d be surprised at how many well-known sites (and I mean huge firms!) don’t actually encrypt your data. Now I’m not one to name names, so if you’re interested please feel free to check out Google’s official log here.
“SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) 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. SSL is an industry standard and is used by millions of websites in the protection of their online transactions with their customers.”
An SSL Certificate protects the following activities:
These types of certificates can be signed by the website owner – by you. If you have any anonymous visitors to your site DO NOT use this type of certificate as you could be hacked.
You need to consider the following aspects:
Now you don’t necessarily need to choose any of these, but if you don’t I highly recommend that you take into consideration each column and how your intended provider compares.
Before purchasing an SSL Certificate, please check that your hosting provider will allow installation from an external source.
Again, not to name names, but I recently purchased a couple of Comodo Certificates for a client, and their Hosting Provider would not allow them. Now luckily Comodo SSL Store refunded me with no questions asked, but it wasted a lot of time and cost more money (3x the amount per certificate compared to Comodo to be exact!).
Once you have had your Certificate Activated and Installed, you will still need to update your website to show as HTTPS. Now, this can be a tricky process, so if you are not 100% sure I would recommend the plugin Really Simple SSL which does all of the hard work for you.
It doesn’t need to be hard work to get your website compliant with an SSC Certificate, but I understand it can be a little overwhelming.
If you would like any advice or assistance, as always please feel free to get in touch – happy to help 🙂
Disclaimer: This blog does not provide legal advice and does not create a lawyer-client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer directly. This article contains affiliate links.