Why Your Website Should Have an SSL Certificate

You know your website is a safe place for your visitors, but do they know that, too?

If your website does not have an SSL certificate (one that is properly installed), you may be losing potential clients and customers who would rather spend time on a site that appears more trustworthy.

SSL, which stands for Secure Socket Layer, is an encryption technology used to create a secure connection between a web server and a user’s web browser. SSL certificates are used to secure data transfers, credit card transactions, logins and other personal information. They provide security to customers and make visitors more likely to stay on a website for longer periods of time.

As part of their “HTTPS Everywhere” Initiative, Google is now flagging all websites that have http as “not secure” in its browser, Chrome.

In January 2017, Chrome version 56 began marking sites that transmit passwords or credit cards as non-secure as part of its long-term plan to mark all HTTP sites as non-secure. The warning become more prominent with the recent release of Chrome 69.

“Eventually, we plan to label all HTTP pages as non-secure, and change the HTTP security indicator to the red triangle that we use for broken HTTPS,” Chrome Security Team member Emily Schechter said in this Google Security Blog post.

Aside from the obvious trust factor, Google prioritizes websites with SSL certificates for better search engine rankings. If you want an easy boost on your SEO, getting an SSL certificate is definitely a way to do it.

When an SSL certificate is properly installed on a website, a small padlock icon (gray in Chrome and green in Firefox) is displayed to the left of a website URL in the browser.

Additionally, if you click on the padlock, you will see a message ensuring that the connection is secure:

On the other hand, if your website does not have an SSL certificate installed, clicking in the same area will yield a message like this one (the url has been obscured):

You can purchase an SSL certificate through your hosting provider. (If Liz Lee Media is your hosting provider, you can purchase it HERE.) Once that is done, certain changes need to be made to the website files to solve “mixed content” issues. Until these issues are resolved, the green (or gray) padlock won’t show. Contact your hosting provider for more information.

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