An essential part of any business, especially an online company, is creating an environment that potential customers trust and feel comfortable and confident making purchases on. Customer trust and loyalty are what makes SSL certificates so important. As a bonus, sites with SSL certificates get bumped up in Google search rankings.
What is SSL?
Secure Sockets Layer, commonly known as SSL, ensure that visitors have a secure connection which is denoted by a green lock or bar in browsers. When a site is not secure, a broken lock or red bar will appear. SSLs protect users and websites by encrypting any exchanged information. Think of it like a padlock and a key, securing the connection between a web server and a browser.
To get a certificate, you must create a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) on your server. This creates a private key and public key on your server. The public key is contained in the CSR data file that you will send to the SSL Certificate issuer, aka Certificate Authority (CA). The CA uses this data file to create a data structure to match your private key (they never see this key) without compromising the key in any way. After receiving the SSL certificate, you install it, as well as an intermediate certificate that ties it to your CA’s root certificate (to establish credibility) on your server. The most important part is the CA’s digital signature because it denotes that the website is professionally secured.
There are three different levels of security certifications you can get.
- The top tier (and most expensive) depicts a padlock and the company name in green before the URL. This level is excellent for websites for retailers, banks, etc. because they have high security over the passwords, credit and debit cards, as well as connected money services like Paypal.
- The second tier offers great security for sites that don’t deal with money but ask for personal information, usernames, and passwords. It depicts a green lock and says “SECURE.”
- Your basic certification is ideal for personal blog sites, informational company websites that don’t process payments, it has a green lock.
What Happens When You Don’t Have an SSL?
For a business, failing to have an SSL means losing potential customers, purchases, leads, and inquiries. Besides those losses, it is harmful to those who don’t understand the big deal about SSLs. Without them, any computer in between you and the server can see credit card numbers, usernames, and passwords. You do not want your website to lead to identity theft or fraud.
What Google Has to Say
If a site is not run through an SSL server, Google is beginning to put a scary red “NOT SECURE” before the “http://.” You definitely don’t want this blasting your potential users in the face before they even look at your website. Not only that but Google will actively begin penalizing sites that are not on SSLs.
When you put your site on an SSL with Turn The Page, you receive a dedicated IP address, ongoing support and maintenance of the SSL, and automatic renewals so you never have to worry about losing your SSL status.