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When you are searching online and clicking on a website, do you notice if the website’s URL or address has an HTTP or HTTPS? Or do you get a warning that the website you are about to explore is not secure? An SSL certificate helps improve a website’s security and can be a key factor in building trust with customers. In this post, we’ll discuss what an SSL certificate is and the benefits of having one installed on your website or application.
In the digital world, security is an important factor to consider when running a website. One of the most popular measures used is by installing an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. An SSL certificate helps protect data being transmitted over the internet and provides assurance that information being sent between two computers is kept secure and private.
What is an SSL certificate?
An SSL certificate is a small data file that digitally binds a cryptographic key to an organization’s details, such as its name, address, and domain name. When installed on a web server, it activates the padlock and the https protocol (over port 443) and allows secure connections from a web server to a browser. The primary purpose of an SSL certificate is to provide security for online transactions on websites using encryption.
Encryption works by scrambling data as it’s sent over the internet so that only those with the correct key can decipher it. This means that when a customer enters their personal information or credit card details, then as long as they are on a page with an SSL certificate, the data is secure and cannot be read by anyone else.
Having an SSL certificate installed on your web server also helps to build confidence in your customers by providing assurance that their data is safe and secure. This is especially important for businesses that operate online, as customers are more likely to purchase products or services from a website with an SSL certificate as opposed to one without it.
When your SSL certificate is installed it should look like this:
Here is an example image of a browser with a padlock icon and sometimes a green address bar and the address bar should have a prefix of HTTPS://
HTTP and HTTPS, what is the difference?
HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) is the traditional method of loading webpages and has been the standard for many years. However, with the increase in website security issues, HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) was introduced. This is an encrypted version of HTTP that helps keep data secure as it’s sent between two computers.
Are SSL and HTTPS good for SEO?
Yes. Google has announced that they give a ranking boost to sites with an SSL certificate installed, so having one can help improve your search engine rankings. Additionally, if you have an eCommerce store then customers are likely to be more confident about using their credit card on your website if it has an SSL certificate.
How to tell if a website has SSL?
It is easy to tell if a website has an SSL certificate. Look for the padlock icon in your web browser’s address bar, or check the URL and look for a prefix of HTTPS:// instead of HTTP:// This should indicate that the site is using SSL and secure connections.
How to get an SSL certificate?
In order to get an SSL certificate for your website or application, you will need to purchase one from a trusted source. There are several companies that provide certificates and some may be cheaper than others or even free. However, it’s important to ensure that your provider is reputable and can provide the level of security you require.
You can also get one through your web hosting service, I got mine from Siteground which is also the web hosting service I use for my websites.
Once you’ve purchased your certificate, you will need to install it on your web server. This is usually a simple process and many hosting providers offer tutorials on how to do this. You can follow this tutorial on Youtube that shows how to get an SSL certificate with Bluehost and a couple of other ways if an SSL certificate is not offered with the web hosting service you are using.
In conclusion, there are many benefits of having an SSL certificate, and it is a must-have for any website or application that collects sensitive information from customers. It helps to protect data being transmitted over the internet and ensures that information being sent between two computers is kept secure and private.
Other benefits of An SSL certificate can also help to build customer confidence, increases SEO rankings, and gives websites a competitive edge in the online marketplace. For these reasons, it’s important for businesses to obtain an SSL certificate if they want to remain competitive and protect their customers’ data.