Protecting your users’ data with SSL is always a good idea no matter what type of website you run. Below, we’re going to break it down for you so you can make an informed decision about what to do for your website visitors.
While installing an SSL certificate does take a little time, it’s not super complex. The hour or so you spend getting it set up correctly is nothing compared to the trust you can develop with visitors to your website when you use SSL.
Why Use SSL on Your Website?
First, we’re going to go over why you should use SSL on all pages of all your websites. You should probably know this already, but it’s always a good idea to be reminded periodically, especially when it comes to something as important as information security.
- Encryption – First and foremost, you should use SSL because it encrypts data going to and from your web server. Visitors to a page protected by SSL will know their information is not readable by just anyone.
- Authentication – In addition to encrypting data, a correctly configured SSL certificate will verify the identity of your site to your visitors and reassure them that data is coming from *your* server – not from some man in the middle who’s intercepted your traffic.
- Trust – Because of the encryption and authentication, you’re going to be able to increase trust with your website visitors. For ecommerce websites, this can be a powerful way to increase conversion rates. It’s beneficial for others as well.
- Google – While the boost is most likely not powerful, the Google ranking boost is real. They believe in making the web more secure and are willing to reward webmasters who take the time to correctly install an SSL certificate on their website.
So yes, there are quite a few reasons you should be using an SSL certificate on your website. Next, we’re going to take a look at the different types of websites that will benefit from using SSL:
Who Should Use SSL?
Everyone! That’s a little simplistic, so let’s go over some of the reasons certain types of sites should use SSL on their websites.
- eCommerce Sites – The biggest and most obvious type of site to protect is one that accepts credit card or other payment information. Most customers these days won’t even think about entering their information unless they see the lock icon in their browser. In fact, if you’re running an ecommerce website, it’s not a bad idea to encrypt the entire site to let your visitors know that you take security seriously – and that all their traffic to your site is secure.
- Membership Sites– Any page where people enter a username and password should be protected by SSL to make sure their user account is not compromised by a man in the middle attack.
- News Websites – Even if you don’t accept comments from visitors, using an SSL certificate on your news website helps prevent site spoofing and lets visitors verify the identity of the information as coming from you.
- Blogs and Forums – While these may sometimes require a membership that should be protected, it’s a good idea to lock down all other pages on the website.
- Informational Websites – Even apart from any membership or login pages that should be protected, it’s a good idea to lock down all other pages on your blog or forum to prevent unpleasant surprises and verify your site’s content. Even if you don’t have any interactive sections on your website, installing an SSL certificate is still a good idea.
As mentioned, no matter what type of website you’re setting up, you’re going to want to have SSL installed and enabled for every single webpage. In the past, SSL was only used in certain circumstances – like online shopping carts and membership websites – but these days, it’s worth it to secure all of the pages you make available on the web. This is especially true when you consider that Google is giving sites with SSL enabled a little boost in their search engine rankings.
Is SSL Hard to Set Up?
No! In fact, at SSL.com, we make it really simple to order and install your SSL certificate. Best of all, if you run into any problems, you can reach out to us with your questions, and we’ll get them answered. We believe in making the web more secure, and this means helping people understand how SSL works as well as how to install different types of SSL certificates correctly.
As we continue to put together our list of frequently asked questions, we want to hear from you. If you have a question about installing an SSL certificate, renewing your certificate or validating that you’ve installed it correctly, let us know. In the weeks and months ahead, we’ll be adding a lot more information about SSL on this website.