Why Your Website Needs an SSL Certificate
If you are just starting out to create your own business website, you will notice the plethora of technical aspects involved in such a process. One of which is the SSL certificate. The majority of novice business owners are often muddled by the question of whether the SSL certificate is necessary for their website, and they may come to a Liverpool web design company to ask questions about SSL, such as:
- What exactly is an SSL certificate?
- Why is an SSL certificate important for a website?
- Is it a mandatory component of a website?
- If yes, why does your website require an SSL certificate?
We will take a comprehensive look at all those aspects in this article to help you understand the relevance of the SSL certificate for your website.
What is an SSL certificate?
So what actually is an SSL certificate? SSL is an abbreviated term for Secure Socket Layer certification. As the name suggests, an SSL certificate is a standard security technology that is installed on your computer server to provide data encryption. The encryption takes place in two fronts – your system server and the user end, which can be either their web browser or email server.
This encryption code will enable your system server to protect the identity of data exchanged between your website and the user. This is especially vital if your website deals with sensitive user data such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, email addresses, etc.
The easiest way of identifying whether a website is SSL certified or not is to check its URL. Usually, you will notice that there are two types of websites on the internet – the one with an HTTP URL and the other with an HTTPS.
The “S” at the end of the URL name stands for Security. So, a website with an HTTPS URL is usually identified as the one with an SSL encryption.
Why is the SSL Certificate important?
Simply put – SSL certification is important because users and search engines prioritize websites that can ensure data security and privacy. In this day and age of digitalization, data privacy has become a major issue. With top-tier business websites falling prey to online hackers and compromising personal data of millions of customers, encryption code has become vital.
SSL certificate protects the authentic identity of your system server and your customer’s data to prevent hackers from misusing such sensitive information. In addition to just providing data privacy, the SSL certificate performs a plethora of other crucial roles.
We will discuss those additional crucial roles down below.
How does SSL certificate work?
The conventional process of the functioning of SSL encryption is a lengthy procedure involving a generous amount of technical components.
But, the simplest way of understanding how SSL certificates work to encrypt your system and user data are as follows –
- The communication between the server and the user kicks off with a security protocol called TLS Handshake. This protocol ensures that any data exchanges between the two ends are encrypted.
- Web browsers/servers (from the user end) attempts to connect to your secured webpage. At this point, the server requests your webpage to identity itself.
- Your webs server then sends a copy of its SSL certificate to the browser.
- The browser then checks the legitimacy of your web server’s security certificate. Once the SSL is validated, the browser creates, encrypts, and sends back the message to your system server.
- Your server decrypts the message using its private key and sends back an acknowledgment to commence the encryption session.
- Now, your web server and the browser are ready to exchange data with total encryption.
Is it mandatory for your website to have an SSL certificate?
The short answer to the question is an astounding YES! Over the years, SSL certification has evolved from simply being a necessary security protocol to a mandatory feature of any website. This is mainly due to the rising concern against cybercriminal activities.
Google has made it mandatory for websites to possess SSL certification. In addition, browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and other popular browsers have started flagging non-HTTPS sites as non-secure websites.
Besides, Google has also revealed that SSL certification is a valid ranking factor. So, unless you’re trying to give way to your competitors, SSL certification should be a priority for Google rankings and SEO.
Why does your website need an SSL certificate?
As mentioned above, SSL certification comes loaded with benefits that can skyrocket your website’s overall performance.
Ensures users that your webpage is data and privacy-safe
Obviously, the most crucial benefit of SSL certification is its optimum privacy. Security and privacy are the key driving force of any website, and SSL encryption helps you achieve that. Recent studies by Google suggest that users spend about 88-99% of their browsing time on websites with an HTTPS URL.
The jaw-dropping figure is mainly contributed to the data privacy and data security that HTTPS websites offer as opposed to its counterpart.
Better Google Search Ranking
In addition to assuring an encrypted data transfer between your web server and the browser server, SSL certificate also plays a crucial role in boosting your search engine ranking. As mentioned earlier, Google treats SSL certification as a ranking signal. So, it is rather obvious that websites having data privacy will be ranked higher than the ones that do not.
Although there aren’t any significant statistics to prove how big of a role SSL certificate make in boosting search engine ranking, the potential look promising. As Google and other web browsers continue to prioritize data privacy, SSL could soon become a major influential tool for ensuring higher search rankings.
Ensures total Transparency and Trust
When any online user clicks on to any website, they need to be totally ensured that the site is genuine and trustable. And that’s precisely what an SSL certificate enables your website to offer. Websites with HTTPS URLs are usually assigned with a green icon bar to indicate its safe-security status. That, in turn, prompts the users to put their trust on the website and take relevant actions (purchase products) with utmost confidence.
Safe websites are also likely to generate more loyal customers in the long run since the majority of users usually come back to use more services due to assured data security and total transparency.
A recent statistic figure posted by Cybersecurity Ventures revealed that the total loss of business owners due to data leaks could peak $6 trillion by 2021.
So, unless you want your business website to become a part of that absurd statistics, you should start working towards implementing an SSL certificate. Speak to a professional web development company about your website SSL certificate today.