Why SSL is Important for Your Website and How to Get it For Free
Eeek! In October, big changes are coming to Google and it seems heaps of websites will be impacted. Let’s get a wriggle on to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.
In this post you’ll learn:
- What is the heck is SSL anyway?
- Do you need SSL for your website?
- The benefits of an SSL Certificate
- How you can make your website secure and show that little green lock
- And drumroll… how you can get an SSL Certificate for Free
For some website owners, security often isn’t a priority until they fall victim to those damn dirty cyber crims. Any kind of website, from the simplest brochure site to an online store with bucketloads of traffic, can become the target of identity theft, malware, hacking, ransomware, and other scary cyber tactics.
What motivates these cyber-crooks? A number of things, like financial gains, to start a movement (hacktivists), to acquire sensitive data they later sell to competing businesses, and other things we are mostly in the dark about. It’s just difficult to predict their next move. For all we know, any insecure website could be the next victim.
But luckily this isn’t the end of the story… there’s a knight in shining armour here to save the day. It’s called an SSL Certificate.
So how does a simple certificate protect a website from cyber threats?
What is an SSL Certificate?
Have you accessed your bank’s website recently? If you did, you probably recall that green padlock icon beside the site name in the URL box. And it appears with an HTTPS instead of just HTTP.
But SSL isn’t just a cute icon and an additional “s” to your website URL.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and it secures and encrypts the data transmitted over the web between your customer’s computer and the server that hosts your website. This information could include their contact details, address, passwords, banking and credit card information or any other sensitive info they share with you.
SSL encrypts all data by inserting random characters into the information given by customers, making it difficult to read. Whereas, any data entered on an HTTP website can be spoofed by cyber thugs!
This, my friends, is what SSL is all about.
So by now you’re probably asking…
Do I need an SSL thingamajig for my website?
In short, no. You don’t need one. But for a bucketload of reasons an SSL Certificate is a marketing, branding, security & SEO must-have for all websites.
Here’s what an SSL Certificate can do for your website:
1. Build Trust and Confidence
That nifty little green lock tells your customers that your website is secure. They will have peace of mind when using your website and they won’t hesitate to enter any sensitive info like their contact details into your contact or quote form.
2. Better SEO
Google determines a website’s rankings through a set of SEO parameters. One of these is security. Google ranks sites that use HTTPS higher in search results so having an SSL Certificate can give you that edge on your competitors.
3. Credibility and quality
Your bank’s website, Google, Facebook, YouTube, big conglomerates, even Telstra and Woolies are all using HTTPS and showing that little green padlock. SSL has become an indication of quality and trust.
But if you’re not convinced yet, here’s an even bigger reason…
Starting October 2017, Chrome (version 62) will show a “NOT SECURE” warning when users enter information on an HTTP page. Plus the NOT SECURE warning will always show when users are browsing in Incognito Mode. This initiative is part of a long-term plan to increase awareness of cyber breaches that may happen on HTTP pages.
Want more pointers on how to make your website awesome? Learn about some of our top tips here.
How to get an SSL Certificate for your website
You just need to contact your website hosting provider and ask if they can provide you with an SSL Certificate. SSL Certificates can vary in price greatly depending on your hosting provider. Some can be super cheap and others upwards of $150 per year.
So how can you get an SSL Certificate for free?
Here’s the good news… There are a bunch of awesome website hosting companies providing SSL Certificates free of charge. Give your current website hosting provider a call and see if they can offer you one for free. And if you host your website with us here at Hola, your SSL Certificate can be provided 100% free too!
We’d love to get that groovy little green lock appearing on your website. Interested? Shoot us an email and we can get the ball rolling right away so your website isn’t impacted by the big Google changes heading our way in October.
Are you thinking of switching to HTTPS? Let’s talk!
About the author
Hola! I'm Emma. I'm a freelance graphic designer and web designer at Hola Websites, founder of a little non-profit named By Faith Design Co, and a freelance design mentor. I'm also currently creating a course on how to build websites. In my spare time I love writing about my freelance life, creating pretty things and hanging out with my fur-baby.
Don’t be shy. Want to say hi and have a chat? Get in touch and let's start the convo about your exciting new project.