Mar 16, 2018

Why SSL certificates matter in 2018

What is an SSL Certificate?

An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website using encrypted information which is sent to the server using SSL technology. It uses scrambled data to verify that a site is legitimate and it contains the holder’s name, the certificate serial number, a public key and details regarding the certificate-issuing authority.

What are the advantages of an SSL certificate?

There are many advantages to having an SSL certificate. First is privacy. If your site has sensitive data, an SSL certificate encrypts that data to keep it from prying eyes. With an SSL certificate, the data is unreadable to everyone except the server which is receiving the information.

Second, an SSL certificate provides security. Cyber criminals look to exploit the weakest sites which are those without SSL certificates. While it doesn’t guarantee your website won’t become a victim of online criminal activity, it reduces the likelihood given that data is encrypted.

Third, an SSL certificate conveys trust. When an SSL certificate is in place, the web address starts with an https and an optional lock icon may be displayed. This information tells the website user that they can trust the site because it is verified and legitimate.

Will SSL certificates become more useful?

As the web evolves, new technologies such as Blockchain and Progressive Web Apps will become more prevalent. Also, APIs will become more powerful and advanced. As these web technology advancements occur, you will see SSL technology becoming a crucial part of the permissions workflow.

Will an SSL certificate help SEO?

After urging web developers to use HTTPS for years, Google is forcing the issue in 2018. For SEO, they are giving secured sites a rating boost compared to unsecured sites. With all things being equal, a site with an SSL certificate will rank higher than one without SSL certification. Also, starting in July of 2018, Google’s Chrome browser will flag sites without SSL certifications as “not secure.” We expect other browsers to follow their lead.

What changes when I have an SSL certificate?

When an SSL Certificate is in place, the beginning part of your URL will change from HTTP to HTTPS. When your site visitors see your site address beginning with an HTTPS, they’ll know that it is a secured site. In addition, your site won’t be flagged as “unsecured” by Google and other search engines. Other than that, nothing else changes. Your web address stays the same and there is nothing that you need to do on your end. It’s a pretty simple change.

How do I get an SSL certificate?

SSL certificates can be purchased from a wide variety of authorized sellers including DigiCert, Comodo, Go Daddy and Network Solutions. Even better, Let’s Encrypt offers free SSL Certificates. Once an SSL certificate is acquired, your web programmer can install and configure the SSL certificate to ensure your site takes advantage of all the benefits.

If you have questions regarding SSL certification, please contact us via our contact page. We’re more than happy to answer your questions and help in any way we can.