What Is SSL?

Without getting too technical, SSL means “secure sockets layer”. It ensures secure encryption and transmission of data between the user’s computer and your website. You can see if a website has an SSL certificate by looking at the top of the web page. If it has one then you should see “HTTPS.”

Think of this certificate as a “handshake” between the user’s web browser and your web server. Without this essential “handshake” most web browsers will try to direct your customers away from your website (more about that later). Security is the main reason why web browsers are trying to push for SSL.

Website security can be a technical subject, but you don’t have to understand everything. Just like how we don’t need to know how electricity works to harness it and use it to impact our lives in multiple ways.

And like electricity, SSL benefits everyone, both web users and website owners alike.

Brief History Of SSL

In the past, many people and organizations delayed adoption of SSL due to the cost and difficulty of installation. But nowadays there are more options for availing an SSL certificate, and installation has become more streamlined as well.

Ever since Chrome Update 62, Chrome started showing a scary warning to users who visit websites that don’t have SSL. The only way to access these websites now is to click the hidden “proceed” button by first clicking the “advanced” link on the prompt.

Needless to say, this would annoy your customers, or at the worst drive them away.

Benefits Of SSL For Websites

If you still aren’t convinced why every website needs an SSL certificate, then consider the main benefits of having HTTPS in your address bar:

  • Gain visitors trust: as we mentioned above, web browsers these days are trying their hardest to deter people away from websites without SSL. Many people don’t know what SSL means. And if Google tells them that a website isn’t safe, they’ll instinctively want to hit the back button.
  • SEO boost: since Google is pushing for SSL, it only makes sense that they would incentivize websites that adopt SSL. This incentive comes in the form of a slight SEO boost that will give you an edge over competitors who don’t have SSL yet.
  • Safety: finally, let’s talk about the security benefits, aka the reasons why web browsers are pushing for SSL. With SSL you’ll be better protected against hackers, who usually try to inject mal-advertisements into websites. These obviously ruin the user experience and make your website more vulnerable. If your website offers any password protected pages, SSL will also protect them from hackers who try to steal user login information.

Conclusion

Remember, it isn’t just payment processing websites that need an SSL certificate; these days, all websites need it. After all, what website doesn’t want to attract more visitors, rank higher in search engines, and protect their users, all for the low cost of a simple SSL certificate?