Why do you need an SSL certificate for your website?
Today the question of whether to have an SSL certificate for your website or not does not occur in many webmasters’ minds.
Why? Because it is as common knowledge as using a VPN to guard your online privacy whenever you access the internet. But since you asked Google and stumbled here, let me make your visit worthwhile.
SSL or HTTPS is a type of protocol that encrypts data over the Internet to prevent interception by cybercriminals. According to Google Transparency Report, 95% of internet data is encrypted, having increased steadily from 50% in 2014.
It is therefore important to understand why you need an SSL certificate to encrypt your website and conform to the set standards.
SSL is important for every online business in the current digital space. It is especially useful in securing online payment information for e-commerce websites.
And to explain this better, let me take you through 10 benefits of securing your website with an SSL certificate.
1. It Protect Sensitive Information
One of the most important benefits of an SSL certificate is that it protects client-server information. SSL achieves this by encrypting data before it is transferred from a client to the server.
Essentially, it turns it into gibberish by locking it with a key-encryption key and the data can only be unlocked once it reaches the server end which has the deciphering key.
Emails, passwords, and payment details are thus locked and cannot be intercepted by an attacker during this transmission.
When SSL is combined with VPN encryption protocols, a hackers’ skills are useless against these encryption technologies.
SSL is necessary for websites that collect sensitive personal data.
Due to the cyber security challenges, search engines and browsers flag websites without SSL installation to caution users from providing sensitive personal information. That’s why an SSL certificate is important.
2. It Increases Customer Trust
How would you feel when a browser tells your customer not to trust your website?
Well, without SSL installed on your website, search engines and browsers will do just that. They will caution your customers.
On the other hand, installing an SSL certificate lets you enjoy one of the most significant advantages of an SSL certificate, customer trust.
An SSL certificate gives your website a trust indicator in the form of a padlock beside your website address.
The padlock is a visual indicator that tells your customers to trust your website and feel safe sharing personal information because it is encrypted and thus cannot be intercepted.
That’s why you need an SSL certificate; it shows that you are a reputable company that cares about customers. Consequently, customers are encouraged to share information with you and do business with you.
3. It Affirms Your Identity.
Another primary function of SSL is to provide authentic authentication. This means your name or company is tied to your website hence people can know there is a real person behind it.
To acquire an SSL certificate, you need to go through a validation process set by independent third parties known as Certificate Authority (CA). Depending on the type of SSL certificate the Certificate Authority affirms your identity and your organization.
Your certificate is then logged into the CA’s records and your website gets trust indicators confirming your integrity.
Therefore, your website visitors can know that it is you and if they need to confirm they can check its validity online, another reason why an SSL certificate is important.
As a requirement for certificate provision, identity verification makes significant strides in ensuring sure no imposter pretends to be you.
That’s one of the benefits of an SSL certificate you should have in mind considering the many imposters ready to take your glory.
4. It Contributes to Search Engine Optimization
Google is the most dominant search engine in the market with a share of over 92% According to Statista. So it is reasonable to ensure you meet their ranking standards to drive more organic traffic to your site.
In 2014 Google announced it will include HTTPS as a ranking signal to affirm its position that security is its top priority. Consequently, websites that appear on top search engine pages almost certainly will have SSL certification.
If you do not want to be locked out of Google’s top SERPs because of a simple feature, this is the right time to implement SSL in your website.
Better ranking is one of the most impactful advantages of an SSL certificate on your site.
Most of your competitors use SSL. You don’t want to be left out considering there is almost no significant disadvantage. An SSL certificate can be the determining factor for who is ranked number one or two.
5. It Improves Website Performance.
There is a pervasive myth that HTTPS is slow, an idea that tries to contradict why you need an SSL certificate. The reason is, SSL involves encrypting data before it is transferred from client to server.
Hence, it introduces more processes that slow down things, unlike HTTP which simply starts downloading and presenting a webpage.
That reason makes sense but here is how SSL makes up for the time and why an SSL certificate is important.
If you browse a web page on HTTPS and the webserver supports HTTP2 (most modern websites do) you’ll get all the benefits of the new protocol which includes wonderful performance.
HTTP2 – a major revision of HTTP protocol – is able to maximize your device bandwidth by running more requests simultaneously over the same connection.
In addition, modern browsers can register a service worker to enable faster downloads of assets. Hence, SSL positively impacts web performance.
There might be an unnoticeable difference in loading speeds but you enjoy the benefits of an SSL certificate.
6. It Helps in Regulatory Compliance
Internet regulations are created to protect consumers.
A good example of such is the payment card industry compliance regulation. PCI compliance rules require an online business to have at least a 128 bit SSL certificate with proper encryption.
In addition, the certificate must originate from a trusted source and your website must provide a private connection on any page that requires customers to provide payment details.
Anyway, these requirements must be met for a website to be accepted by a card payment provision service.
Having an SSL certificate is a necessity if you will be accepting payments through your website. It ensures your customers’ payment information is protected and that you can be trusted.
Without compliance, you cannot operate a successful online business and thus not enjoy other advantages of an SSL certificate.
7. It Offers High Business Value
For a small cost every year, you get significant value by installing an SSL certificate. SSL certificates come in various levels.
Some are affordable but offer standard security levels for any type of website. Others can be expensive but offer maximum protection especially for mega-sites that receive a ton of traffic and perform thousands of transactions daily.
Imagine the value derived from the benefits of an SSL certificate, can you compare it with the small annual cost.
And if you’re short on budget for instance when launching your site, a free SSL certificate is also available. It’s called Let’s Encrypt SSL, which is a project by major internet platforms on a mission to secure the Internet.
In addition, most hosting companies offer packages that come with free SSL installation. You should make use of such valuable incentives.
8. It Protects Your Customer from Phishing Attacks
Phishing attacks are emails sent by impostors and scammers to induce an individual to reveal personal information or click on files with hidden malware.
You can protect yourself and your employees from phishing attacks by implementing email security best practices in your business
When you use HTTP protocol, you run the risk of having your site cloned completely with the little changes on the address. Hence, a scammer can pretend to be you and send phishing attacks to your customers.
However, one of the significant benefits of an SSL certificate is that it is almost impossible for a scammer to clone an SSL-certified website.
Certificate Authorities have measures in place to identify phishing websites and thus don’t provide them with authentic certificates.
In case a customer receives phishing emails, and visits the website they’ll note the lack of SSL certification and suspect it to be a malicious website.
Hence, they’ll probably not provide their confidential information upon this revelation. That’s why you need an SSL certificate.
9. It is Easy to Install
The typical process of implementing most security services involves downloading software, installing it on your device, and tweaking the settings to provide preferred levels of protection.
With SSL, the story is quite different.
You don’t have to be a technical guru to install an SSL certificate with a few clicks on a webmaster panel, you can install a certificate and get it up running in less than a minute.
That’s one of the advantages of an SSL certificate that makes it easy to adopt.
In addition, when shifting from HTTP to HTTPS where you need to update all links and redirect your traffic to the revised links, tools such as the Really Simple SSL plugin for WordPress automate this transition.
And if you don’t have the time for all that, a dedicated customer care team provided by your hosting company is at your beck and call.
10. It Contributes to Higher Revenues.
At this point, it is rather clear that having an SSL-powered website positively impacts your revenue.
Think about it; an SSL padlock confirms your integrity and shows your customers that you care about your clients. Customers will know that their data will be safe.
So they feel confident to proceed with a transaction on your website unlike with an insecure HTTP site. There, they’ll be skeptical and choose to be safe rather than be sorry.
By establishing trust you reduce visitor bounce rates, increase completed transactions and boost customers’ confidence. These are the ingredients of higher revenue and significant advantages of an SSL certificate.
In many situations, not having an SSL can be a deal-breaker for you. For instance, it is hard to operate a successful e-commerce business without an SSL certificate.
The compliance hurdles you will encounter and the lack of confidence you will face from your potential customers will tear you down. That’s why an SSL certificate is important.
Are you still wondering why you need an SSL certificate?
The Internet can be precarious considering the countless cybercriminals looking for loopholes to exploit. HTTP connection is a sweet spot for them. If they discover it on your site, they will take full advantage of it to scam your customers.
Meanwhile, most customers value and practice both digital security and online privacy measures to secure their digital lives. If you cannot guarantee their safety they will not do business with you.
These 10 benefits of securing your site with an SSL certificate should encourage you to take a step in the right direction.
Secure your site for your own good and for the sake of your dear customers. Install a free SSL certificate at least and observe the impact it has on your site.