Does your website need an SSL Certificate?
Published: March 2019
What is an SSL Certificate?
An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificate is how your website communicates to customers that they can browse, shop and share secure information without fear of it being intercepted.
It is signified by a small padlock icon in the address bar and the address will be preceded with ‘https’, the ’s’ standing for secure.
In simple terms, it creates an encrypted secure connection between the visitor’s web browser and your server. Allowing them to browse safely and securely, all without interrupting the experience.
Google Chrome marks sites without an SSL certificate as ‘Not Secure’. Whilst this doesn’t necessarily mean that a site has been hacked. It does show that it is far more susceptible to cyber-attack.
With nearly 48% of web users in the UK using Chrome, this is a huge segment of your customer base that could be perceived to be at risk of cyber-attack.
If you have an ecommerce site and take credit or debit card payments, you will more than likely have a merchant account which requires you to have an SSL certificate before they will do business with you.
Even if your payments are done via a third-party payment system, customers need to feel that your site is secure, and an SSL certificate provides that confidence.
Contact forms and password log ins
Even if you don’t take payments via your site. You may have something as simple as a contact form where customers share personal information. Without an SSL this could easily be intercepted and could be sold to marketing agencies or someone more sinister.
If your customers log into your site, chances that they use the same log in details elsewhere. Cyber criminals will target smaller, less secure sites to harvest these details then use them to hack other accounts and websites. Do you really want to be responsible for your customer’s security being compromised in this way?
You care about your customers and your relationship is built on trust. If you don’t secure your website, they will assume that you don’t care about their data and personal information.
First impressions matter and if the first thing a visitor sees on your website is a warning message, they will go elsewhere rather than try and understand what it means.
Think about your own online experience. Would you proceed past a warning message telling you that a site was not secure?
Your website is all about attracting customers and lead generation. You want them to have the smoothest online journey and customer experience and be able to trust both you and your website. A warning message, or worse still, a compromised website could cause irrevocable damage to your relationship.
Boost your Google rankings
Google encourages websites to be more secure. Giving an increasing amount of weight in ranking boosts to websites that are HTTPS. Google will reward sites with SSL Certificates with a boost in search ranking. You could be losing out on vital traffic and conversions if your website does not have an SSL.
In summary, does your website need an SSL? Yes, it does.
No matter how big or small, whether you collect customer information or take online payments; to maintain your excellent customer relationship and attract new customers via your website, it needs to be secure.