How and Why to Secure a Website with an SSL Certificate4 mins read
With an increased awareness of online security, most users tend to look for reasons not to trust websites. So creating a safe and trustworthy environment on your website or e-shop is crucial to motivate users to purchase or return. And that's exactly how the SSL certificate can help you.
What is an SSL certificate?
An SSL certificate, or Secure Sockets Layer, is a protocol that encrypts communication between a user and your web so that a third party cannot eavesdrop on it or impersonate you. As a result, your login details, passwords, credit card numbers, and other sensitive information remain safe.
What happens if you don't have a certificate on the web? The image on the left shows a visitor filling in sensitive information (such as login and password) on an insecure website. With a bit of effort, anyone on the internet can read them. And I suppose that's something you don't want. :)
How does an SSL certificate look like?
A secure website can be recognized at a glance. Either by the lock icon or by the URL starting with HTTPS:// (instead of HTTP://), such as https://www.example.com. So users can at any moment see if their connection is secure or not.
What is the difference between a TLS and an SSL certificate?
Basically, there isn't any. TLS (Transport Layer Security) is a more modern protocol that has replaced SSL protocols. However, the acronym SSL is better known, which is why people keep using it.
Why is an SSL certificate important?
1. Increase the number of conversions
Google's algorithm automatically evaluates websites without an SSL/TLS certificate as less secure. As a result, it significantly affects the brand itself (image or trust) and the number of conversions (payments made, newsletter subscriptions, etc.).
⚡ Up to 75% of users form an overall opinion of the company according to the website's appearance. Read 4 Reasons Why Your Website Doesn't Convert.
Well, no one wants to share their sensitive data, and without the certificate, it may even happen that your users experience a privacy error – "Your connection is not private."
2. Better SEO rankings
Webs without SSL have a lower ranking and don't appear in the top results. Potential customers will hardly find them because, as they say... If you want to hide the dead body, hide it on the second page of google results - where no one clicks. :)
3. Faster web browser loading
HTTPS security supports HTTP/2, which has a positive effect on the loading speed of your website. And the speed of loading, in turn, affects user experience and thus conversions. For example, approximately 83% of users expect web pages to load within 3 seconds, and if not, they leave.
Types of certificates
There are several types of certificates available. Generally, they are divided according to various criteria such as price, security level, or the number of secured domains. This is an example of certificates divided based on their prices. (websupport.cz):
Free – Let's Encrypt SSL
⏰ validity period: 3 months, the certificate needs to be renewed
✅ suitable for: blogs, personal and corporate websites
Paid SSL certificates
⏰ validity period: min. 1 year
✅ suitable for: sales sites working with sensitive data
If you plan to purchase a paid certificate, this SSL/TLS Certificate Selection Guide will help you decide which one suits your needs the best. After answering four questions, you will receive a recommendation.
How to set up SSL protocol
Setting up an SSL certificate is not difficult – it only takes a few clicks in your hosting administration. An experienced developer can handle it playfully. But beware of the additional fees for activating this service, which some web hosting companies charge.
⚡ Tip: After activation, do not forget to redirect your original HTTP addresses to the new, secure ones – HTTPS, so that users are not redirected to the error page.
Safety tips at the end
In addition to the SSL/TSL certificate, I recommend installing ReCAPTCHA, a security authentication provided by Google. Most likely, you have already come across it, for example, when you fill out a form and have to confirm that you were not a robot.
ReCAPTCHA significantly reduces the number of spam e-mails from robots and secures your e-mail box.
2️⃣ Use strong passwords
Don't underestimate the importance of complicated passwords; hackers will break simple passwords in seconds. So make sure your password is secure enough and not a part of the list with the most frequently used passwords.
A Swedish agency created a viral awareness campaign to highlight the importance of difficult passwords in response to web security.
3️⃣ Consult an expert
Make sure that your website is secure and offers great UX (user experience). Find out how your web is standing – book a website audit and boost your web results.
Schedule a free consultation
A specialist in design and social media. A creative student of marketing communications. With more than 5 years of design experience, Hana gives a visual look to create our clients. Are you interested in modern custom web design? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org