Why you need an SSL certificate for your website.
Posted by Premium Websites on Tuesday, September 26, 2017
All websites will need an SSL starting October 1st 2017. Google sent me an email stating that after October 1st 2017 visitors to my website will be notified that not all content on the site is secure. This would cause people to go back instead of viewing the website. These warning will show on all websites that do not have an SSL – or sites that have an SSL but not all of the content is secure.
I have an SSL in place on my website now.
You can purchase an SSL from your host (they all sell them). If you are technology driven you can get a free SSL from Cloudflare. You will need to be able to go into your domain settings and change the nameservers. There are a few other technical aspects to installing it that Cloudflare provides videos and instructions.
The easiest way is to just purchase it from your host and have THEM install it (most hosts will do this for free if you get it from them).
What is an SSL?
An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is what encrypts content that is sent from your website. E commerce sites, banking sites, insurance sites etc have used them for years. Now all websites will be “judged” – websites with SSL will get priority in the search rankings and after Oct first if they do not have an SSL viewers will get a warning that the content is not secure – driving your potential clients away from your website.
Update Jan 2019
I still see websites that do not have an SSL certificate. This is now a factor in ranking websites as well. Ones that do not have an SSL will rank lower than equal websites that are using SSL encryption.
Many hosting providers now offer a free SSL if you are on the shared hosting plans. Higher paid plans now often come with a better free SSL as well.
What does better free SSL mean?
Hosting companies are very aware that the rules for SSL and website ranking has changed recently. They now have a lower level of SSL that can be applied to your website to meet the requirements of the search engines. These SSL certificates have the bare minimum features of encrypting your content. They do NOT include things like monetary help if your site is involved with a data breach. If you are a company that has a service or informational website this is all you need. If you are a company that is selling items from your website, taking money for any reason, or collecting sensitive data in a web form – then you will need a paid SSL upgrade.
For the average small business owner that is not operating an eCommerce website the free SSL is adequate.
Many hosting companies have generic SSL certificates installed on the shared servers already – you just need to activate it on your hosting account. Each company has a different process for this – so call your host and see what the process is for them. If they do not offer a free SSL then consider another host.
If you need help with this process give me a call at 360-607-4767