If anyone has ever mentioned an SSL certificate or said that their site needs to be secure, you might have been confused. Well of course you want your site to be secure, who wants to get hacked? But being secure might not mean what you think it means. We’re here to break it down for you.
What does it mean
A quick way to check if a site is secure or not is to look for “https” instead of “http” in the URL. If the S is there, it stands for the SSL, which is a Secure Sockets Layer. It’s technology that ecrypts your connection so that hackers can’t intercept any of your data. It comes in really handy when you’re processing sensitive information like social security numbers or credit card information.
Why get SSL
If you’re not selling anything and collecting payment information online, you might ask why you should get an SSL cert. The answer is: Google. Google has explained that it favors sites with SSL more. Not that it will directly help you rank higher for search engine optimization, but if choosing between two similar sites, the one that has https, will win out every time.
One main reason to have it, is for your users. No one wants to deal with a hack. It’s messy, stressful and it upsets customers and consumers. You just want your users’ information to be secure. Even if you only have login information on your site, you still have information that is vulnerable.
Another added benefit to SSL is that it’s better for mobile pages. SSL is required for AMP, which is Accelerated Mobile Pages. These are pages that load instantly on your phone. Next time you notice a page that loads inexplicably fast on your phone, you can guarantee that it’s https.
Google is loving AMP pages right now. Moving forward through 2017, Google will start really paying attention to AMP and SSL pages. Google is also moving forward with algorithms to start ranking mobile versions of a site’s content. With the digital marketing world constantly changing it's important to consider how your mobile pages could boost or harm your ranking.
Bottom line is that https is now more preferred over http, as it cuts out some of the headache that comes with running a business and managing a website. Another reason to convert to a secure site is that you will now be called out for not being https in Chrome. To the left of all browser bars, on sites that require login or credit card information, Chrome will be placing a “not secure” or “secure” notice, letting users know the state of your site. It may have slipped your notice, but check it out. If it’s something your site is lacking, you can be sure your users have noticed. As more users are becoming aware of what this means, in the age of online shopping.
If you’re debating whether or not, securing your site is worth your time, it might be best to consider if a hack is worth your time. If you handle any information on your site that you want to remain private or confidential, now is the time to get an SSL certificate. Your web developer will thank you.