With Google moving towards a more secure internet, chances are sooner rather than later you are going to need an SSL certificate for your website. You’re probably wondering what an SSL certificate is and why you even need one.
What is an SSL Certificate?
To successfully have your website using HTTPS, you first must obtain an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate encrypts the connection between the website and the visitor’s browser. This means any data transmitted between the visitor’s browser and the website, such as personal identifiable information or credit card details are protected and encrypted by the secure connection. When it is installed on your websites server it uses the HTTPS protocol and the green “Secure” message and padlock icon as seen below.
You have the option to pay for your SSL, or choose a free SSL. When deciding between the two, it’s important to take into account all of the below factors.
- Your paid certificate will last for 1-3 years depending on the option you pay for.
- Assurance that a trusted certificate authority has issued and signed it.
- The certificate authority checks and verifies the website owner as well as the business.
- You have 24 hour support, whether it be via chat, email or a phone call.
- Different warranty tiers available. This is an insurance that protects your website visitors against loss of money when submitting a payment on the website.
- The certificate will need to be renewed every 30-90 days.
- Signed by the issuer or a certificate authority.
- Only validate the identity of the website owner.
- No help, support or warranty provided.
While the level of encryption is the same for a free SSL certificate as it is a paid one, making a decision on which type of SSL certificate to get will come down to you as an individual and your own business needs. It’s important to weigh up the convenience and being able to rest easy knowing your site is safely secured with no hiccups along the way!
Once you do have your SSL certificate, there are many risks involved in migrating to HTTPS. Be sure you are aware of every step involved before attempting to do this yourself.