Maybe you have heard the term SSL or SSL certificate and are curious to understand what it is and what it means for your website. In this, we will explain the importance of SSL, and why this should be of concern to you as a small business owner. We will also provide instructions on how to determine if your website has an SSL and what to do if you do not have one.
What is SSL? And what does it do?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and is also it serves a number of very important purposes on your website. Some of those functions are front facing, or toward your website user. Other functions are in the background. They are integral to the safety and protection of your website and integral to the organic reach (SEO) of your website. Regardless, the importance of SSL cannot be understated.
It is used to protect your website from nefarious site visitors. SSL also protects your customers from hackers aiming to steal user data such as email addresses, credit card information, and social security numbers. No website user should ever enter any personal information on a website that does not have SSL.
SSL lets your visitors know they’ve arrived at the correct website and not an imposter website. Further, most browsers will prevent insecure websites from loading by presenting a warning to the user. If a user comes across a warning because your website is not secure, they are not likely to proceed. They will go elsewhere.
85% of people will not continue browsing if a site is not secure.
Search and the Importance of SSL
A website with SSL greatly enhances SEO. Google means business when it comes to security. Google has recently changed their criteria and placed a heavy emphasis on security as a factor influencing their algorithms. And since Google is the behemoth of search, it is imperative to follow their guidelines. Google will not rank websites in search that do not have an SSL certificate. If your website does not have SSL and misses out on inclusion in Google search results, that can likely lead to lost revenue.
How to determine if your site has SSL
If you are unsure as to whether your website has SSL, here is an easy test that you can do yourself on your website. Enter your website URL into a browser. If it has SSL, it is recognizable by the small lock in front of the URL and the designation of “https” at the beginning of the URL. If this is the case for your website, you are good to go. Do note that your SSL certificate will expire so you will need to check to find out how long your SSL is valid. When it comes due for renewal, make sure it does not lapse.
A website URL that starts with “http” and is missing that lock icon does not have SSL. You may also get a warning on your screen from your browser that you are attempting to reach a website that is not secure. This is a similar warning that your website visitors will receive which may turn them away and cause them to go elsewhere.
Need help with an SSL certificate?
We work with small businesses that need help with building a new website or updating an existing website. Does your website have out-dated design, slow loading time, or lack of modern website features? We can help! We do website design and development, WordPress Care Plans, and as-needed support with our HelpMe! service.
In addition to the resources in this blog, we have a number of free resources. First is our downloadable eBook with the essentials for every small business website. Next, we offer a free WordPress website audit. It is a $199 value that we offer small business owners for FREE! Finally, we provide a free no obligation consultation. Send us an email or schedule a time directly on our calendar. We look forward to assisting you!