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Does My Site Need An SSL Certificate?

This is a question we have been asked on an increasing basis recently. First of all let's cover what SSL is.

What Is SSL?
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. In plain English it encrypts ALL communication between your site and your visitors computer, it also encrypts data sent between third party payment processors like Paypal and your site.

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How Is It Added To A Website?
Without getting technical to make your site secure we need to obtain and install an SSL certificate from a certificate authority to your site.

 

Do I Need One For My Site?
In years gone by we would have said probably not unless you are taking credit card numbers directly on your site, but this has changed in recent times.In short we would HIGHLY recommend you get an SSL certificate for your site.

 

Why Do I Need SSL For My Site?
Here are the reasons for us recommending you get an SSL certificate:

  • Customer confidence. People have become VERY security conscious when it comes to their personal data and not just for card details they also like to protect their email address or their home address. Encrypting that data will give your visitors more confidence in your site.
  • More Sales. For the same reason as above having SSL on any site that sells online improves user confidence and WILL have an effect on sales.
  • Security. SSL prevents any communication between your site and your user from being intercepted by third parties, recorded and worst case scenario sold to others.
  • Google Positioning. Google openly advertise that they want a "Secure Web" they include SSL availability when deciding how to order their results. A Site that has SSL will probably appear above similar sites that do not.  Click here to read the word from the horses mouth. (link opens in new window)

Will It Slow My Site Down?
Ever so slightly but if your site was built by us your pages should still load in under a second.

 

How Much Will It Cost?
Until recently you would have paid between £10 and £750 per year depending on the certificate you chose. Then you would have to pay to renew and us to install it each year. The good news is there is a new kid on the block where certificate authorities are concerned. They will provide the certificate free for you on a continuing basis. They are called Let's Encrypt.

 

All sites on our servers have these installed automatically.

 

What's The Difference Between The Paid And Free Certificates?
Previously we would typically have installed a Comodo SSL certificate which would last 1 - 5 years depending on how many years you paid for.

 

There is NO difference between these new free certificates and the Comodo ones we previously sold at £10 per year as far as encryption is concerned.

 

They are recognised by all major browsers so there will be no errors shown to your users.

 

The Let's Encrypt certificates last for three months rather than a year but are regularly updated automatically by our servers. We can optionally add a secured link at the bottom of all your pages to show your site is secured.

 

In Conclusion
In our humble opinion securing your site is a good idea. If you are one of our clients we can take care of this for you now just submit a support ticket.

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