What is an SSL Certificate?
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates, also called digital certificates, are used to establish an encrypted connection between a browser or user's computer and a server or website. The SSL connection protects sensitive data, such as credit card information from being intercepted from non-authorized parties.
Do I need an SSL Certificate for my website?
If you have an e-commerce site and allow payments directly on your website, the answer has always been YES, you need an SSL certificate. Up until recently, most websites that do not collect sensitive information did not need to have an SSL certificate installed on their website. In 2017, Google started marking websites that asked for sensitive information such as passwords or credit cards as NOT SECURE. Beginning July 2018, ALL websites without https will show as NOT SECURE.
With this, not only will website visitors feel uneasy when visiting a website with this message, website owners will also begin to see a decline in rankings in search engines. Don't wait! Get your website's SSL certificate today.
Each hosting provider will deal with SSL certificates in a different manner. Some, such as my favorite, Siteground, will allow you to install the free Let's Encrypt SSL certificate, while other hosts will require you to purchase an SSL certificate, which can run $60 a year and more. Then, of course, it needs to be installed, which, depending on your web host, could take 20 minutes or 2 hours. Once the certificate is installed you will need to make sure all images and links are working properly on your website and there are no "mixed-content" messages. "Mixed content" means that something on your page is "http" instead of "https", usually an image, either on your website or one you have embedded on your website but that actually "lives" on someone else's website.
SSL Certificate installations will run between $50 and $150, depending on your web host. If you must purchase a certificate, you must purchase that separately.
This may be a great time to make the move to Siteground! All moves to Siteground using my affiliate link, during the month of October, will receive a free Let's Encrypt install and subsequent check-up to ensure your site is set up properly with no mixed content or insecure warnings, as well as checking for broken links that may occur from the change.
*WordPress sites only
**Some exclusions apply