More websites are sporting ‘https’ secure connections these days. What’s gives, and how do you know if your website could use an SSL certificate, too?
You may or may not have noticed this, but some website URLs contain an extra ‘s’ in their domain name: “https://”. If you’re like most, you don’t have a clue about its meaning… but you should! Here, learn what that ‘s’ means, and why you might want to get one for your website, too.
What is SSL?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, which denotes an extra layer of security for a website (hence, the extra ‘s’ in the http). When visitors land on an SSL-protected website, they know their connection to the site is encrypted.
Encryption means hackers won’t be able to intercept any data that’s exchanged between visitors’ browsers and the server of the website they’re browsing. SSL is becoming more prevalent as hacking and other malicious incidents are on the rise.
Does Your WordPress Blog Need SSL?
It used to be that only eCommerce websites needed SSL, to protect customers’ credit card and personal information during purchase transactions. That’s no longer the case.
Now, even WordPress blogs or Facebook application pages can benefit from SSL… here are three reasons why.
These days, even simple blogs sometimes ask for data from visitors. An email capture, for example, represents a transfer of sensitive data between you and your visitors. Hackers would like to have that data. SSL stops them in their tracks, blocking what’s called “interception” or “man-in-the-middle attacks”.
But even if you don’t have an e-mail capture pop-up on your site, an SSL certificate for your personal website is a good idea.
If you start looking around, you’ll notice that websites you normally wouldn’t think would need an SSL now have one. That’s because the reasons for getting one go beyond security, and one of them is trustworthiness.
When your visitors see that you’ve gone the extra mile to ensure their browsing experience on your blog or Facebook application page is secure, their level of trust for your site is raised significantly.
To highlight your SSL, a trust seal or badge is usually offered… use it! They look great on your Facebook Application pages, too, since users are often a little wary of apps when it comes to protecting their online security.
HTTPS is now a “ranking signal” in the Google search engine algorithm. Google clearly states this, telling webmasters that sites that show an SSL are going to get preferred treatment in the rankings. They are actually pushing for what they call “HTTPS everywhere”. Their dream seems to be a totally secure internet where hackers are blocked no matter where they turn!
Although it’s only a weak ranking signal at this point, SSL may figure more prominently in the rankings someday in the future. Google explains that they are giving website owners time to switch to HTTPS by procuring SSL certificates for their sites.
To get your own SSL certificate for your website, try our Comodo® Positive SSL Certificates for WordPress blogs and Facebook Application pages. They start at just $4.95 per year.
About the Author
Catherine Tims is the owner of Ivy League Content, a Key-West based writing company specializing in blogging for business and research-intensive articles. She has been writing for the Web since 2004.