What is SSL?
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is an internet protocol providing a secure connection between a web browser and a server.
A security certificate (also called SSL) helps one computer understand that the other computer trying to communicate with it is legitimate or safe. Security certificates help keep data safe during transmission over the internet.
The advantages of having an SSL Certificate
Google announced in 2014 that it would be using SSL as a ranking factor in search. In other words that mean if you have a security certificate applied to your domain, Google uses that signal to place you above other sites that may not have that feature (all else being equal of course).
If you do not have SSL applied to your site it’s probably a good idea to start thinking about it. Otherwise, your competition has a distinct advantage.
Picking your SSL provider
Don’t just buy a certificate from any old web hosting or SSL provider. At best you or your web development team will have a hard time installing it. At worst you could be compromising your website’s security without even knowing it.
Choosing your Certificate Trust Level
SSL certificates are not a one-size-fits-all type of thing. There are various price points, levels of sophistication and configurations depending on how many domains you are using the certificate on.
Different providers may have different names for their product offerings but in general here’s what you’ll find:
– Single Domain: This is a standard certificate used on one domain (i.e. https://dwd.ie)
– Wildcard Certificate: Typically used for multiple types of domains (i.e. sub-domain and primary domain like www.dwd.ie and shop.dwd.ie)
– Multiple domains: Used for many different domains (i.e. www.dwd.ie and www.dublinwebdesign.eu)
The cost of each of these usually goes up the more variation there is in what you need. You should look for certs that have 99% browser recognition, some type of guarantee or warranty.
For the most part, websites that are not transferring sensitive information over the internet (i.e. credit card numbers, PPS No. etc) do not need a sophisticated and expensive SSL option.
Adding SSL to your Website
When you add SSL to your website, you are changing the URLs of links that are pointing to your website. Whenever this happens you have the potential to lose rankings in search.
– Make sure whoever is installing your certificate properly redirects HTTP to HTTPS
– If you are using a CMS like WordPress, remember to change your default URL in settings to HTTPS
– If you have your domain configured in Google Analytics and Search Console, make sure Google knows that your new URL is HTTPS
If you’ve never installed an SSL cert before (or maybe you’re just not that technically inclined), we strongly recommend having a web development company do it for you. Mistakes in adding SSL to a website can cause a poor user experience or could even stop your site from loading.
Keeping SSL Up To Date
Once you have a security certificate installed on your website, you have to get it re-issued each year. If you do not, your certificate will expire and users will get a security warning when visiting your site. They will still be able to proceed past security warnings but many browsers do a good job of scaring people into thinking they are in danger if they visit your site.
Dublin Web Design offers and installs SSL certificates starting as low as €49.
or call us on 087 636 0575 for more details.