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Hi there! A lot of our clients have recently asked us lots of questions about the use of SSL certificate to make your website more secure. I thought it would be good to summarise the answers in one article!
If you haven’t purchased or enabled an SSL certificate for your website, you may be missing out on better rankings in Google search and have your site labelled as “Not Secure”. Also, under the new GDPR law and generally to ensure data privacy, it is simply good practice and increasingly more of a new requirement than a choice.
What are SSL & HTTPS?
SSL – Secure Socket Layer
HTTPS – Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure
In short: HTTPS connection uses SSL certificate to ensure that all data exchanged between the visitor’s browser and your website server is secure and encrypted, protected from third party attacks that may otherwise happen without SSL connection. Thanks to SSL the data stays encrypted, and even if intercepted, the person who does so, will not have the key to decrypt it. It helps with keeping your website secure and therefore protects your website visitors, especially if you have any form of payment gateways on your website.
How do I enable SSL certificate?
This is something that is possibly already enabled on your server (hosting) or you can purchase it quite inexpensively (in most cases) to be installed on your server and enabled on the website itself.
Once enabled, you will need to make sure, that all the links on your website (all internal links, menu items, buttons, media and photo links, everything) change from http:// to https://. If you’re managing a WordPress website, there are plugins that will help you do that, or you can manually check the code and amend it. Some hosting companies will help you with that or you can also ask your designers for help. There is a high chance that when the certificate is activated, not all website links will switch on their own, so you will likely need to amend some of them.
SSL has been around for a while and you’ve probably seen it in most of the online shops that you’ve ever purchased from in the form of a green padlock and green https:// address bar. The reason why I write this today is that starting July 2018, Google Chrome now labels all websites without https:// encryption as “Not secure” in the address bar. This, apart from all other technical reasons, may influence on how and whether people will contact you or make purchases, payments or send any documents through your website. SSL is also a good practice under GDPR law, to make sure all data exchanged between your website and your client is safe, private and encrypted.
At Websites for Translators we recommend setting up SSL certificate on your server on day 1 of having your new website, and turning it on soon if your website is already established. If you’re reading this and your website has a large number of pages and specialised plugins, member areas etc., you may require special assistance or your SSL may be more expensive – in that case the switch should be made even more carefully.
To sum it up…
SSL has many benefits, enhances your professional image, makes your data secure, helps with Google rankings (even if only a little as there is more to rankings than that) and is fairly low cost – if you haven’t yet, think about all the advantages and enable it for the health of your website today 🙂
All websites like to be up to date, happy and healthy!
If you have any questions or problems updating your SSL certificate, feel free to drop us a line: https://websitesfortranslators.co.uk/webdesign/