Someone told you your website is insecure and can’t be trusted by its visitors!  If it hasn’t happened yet, it will if you’re not already using HTTPS.  That is what the heart of all this SSL non-sense comes down to.  If you do a bit of googling, you can find lots of in-depth information on the various kinds of encryption used and detailed technical graphs, but what does all that really mean in the end?

Well, what most people don’t realize about the internet is that it works a bit like the old days of passing a note in class.  When you connect to a website, many devices are involved in creating that connection. The old standard of connecting to websites was using HTTP.  This used clear text which means anyone in the chain could read your note and use that information.  Since we almost always want our conversations to be private, HTTPS has become the new standard which is like using a decoder ring so only you and your friend can read the messages.

Google preferences HTTPS in its search results as well meaning there’s a large number of incentives to give you many reasons to install an SSL certificate to enable HTTPS.

But Doesn’t It Cost Lots Of Money?

This is where things can become a bit confusing.   There are many different types of SSL certificate ranging in price from free to hundreds of dollars per year.  How do you figure out which of these certificates you need?  Well, the biggest difference between them all is mostly insurance.  Yep, that’s right.  You may get a higher encryption strength as well, but really that’s just what allows them to offer a better guarantee.  If a paid SSL certificate is compromised, the issuer will pay damages up to a specified limit.  If you are handling credit card transactions or a large amount of personal data, you may want to consider a paid SSL.  You will need to access your business assets and risk to determine which SSL certificate best suits you.

Many businesses now leave the credit card stuff up to PayPal and Amazon.  Blogs don’t hold others personal information and don’t really need all this insurance.  For these, you may use a free certificate by the Let’s Encrypt Project.  If you look at the SSL information for this website, you will see it is what we are using currently. Most modernized web hosting companies will offer a simple way to activate and certificates through Let’s Encrypt.  If your host does not allow this, it’s a good sign you probably need a new hosting company.

 

Thanks But, I’m Still Confused

Try not to let yourself get too frustrated.  Most people who aren’t web developers have issues getting their SSL certificates setup and in place.  The nice thing is, once it’s done.    Usually, nothing has to be done again for at least another year. For those who deal with the process often it is fairly simple.  This also makes it very affordable to outsource the work using a service like this.

When a customer orders our SSL installation service, we review their website before installing the desired SSL certificate and ensuring all traffic is properly redirected through HTTPS.  Once completed, you may enjoy higher search engine rankings as well as knowing your website more secure.