We are all looking for the next best way to help new customers find our site and stick around long enough to learn about us. Webmasters have the challenging task of researching and testing new strategies to improve SEO. Sometimes Google rankings seem like a big guessing game, but other times, Google tells you exactly what they are looking for. SSL is an example of the latter.
What is an SSL?
So, what is an SSL anyway? SSL stands for "Secure Socket Layer." However, to most of us, those words don't add clarity. Understanding what and SSL is and how it works requires a basic understanding of how sending information over the web works.
When you fill out a form, type in login information, or send any information to another site, you are sending them a message in plain text HTML code.
With a regular HTTP address, anyone can access this code containing your personal information. This leaves the site visitor vulnerable to hacking.
With an SSL, all the communication between a browser and a server is encrypted with an extremely complex code that hackers cannot break. With an SSL, anyone can have the "public key" to encrypt private data, but only one computer has the "private key" to decrypt that data. An SSL creates an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. It ensures that information transmitted through websites is kept private.
You can see if a site has an SSL in place by checking if it has a green padlock and HTTPS in the URL.
In the past, this was mostly used on e-commerce sites where personal information was transmitted back and forth regularly.
Why is it important?
In January 2017, Google changed some of its rules with SSL. Now, sites with an SSL will not only be more secure, they will also be ranked higher in Google than similar sites without an SSL.
All sites without an SSL certificate are marked as "Not Secure" in the URL. Before, visitors may not have noticed or cared that they were not on a secure connection, but now they see this notification in the URL and become less confident about using unsecured sites.
How should I respond?
While SSL certificates are not necessary for sites that do not allow consumers to log in or pay online, we do recommend them.
Thankfully, SSLs are becoming cheaper and easier to acquire all the time.
Some providers charge $1,499/year for an SSL certificate. We know that isn’t doable for most of our clients, so after several months of negotiating with LiveEdit on behalf of our clients, we secured a special deal.
While you might find dirt-cheap prices for an SSL certificate and its installation, you get what you pay for. Only 9% of HTTPS implementation is done the right way and 65% of the implementations don’t even work according to a Big Data study by Ahrefs. It pays to get it done correctly by someone who knows how to do it. That’s why we trust LiveEdit to do implementation on their own system. And because they are our partner, they're willing to work out a deal with us to lower costs for our clients.
If you’d like to move forward with purchasing an SSL certificate compatible with LiveEdit, Jeff is the person to talk to. Ask about our OMM programs and whether you can bundle the SSL payment into the package for more convenient billing.
At Esultants, we are always working behind the scenes to make your website as safe and accessible as possible. We will continue to ensure your certification option is reasonably priced, professionally installed, and compatible with your secure website platform.