An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is used to establish a secure, encrypted connection between a web server and a web browser. This is important because it ensures that any sensitive information, such as login credentials or credit card numbers, that are exchanged between the server and the browser remain private and cannot be intercepted by third parties. Additionally, an SSL certificate can be used to verify the identity of a website, providing assurance to users that they are interacting with a legitimate, trustworthy site.
SSL certificates are used to provide security and encryption for a website. They establish a secure, encrypted connection between the web server and the web browser, known as an HTTPS (HTTP Secure) connection. This ensures that any sensitive information, such as login credentials or credit card numbers, that are exchanged between the server and the browser remain private and cannot be intercepted by third parties.
SSL certificates also verify the identity of the website, providing assurance to users that they are interacting with a legitimate, trustworthy site. This can be particularly important for websites that handle sensitive information, such as personal data or payment information.
In addition, many web technologies such as forms and APIs use SSL encryption to secure the data that is being sent and received. This makes it a must-have for any website that wants to establish trust and credibility with its users.
In summary, SSL certificates are a critical component of website security and are necessary for any site that handles sensitive information such as personal data, payment information and for secure connection to a website. They provide encryption and identity verification, ensuring that your users' information is protected and your website is trustworthy.
The presence of an SSL certificate on a website can affect user behaviour. When users see that a website has an SSL certificate, they are more likely to trust the site and feel comfortable providing sensitive information, such as login credentials or credit card numbers. This is because an SSL certificate provides a visual cue, such as the padlock icon or green address bar, that the site is secure and that their personal information will be protected.
On the other hand, if a website does not have an SSL certificate, users may be less likely to trust the site and may choose not to provide sensitive information or interact with the site at all. This is why many websites that handle sensitive information are required to have an SSL certificate by law or industry standards.
EV SSL Certificates
An Extended Validation (EV) SSL certificate is a type of SSL certificate that requires a more rigorous verification process for the organization that is requesting it. When a website uses an EV SSL certificate, the address bar of the browser will typically turn green and display the name of the organization that owns the certificate, providing an additional visual cue to users that the site is legitimate and secure. The green address bar is considered a strong visual trust indicator and is only displayed when the browser can confirm the site owner's identity through the EV SSL certificate.
Does Google treat websites with SSL better?
Yes, Google does treat websites with SSL certificates better in their search engine results. In 2014, Google announced that they would use SSL as a ranking signal in their search algorithms, meaning that websites with SSL certificates would be given a slight boost in their search engine rankings. The reasoning behind this is that Google wants to provide their users with the most secure and trustworthy results possible, and SSL certificates are one way to ensure that a website is secure.
Having a SSL certificate on a website can also help in a way that it will prevent the "not secure" warning on the browser when users visit the site. This can help to increase user trust and reduce the likelihood of users leaving the site due to security concerns.
It's worth noting that the impact of SSL on search engine rankings is relatively small, and other factors such as content quality, relevance, and backlinks are still much more important. However, having an SSL certificate can be a useful way to give a website an edge in search engine results.
It’s basically a must-have in 2023
So, having an SSL certificate is still considered a must-have in 2023. SSL certificates have become increasingly important over the years as online security and privacy concerns have grown. They are used to establish a secure, encrypted connection between a web server and a web browser, and also to verify the identity of a website, providing assurance to users that they are interacting with a legitimate, trustworthy site.
In addition, many browsers now flag sites without SSL as "not secure" which can affect users trust and reduce the likelihood of users providing sensitive information or interacting with the site at all. This is why many websites that handle sensitive information are required to have an SSL certificate by law or industry standards.
In summary, having an SSL certificate is now considered a basic security requirement for any website that wants to establish trust and credibility with its users. It's a must-have in 2023 and it is recommended to have it installed as soon as possible.
Free SSL certificates
Free SSL certificates are a cost-effective way for website owners to secure their sites with SSL/TLS encryption. They work the same way as paid certificates and provide the same level of security and trust. Some of the popular providers of free SSL certificates include:
- Let's Encrypt is a non-profit certificate authority that provides free SSL/TLS certificates to any website. The certificates are trusted by all major web browsers and are easy to install.
- CloudFlare is a content delivery network (CDN) and security provider that offers free SSL certificates for their customers. They also provide a simplified setup and management process for the SSL certificate.
- StartSSL provides free SSL certificates for personal use and for non-profit organisations. They also provide a variety of other SSL options, such as Wildcard and EV SSL certificates, for a fee.
- SSL For Free is a free certificate authority that allows anyone to generate a valid SSL certificate for their website.
It's worth noting that while free SSL certificates can be a cost-effective way to secure a website, they may not always be the best option. Some providers may have limitations on the types of certificates they offer or the length of time they are valid. Additionally, some providers may require certain technical knowledge to install the certificate. Therefore, it's important to research the options and choose the one that best fits your needs.
SSL Certificates by your Shared Hosting Provider
Many shared hosting providers offer free SSL certificates as part of their hosting packages. This is because they understand the importance of website security and want to make it as easy as possible for their customers to secure their sites.
Some shared hosting providers may use Let's Encrypt to offer free SSL certificates, while others may have their own certificate authority or partnership with other CA to offer the service. Some providers may also offer a simplified setup and management process for the SSL certificate, making it easy for customers to install and maintain the certificate.
Additionally, many shared hosting providers now offer an automatic SSL certificate management and installation, which means that the SSL certificate is automatically installed and renewed on the customer's website without the customer having to do anything.
What we at Metrics.Plus do with this knowledge
Metrics.plus is a monitoring and alerting service that can be used to monitor SSL certificates and receive alerts if there's a problem with the certificate or if it's expiring soon.
By integrating Metrics.plus with your SSL certificate, you can set up monitoring and alerts for various SSL certificate-related metrics, such as expiration date, revocation status, and more. This allows you to proactively monitor the status of your SSL certificate and receive alerts if there's an issue, such as if the certificate is about to expire or if it's been revoked.
In addition to monitoring and alerts, Metrics.plus also allows you to view the historical data of your SSL certificate, so you can see how it's been performing over time and identify any trends or patterns. This can help you to identify and address any potential problems with your SSL certificate before they become critical.
Metrics.plus can help you to proactively monitor the status of your SSL certificate and receive alerts if there's a problem, making it easier to ensure that your site remains secure and trustworthy.