SSL Certificates: What Are They and How Can They Benefit Your Site?

November 2019

Today’s web users are more skeptical than ever, especially when it comes to giving out personal or financial information on the internet. With cyber-security threats and data breaches lurking around every corner of the web, it’s no wonder why people are so hesitant.

Fortunately, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certification can provide website visitors with added security and peace of mind. If you’re looking to boost your site’s security and reputation, it’s time to familiarize yourself with the benefits of SSL certification.

What is an SSL Certificate?

An SSL certificate is a series of data files that can be installed on a website’s server to activate a virtual “padlock.” This lock offers added protection for all connections made across the server and browser. Most often, SSL certificates are used to protect online payment information, usernames and passwords, and files during data transfer.

To determine whether or not a website has an SSL certificate, simply look at the beginning of the web address. A certified website will have an “https” in front of the URL, as well as a small padlock icon.

Benefits of Obtaining an SSL Certificate

If your website doesn’t already have an SSL certificate, it may be time to consider getting one. SSL certificates offer many website and data security benefits, such as the ability to keep information protected as it is exchanged and transferred between servers.

And of course, when visitors see that you have gone out of your way to obtain an SSL certificate, you can improve your website’s reputation. As a result, visitors may be more willing to make purchases on your site or provide information that they otherwise would not.

SSL certificates are also known to help boost a site’s search engine rankings and improve overall conversion rates.

How to Get an SSL Certificate for Your Site

With so many benefits to enjoy, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have an SSL certificate – especially when you consider how easy it is to get one. First, you’ll want to have a secure server, such as a dedicated server, in place. With a dedicated hosting plan, you’ll also be able to have a specific IP address for your website, which is a requirement for obtaining SSL certification.

Once your dedicated server hosting is set up, all you need to do is buy and activate your SSL certificate. There are a number of reputable platforms that allow you to purchase a certificate, often for less than $50 per year. Many web hosts offer certification, so be sure to check with your dedicated server host to see if you can add this to your existing plan. Some web hosts will even handle the process of activating your certificate for you.

If you need to set up your certificate yourself, the process is pretty simple and can be done within your hosting control panel. Look for a tab or button that says something along the lines of “generate an SSL certificate” and follow the steps to complete your activation.

The Bottom Line

SSL certificates are easy to set up and relatively inexpensive to maintain, making them a necessary investment for businesses of all kinds. For more information about SSL certificates or how ReliableSite can improve your website security, contact us today!