If you have paid attention to the URL of a website, you may have noticed that some websites begin with http://, while other start with https://. The extra s in question indicates that a website is secure and has SSL certification.
Websites need SSL certificates to:
- Keep user data secure
- Verify ownership of the website
- Prevent attackers from creating a fake version of the site
- Convey trust to user
- Help with search rankings
HTTPS is the secure form of HTTP, which means that HTTPS websites have their traffic encrypted by SSL. Most browsers tag those websites without SSL certificates as not secure. This sends a clear signal to users that the site may not be trustworthy.
SSL certification is also one of the most important factors in attaining a higher search engine ranking as well as earning the trust of clients.
Having no SSL certification will become more pressing from August 2021, as Google Chrome unravels its latest browser update, Chrome 90. It is expected that the browser will have an HTTPS only mode. This means that websites with no SSL certificates will automatically be directed to a warning message.
Google Chrome is making this move in order to safeguard the private and transactional information of its users. Non-HTTPS websites will not only come with warning messages but they will also be impacted by a lower ranking in the search engine results.
It’s obviously a big deal, so where can you get it? Ask your web developer or web hosting agent about getting an SSL certificate installed on your site. The cost of an SSL certificate can range from free to hundreds of dollars, depending on the level of security you require.