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SSL Basics: What It Is & Why Google Wants You to Have One

SSL Basics: What It Is & Why Google Wants You to Have One

Google announced starting July 2018 it’s enforcing SSL certificates, meaning Google will flag your site as not secure to your visitors if you don’t get an SSL. It will also adversely affect your page’s SEO effects and its visibility in search results.

When visiting websites, you’ve probably noticed that some URLs start with “https” or “https” and has a green padlock nearby. The main difference is that “https” (with the ‘s’) means the site has an SSL Certificate (Secure Sockets Layer) installed on the website. View differences below…

http vs https

We’ll take a deeper look at what SSL is, the latest Google update taking effect in July of 2018 and how you can get an SSL for your website.

What is an SSL Certificate?

To summarize, an SSL certificate let’s your visitors know that the information they submit or view on your site is safe. The SSL ensures all data passed between the web server and browser remains private and secure.

According to recent HubSpot Research, up to 85% of people will not continue browsing if a site is not secure.

Why Do You Need an SSL Certificate?

In the past, only website owners who sold products online needed to care about SSL. Now that’s all changing as users are getting more sophisticated online and want more security. Moreover, with Google’s updated search algorithms, everyone now needs an SSL. Here are 3 main reasons:

  1. Inspires trust and show visitors that you value their privacy.
  2. Protects your customers’ sensitive information such as their name, address, password, or credit card number.
  3. Get on Google’s good side, more on that below….

Is SSL Good for SEO?

(SEO is related to showing up in Google search engines.)

Yes! While the primary purpose of SSL is securing information between the visitor and your website, it’s highly beneficial for SEO as well. According to Google, SSL is now part of Google’s search ranking algorithm.

Further Reading: HTTP vs HTTPS: How Security Affects Your SEO

What Google’s Update Means for your Business.

https not secure warning

Starting July 1st of 2018, Google is forcing you to get an SSL certificate for your website or they’ll display a “Not Secure” warning. Customers will also be less likely to find your website once Google makes the change. If your site remains not secure, Google will rank your website lower on the search results page, affecting your traffic and revenue.

You definitely do not want all of your users seeing this in their URL bar…

free-ssl-certificate-2-1

How Can I Tell If My Website Has SSL?

When you visit a website with SSL, there are a few distinct differences that display within the browser.

Check your site for SSL with a free tool.

  1. The URL says “https” and not “http”. It looks like this:
  2. You see a little green padlock icon in the URL bar. It’ll show up either on the left- or right-hand side of the URL bar, depending on your browser.

How Can I Get An SSL Certificate For My Website?

For most, a standard SSL certificate will be enough. However, if you have an online shop or multiple domains/subdomains you may need a stronger certificate. Most hosting companies offer SSLs you can easily install on your website, including GoDaddy, Bluehost and FatCow.

WordPress Plugins To Help Install SSL

Just because your HTTPS connection is active doesn’t mean you’re finished. To properly configure WordPress to work with your SSL certificate, your site may still have a warning message (a yellow circle over the padlock icon) by the URL that says all content is not secure. To fix this issue in WordPress, install and activate the Really Simple SSL plugin.

In Summary…

Now that Google is pushing SSL, it’s not something you can ignore any longer and Google is showing they’re not afraid to use Google Chrome to penalize sites who don’t move to HTTPS. If you need help finding or installing an SSL on your website, reach out to Twingenuity Graphics and we’d be happy to help you out. You can contact us here: http://twingenuitygraphics.com/contact-us.

Twingenuity Graphics Web & Graphic Design Blog

Hey, we're Brittany and Ashley the co-owners of Twingenuity Graphics, a small design studio. We opened our virtual doors in 2015 to businesses across the globe, providing creative direction for each unique brand. Our business is rooted in family, faith, friendship and meaningful experiences. We help you find that special something about your business and then celebrate it. It's why we do, what we do!

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