What is an SSL certificate?
The Simple Answer
A common question I get asked is “What is an SSL certificate”? SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. The simple way to put it is the SSL certificate allows people to connect securely to your website. It encrypts the data between the user on the website and the web server. This makes it secure to pass credit card information and personal data back and forth without worrying about anybody snooping around.
Well that’s great, but I don’t think that really applies to me.
Even if you don’t accept credit cards on my website and don’t have any personal information being passed back and forth on your website doesn’t exclude you from needing an SSL. Having a secure connection adds a layer of trust between you and your users. Not only that but it can even effect where you are listed on Google!
We all know being listed on the first page of Google is critical on getting views on your site. Heck, when is the last time you even looked at the second page of Google? I practically forget that there is more than one page! You don’t want to be missing out on potential clients because they can’t find you. Now, this just changed in 2017, so just because your site was doing fine this time last year, doesn’t necessarily mean that it will still be doing fine now.
How do I get an SSL?
Now that you know that it is important to have an SSL certificate, you need to know how to get one. Up until a few years ago, they used to cost upwards to $100 per year. When I first started in web development, I didn’t even consider putting one on my site due to the cost and it didn’t matter as much for basic websites, not anymore. Luckily, the Let’s Encrypt project was started. With Let’s Encrypt you can get an SSL Certificate for FREE! That’s right free!
Unfortunately, some web hosting providers still try to sell you SSLs and some don’t even let you use Let’s Encrypt! When selected and web host make sure to ask to make sure they provide Let’s Encrypt for free. At Your Marketing Now, our Cloud Hosting comes with it free for all of our accounts. We even take it a step further by having it automatically install for you so you don’t even have to think about it!