Ssl certificates – what they are and why you need one

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Web.com Team

SSL certificates are like virtual locks for websites that keep sensitive online information safe. Whether you’re a small business owner building an online store, or an established brand, SSL is your online security friend. Did you notice the padlock in the browser bar? Seeing that makes you feel secure why browsing, right? Search engines, like Google, also like SSL. Thus, giving websites a boost in search results.

This Web.com article is your guide to understanding what an SSL certificate is and why website security is so important. We’ll explain without fancy words, show why SSL matters for any website, and help you pick the right one. You’ll grasp how SSL works, why it keeps you safe, and how it builds trust. 

Let’s get started. 

SSL certificates: What they are and what they do

SSL certificates are online guards. They’re secret tunnels that shield your data as it moves between your browser and a site’s server. Your private stuff, like credit card numbers, stays locked away from snoops.

Think of SSL as a hero shield for data. When you type stuff on a site, SSL turns it into secret code before sending. Only the site’s server can decode it, keeping hackers in the dark.

SSL certificates have different types, from simple to fancy. They also come with various checks. Some are like basic ID checks (Domain Validation), while others are super thorough (Extended Validation). You can even secure multiple parts of your site. Picking the right one depends on your site and how much trust you want to show visitors.

4 Benefits of SSL certificates

1: Make data safer and keeping online threats away

SSL certificates act like virtual armor, shielding your data from digital dangers. They wrap your information in a protective shield, so things like passwords and payment details stay hidden from prying eyes. This makes it really tough for hackers to mess with your encrypted data while it’s traveling online.

2: Builds trust and making customers feel secure

Think of SSL as a digital padlock for your website. When people see that padlock, it’s like a sign that says “This place is safe.” This feeling of safety makes visitors more willing to share their information. With SSL, your site looks trustworthy, and that turns visitors into confident customers.

3: Get notice more by search engines and online searches

Search engines, such as Google, like websites that are secure. SSL doesn’t just keep you safe; it also helps you stand out. Websites with SSL certificates get bumped up in search results, so more people see your stuff and your online presence gets a boost.

4: Guards against tricks and keeping your data private

SSL is like a shield against sneaky stuff. It stops tricky schemes from stealing info by checking if a site is real. It also stops others from secretly listening in on your data. When you use SSL, people can browse and shop knowing their info is safe.

Getting started with SSL certificate: Installation and setup

Locking up your site with SSL isn’t a puzzle. Start by choosing the right certificate. Then, buy it from a trusted source, like Web.com. They’ll check some details to make sure you’re legit. Once they say yes, you’ll get the certificate. Next, put it on your server. If tech stuff isn’t your thing, no worries – will gladly show you how. Once it’s on, your site gets that padlock and “https://” that folks trust.

SSL certificates aren’t all the same. Trusted sources are like digital guards for your online safety. They give you certificates after checking you’re for real. When picking, go for ones OK’d by web browsers. That way, visitors won’t see scary stuff. Check out reviews, do some digging, and find a source that works for what you need and what you got to spend.

Sometimes, SSL setup stumbles a bit. It’s all good, though – you can fix it. One thing is mixed content, where some parts of your site aren’t locked. You got to update those links. There’s also this thing called an SSL/TLS handshake error. Don’t sweat it – ask the place you got the SSL from. They can help fix it.

SSL for eCommerce stores

SSL isn’t just tech talk; it’s like armor for your online purchases. When you’re shopping or sharing card details, SSL wraps it up tight. That means sneaky folks can’t peek or grab your info while it’s moving. So, buying and paying online becomes way safer. When you see that padlock and “https://” in your browser, you know you’re good to go.

eCommerce is no joke, and rules matter. That’s where SSL and PCI DSS come in. PCI DSS is like a safety checklist for handling payments. SSL helps you ace those checks by making payment info secret. With SSL, you’re following the rules and telling customers you’re their safety champ.

Online shoppers want proof you’re the real deal. That’s where trust seals come in. They’re like online stamps saying, “This spot’s safe.” SSL gets you these stamps. They tell shoppers you’ve got security on lock. So, when folks spot those trust seals, they know their info’s safe and sound.

SSL and website SEO

Google’s all about making the web safer. That’s why they give a nod to HTTPS and SSL. It’s like a gold star for websites that lock things up with encryption. When your site has that padlock and “https://” in the address, Google takes notice. It’s like a secret code that helps your site show up higher in search results. Search engine optimization is a complex marketing strategy that involves much more than simply adding an SSL certificate. That said, without an SSL, you don’t stand a chance to show up in organic search. 

SSL isn’t just about locks; it’s about building trust. When visitors see your site is safe, they’re more likely to stick around and shop. This means more people clicking and more people buying. SSL isn’t just a padlock; it’s like a welcome sign for shoppers.

Going from HTTP to HTTPS can be smooth. Make a plan first. Set up things so people find your secure site. Update links and resources to the secure version. Make sure Google knows with Search Console. These steps keep your site happy and visitors coming back. 

SSL and data protection

Again, SSL isn’t just tech talk; it’s a guard for your secrets. When you send stuff like passwords or card numbers, SSL scrambles it so only the right person can understand. No hackers can peek, so your info stays yours.

Furthermore, SSL isn’t only about locks; it’s about following the rules too. Think GDPR – a set of rules to keep data safe. SSL helps you follow them by making data hard to snatch. With SSL, you’re showing you care about privacy.

No SSL means an open door for hackers. Without that shield, data is wide open. Passwords, payments – everything. No SSL means risking your rep, losing trust, and data leaks. It’s like inviting trouble online.

Types of SSL certificates: How are they different

Free vs paid SSL

SSL certificates come in free and paid versions. Free ones do the basics, while paid ones have extras like trust seals. While free might sound tempting, paid SSL gives better security and trust. It’s like picking between a plain burger and one with all the toppings – both are good, but one’s more loaded.

Picking your SSL: EV vs DV

SSL has types, like ice cream flavors. Extended Validation (EV) is the deluxe one with more checks, like a strict ID check at the airport. Domain Validation (DV) is like showing your driver’s license – simple but safe. Go for EV if you sell stuff, and DV for blogs. Pick based on what your site does.

Wildcard and multi-domain SSL: Covering all bases

Some sites need extra locks. That’s where Wildcard and Multi-Domain SSLs shine. Wildcard locks the main site and all its parts. Multi-Domain covers different sites under one roof. Imagine them as master keys for different doors. So, if you have lots of sites or stuff on one site, these SSLs have you sorted.

Common misconceptions about SSL certificates

It’s complicated to install one

Time to debunk SSL myths. It’s not just for tech geniuses – it’s like locking your front door. SSL sounds fancy, but it’s like a simple safety step. You don’t need a PhD. And don’t worry about setting it up. Many guides and helpers are around, so you won’t feel lost.

It’s expensive

Thinking about money and tech fuss? No need. SSL won’t break the bank. There are affordable choices. And setting it up isn’t tough. With guides and expert aid, you’re covered. So, cost and setup fears? Breathe easy. You can lock your site and stay cool.

Securing subdomains and multiple websites

Subdomains and SSL

When your site branches out, like blog.example.com and shop.example.com, SSL’s got your back for those too. You’ve got choices:

  • Wildcard SSL: One SSL certificate covers all subdomains. Imagine a master key for many locks. Easy and quick.
  • Individual SSL: Get separate SSL certificates for each subdomain. It’s like unique keys for different locks. Handy for varied security.

No matter your choice, SSL encrypts data between your main site and subdomains, keeping it safe.

SSL for multiple websites on one server

Handling many sites on a single server? Enter Multi-Domain SSL. One certificate secures various sites. It’s like one guard overseeing multiple houses. This saves time and money. Remember, even with Multi-Domain SSL, each site needs its own security measures. No matter if it’s one site or a bunch, SSL ensures they’re all locked down.

SSL renewal and maintenance

Renew SSL on time for continuous security

Think of SSL renewal like changing batteries in a smoke detector. Just as important, SSL certificates expire, leaving your site open to cyber threats. Renewing on time keeps your site secure. Customers can shop and browse without worries. Don’t let an expired SSL risk trust.

SSL certificate care tips

Caring for your SSL is like tending a digital garden – needs regular care. Set renewal reminders, update your info with the provider, and check the certificate’s status often. And when updates roll in, don’t wait. They patch security holes. Treat your SSL right, and your online spot stays safe.

Secure your customers and your site with an SSL

In today’s digital world, SSL is your virtual shield to guard against threats and building trust. Entrepreneurs prioritize SSL for a secure and credible online presence. Act now, secure your space, and welcome customers with confidence.

  • Web.com Team

    Our goal is to be your go-to partner in today’s always-on digital world.

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