Historically, only websites that offered a purchasing facility or those handling sensitive data required an SSL certificate.
Recently, however, Google stated that all sites now need an SSL certificate to ensure safety for all web users.
The certificate is a security measure that encrypts the data that a site visitor is inputting onto the site (adding credit card details for example) so that the information cannot be intercepted and taken by others. SSL certificates can be purchased from hosting providers or 3rd party companies and then added to your website.
Google initially recommended that all sites have them installed, but they are now making it compulsory and threatening to stop listing sites that don’t display the ‘little green padlock’.
Browsers like Chrome are now displaying warnings that a site is not safe if it doesn’t have an ssl certificate in place. This message can have a detrimental effect on your website traffic as, even though your site isn’t harmful, a warning of it’s potentially unsafe state will be enough to send many of your site visitors away from the site.
SSL certificates come in 3 versions – basic, intermediate & heavy usage. Most small business websites only require a basic SSL certificate, costing around £50 per year.
At Black Hen we include an SSL certificate, for one year, as standard with all our websites.