SSL – Can you afford to ignore it?
Online security is a crucial factor when building or using a website. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the guardian of the Internet galaxy when it comes to being protected online. At RTD Creative we strongly advocate the implementation of SSL so that all clients take responsibility for securing their sites.
What is SSL?
SSL is the security technology that creates an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. SSL ensures that all data moving between the server and browser cannot be intercepted or read by anyone other than the intended parties.
Website addresses without SSL begin with http.//, whereas those with SSL begin with https.//. When you see that additional s in a website address you know that site is secure, which is particularly important for eCommerce sites where financial transactions are taking place.
At RTD Creative, we offer SSL as standard with our hosting packages because we believe it is crucial for the security of our clients’ websites. Having SSL on your website is not dissimilar to securing your home. Unwanted visitors should pass by without infiltrating your domain, meaning that the privacy and financial position of you and your visitors remains intact.
SSL Certificate and eCommerce
We build many eCommerce sites at RTD Creative, all of which carry an SSL Certificate which is an eCommerce industry standard. It is obviously essential that all financial information is protected. Without SSL, any computer between the consumer and the server can intercept credit card details, usernames and passwords.
To be able to create an SSL connection, a web server requires an SSL certificate which is obtained by answering questions about the company and the identity of the website. Jumping through these hoops to obtain the certificate demonstrates a commitment to online security, thereby increasing the website and company’s credibility.
Do I need SSL if I don’t sell online?
With increasing instances of identity theft, SSL is no longer seen as a requirement exclusive to eCommerce websites. The personal information, sensitive data and browsing activity of all web users needs to be protected whether they are buying online or just browsing.
SSL also protects users from wandering onto fake websites without an SSL certificate, where hackers are waiting to extract valuable information. Your SSL certificate tells users that your site is the real deal so both parties are safeguarded.
SSL and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
Search engines such as Google favour sites with a valid SSL Certificate. It is an indication that not only is the site secure, but also that it is being well maintained.
Three years ago, Google declared that security would be added as a “lightweight ranking signal” which has now escalated to them wanting all data to travel over a secure channel. They intend to progress this by flagging unencrypted sites as insecure with a red x over a padlock in the URL bar. This is serious stuff which is no doubt affecting the SEO performance of http sites.
Registering your domain name with SSL for as long as possible also has a positive impact on SEO because Google see this as commitment to providing a credible, secure site.
As experienced website designers, our message is: don’t underestimate the importance of online security! We’d love to help. Whether you’re building or refreshing a website, or simply want help securing an existing site, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.