Does your WordPress website need an SSL certificate?
SSL certificates have become important for every website to establish a secure online presence. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, which is a protocol to encrypt the connection between a web browser and a web server.
It is important for you to use this protocol because the end-users submit confidential information like contact details, address, banking and credit card details, etc. to your site, which should be protected.
To push the SSL protocol on your WordPress website, you need to install an SSL certificate. Following installation, your site will shift from HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) to HTTPS. The ‘s’ in HTTPS stands for secure. A green padlock icon will be visible in your website URL which will tell visitors that your site is secure. Hence, they will be encouraged to spend more time on your site, make purchase, and submit any information confidently.
Further, with Google’s new ‘not secure’ HTTP sites policy, the importance of SSL certificates has increased all the more.
If you are looking for reasons to use SSL certificate on your WordPress site, then this article is for you.
Encrypting sensitive information of customers
The main reason for using an SSL certificate is to protect the confidential information of your website visitors and customers. When someone visits your site and submits the information via any contact forms or while making a purchase, the data is sent from user’s browser to the destination server of your site. This information can be confidential, including name, address, contact number, bank or credit card details, etc.
When you don’t have SSL, any middle man on internet can read the information flowing from the browsers to servers. What this means is that hackers or attackers can get access to personal and banking details of your customers, which is your responsibility to secure them.
What SSL certificate does is encrypt the connection between the user’s browser and web server. Hence, the information flowing over the internet becomes inaccessible to attackers. That’s why you should install the SSL certificate while building a website.
Second, the SSL certificate helps you in strengthening the security of your WordPress site. As a WordPress admin, you have your login details, plus, you might have several users who also login on your site. When you log in to the WordPress panel, a connection is established after response from the server.
Without the installation of SSL certificate, all the credentials of your site can be compromised, as middle man can watch the traffic and read the credentials. This can lead to website hacking. Attackers are always targeting websites without security protocols because it makes easier for them to get into.
But, if your site is having an HTTPS instead of HTTP, then your credentials aren’t easy to compromise with. The right thing to do is consider purchasing SSL certificate right at the time of deciding on web hosting options.
• Search Engine Optimization (SEO) benefits
A few years ago, the search engine giant Google announced that it will boost the ranking of websites in search results, which use HTTPS protocol.
No doubt, Google wants to improve user experience and provide a secure experience to all the people on internet. Hence, it prefers the websites that are secure, trusted and certified. The aim of providing SEO benefits to HTTPS websites is to encourage more website owners to use SSL certificate.
In the last few years, several studies have revealed that websites with SSL certificates have a higher ranking as compared to HTTP sites.
The trick of Google has significantly worked. More and more site owners have understood the importance of SSL certificate and switched from HTTP to HTTPS.
Your site might be having quality content, but if you have not implemented the SSL protocol, it’s time for you to do so. It will give you a competitive advantage in your digital presence.
Finally, it is a fact that people who visit any website, look for the HTTPS and green padlock icon in the website URL bar. They what to know that their information will be secure if they submit it on any site. Hence, the security signs pushed using an SSL certificate have become a subtle sign of trust.
Additionally, Google has now started to show a ‘not secure’ warning for all the websites that don’t use SSL certificate. The search engine giant started the initiative as a part of its long-term plan to make the web a safer place.
With the release of Chrome 68, the websites without SSL shows ‘not secure’ warning in address bar, whereas, no changes have been made to HTTPS sites.
As per the Transparency report by Google, around 85% of the traffic on its Chrome browser is now protected, increasing from 67% in 2016. Moreover, now 83% of top 100 websites are powered by SSL protocol, increasing from just 37%. The data shows that Google’s initiative is working positively.
Secure all subdomains
If you are having a well-established WordPress site, then you might be having multiple subdomains. The subdomains are memorable website addresses that are part of your main domain name. For example, blog.yourdomain.com, contact.yourdomain.com, etc.
The aim of using a subdomain is to create unique content areas, while leveraging SEO advantages. With a specific SSL certificate called Wildcard certificate, you can push padlock icon and HTTPS to all your subdomains, along with the main domain name.
With the time, the importance of SSL certificates has increased. Especially after Google’s algorithms to provide a boost in high ranking to HTTPS sites, and now showing ‘not secure’ warning for HTTP sites.
As a website owner, using SSL certificate should be a priority for your business to encrypt customer data, secure your site, rank higher in search engine results, and gain the trust of visitors.
If you are still using an HTTP site, it is time for you to move to HTTPS. Still having doubts? Feel free to ask anything in the comments below.