SSL. If you’ve dipped your toes into the web design & development world at all in the last few years, you’ve probably heard these three letters bandied about. But what do they mean, and why should you care?!
In a word, security. Web security has become increasingly important these days, what with those young whippersnapper hackers and their shenanigans. Get off my lawn (shakes fist)!!
But seriously, that’s what SSL is all about — keeping hackers and other malicious individuals off of your digital lawn.
So let’s get into SSL in more detail, so you know exactly what I’m talking about and why you need it.
What is SSL?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and it’s a protocol created to encrypt and secure the comm traffic between parts of the web. In short, using SSL keeps the information stored on your site and sent from your site to other parts of the internet very, very secure. We’re talking credit-card numbers, passwords, sensitive personal info, anything you wouldn’t want leaking into the wrong hands.
How Do I Know if I Have SSL Already?
If you look at the navigation bar of any modern browser while visiting a website with SSL, you’ll see a little lock icon. The position and color of this icon changes depending on which browser you are using, but it should be fairly obvious. If you see it, the site has SSL. In fact, since Solamar has SSL on our site, you can do it right now! If you’re having trouble spotting the lock, and you want to be certain you’re not just missing it, you can also look at the beginning of the site url. If your website address begins with “https” instead of “http”, SSL is active.
Do I Really Need SSL?
People used to think that SSL was only really necessary if you had an e-commerce site, since it was required to have functioning transactions, but those days are long past. These days, we are all vulnerable, even if you’re not dealing with banks and such. People know this, and have learned to look for the lock icon and other SSL indicators. Putting SSL on your site helps you build immediate trust with those users.
Additionally, Google and other search engines are beginning to rank SSL site higher, and to put warning labels on sites that don’t have it. So by adding SSL to your site, not only are you protecting yourself and your users, you are also giving yourself an SEO boost. Bonus!
How Much Does SSL Cost?
The primary barrier to people getting SSL used to be that it cost money, and so unless they needed it for e-commerce, most were hesitant to lay out the cash. But thanks to initiatives by Let’s Encrypt and others, it is now possible to get SSL set up on your site for the low, low sum of zero dollars. No excuses!
How Do I Get SSL?
Here’s another area where previous roadblocks have been swept away! Getting SSL set up on a site used to be a pretty cumbersome process. You’d have to buy an SSL certificate from a certificate authority, contact your hosting company to help set it up and facilitate communication between both parties. What a headache! Things are much easier now, with many hosting providers offering automated SSL setup from the get-go.
We live in a crazy, dangerous digital world. Protect yourself, your website and your visitors by getting SSL on your site today. Need a little help? Contact the security experts at Solamar, and we’ll make sure you’re air-tight and ready to rock.