Do I Need an SSL Certificate

Here I try to answer the question “Do I need an SSL Certificate?”, what HTTPS is and how it affects visitors to your website.

What is an SSL Certificate?

An SSL certificate acts as a digital passport for your website, verifying its legitimacy and enabling a secure communication channel. Imagine a complex handshake – the certificate uses encryption keys to scramble data, making it unreadable to anyone intercepting it. This ensures the confidentiality and integrity of information exchanged between your website and visitors, fostering a secure environment for online transactions and data exchange.

The difference is seen in the URL – http:// (not secure) and https:// (secure)

You can read more here at Heart Internet

Does my site need an SSL certificate?

Absolutely – If you run a woo-commerce site then yes, you do and that’s about the end of the conversation. The shop plugin that enables secure transactions insists on an SSL certificate to work

Maybe – If your site is purely informational then, at the moment, its about aesthetics and how you think your clients will interpret the lack of a certificate when assessing your website. An SSL certificate fosters trust by demonstrating your commitment to data security. This is particularly crucial for websites that collect any form of user information, including login credentials, contact details, or even basic browsing preferences.

Does not having an SSL certificate affect my visitor’s experience?

As far as I can see the response is fairly consistent across the main browsers – Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Safari, Mozilla Firefox

All the main browsers will display a small warning triangle and a “Not Secure” notice in the URL bar at the top of the page (see above) but they can display a response which appears a little more extreme. This typically occurs if a user is redirected from another site that was secure

If you’re not worried about this then you don’t need an SSL certificate at the moment as your site will still be seen and will remain available

What are the costs for an SSL certificate?

Typically certificates are £50 plus VAT (£70) per year for a simple site

The future for digital security certificates

It is more than likely that the main browsers will begin to insist on all sites being certified in the future. 5 years ago this wasn’t a thing but now it is and with the main search companies focused on “user experience” you can expect an SSL certificate being part of your web costs going forward

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