A secure sockets layer or SSL certificate is a digital certificate which validates the website address and encrypts data sent to the server by website users. This is important especially with so many users connected via wireless and mobile devices. Information transmitted to your websites must be encrypted to ensure that it’s not intercepted and decoded. In this article we will talk about the benefits of an SSL certificate, why you need one for your business websites and the different types of certificates available.
Table of Contents:
- Benefits of an SSL Certificate
- Why you need an SSL Certificate for your Business Website
- Types of SSL Certificates
Benefits of an SSL Certificate
Having an SSL certificate informs your users that the website they are on is the official website of the business. It shows trust and awareness to the sensitivity of personal information. When a user visits a site with an SSL certificate installed, a small lock icon appears next to the address to show the user that the connection is secure. They can be confident that information provided through any forms on your site will be encrypted before being transmitted. This will ensure that your clients’ passwords, credit card numbers and any other sensitive information cannot be found out. The last benefit of an SSL certificate is that Google rewards websites with one. You will receive a small boost to SEO ranking when it sees a secure connection with a valid certificate.
Why You Need an SSL Certificate for Your Business Website
A basic SSL certificate costs about $80 per year which is minimal compared to other costs associates with a website. There really is no reason not to have one these days. The only situation I would recommend running a site without one is when the intention is to collect absolutely no information from or about the website users. That includes contact forms, any opt-ins or even Google Analytics due to GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) requirements. It really is a must and when I come across a website without one, I try my best to contact them and educate them on the risks. It is a lawsuit waiting to happen if you do not have an SSL certificate properly installed and you are collecting any information from your site.
Types of SSL Certificates
Single site SSL:
Many hosting packages include an SSL certificate, but some don’t. If you are on the cheaper end, it probably doesn’t include one. At about $80 per year, the cost is minimal but if you run multiple sites or subdomains, the cost will multiply quickly because you will need one for each domain or subdomain.
UCC (Unified Communications Certificate) SSL:
For multi-site setups or landing pages connected to different domain names, a UCC can be a good way to save money. They can protect up to 5 sites, but the sites must be installed on the same server. The cost can vary, but its usually between $150 – $200 per year for a standard certificate.
A wildcard SSL Certificate is for a single domain name and will protect all subdomains of that domain (ie: subdomain.maindomain.com). This is great for setting up landing pages or separate ecommerce systems using a main domain name.
Standard vs. Premium Certificates:
A standard certificate will provide the same encryption as a premium certificate, but the premium version goes a step further. When you purchase a premium SSL Certificate, the issuer will authenticate the business address and domain name manually. This ensure the business can be trusted. This is visible to the user in the form of a green lock symbol or other green marking on the web address bar of the browser. This is important for high traffic ecommerce or financial websites but for most businesses, a premium SSL certificate is not required.
If you are running a single site, get your SSL certificate with your hosting package. This is the easiest option. Our business level hosting packages all include one. If you intend to run several sites or landing pages, a UCC SSL would work best and is the most cost effective. For subdomain network sites, a wildcard certificate would be the most cost-effective way to go. If you are concerned about hackers or want to let your customers know you are dedicated to protecting their sensitive information, then you’ll want to go with a premium certificate. Contact 5611 Studios today to discuss option, we will install your SSL for free on cPanel hosting packages.