Security is always a priority for WordPress site owners. WordPress spends a lot of time and energy updating the core to keep the platform as secure as possible. However, the question remains for site owners, would a SSL certificate help my site? The answer to that question really depends on what type of website you own and what your long term goals are for your website.
Why SSL is important?
Image sitting at your local coffee shop and surfing a few websites between a cup of java and your favorite pastry. You decide to check your email, fill out a form to get a insurance quote or you decide to log into your WordPress site to write your latest blog post. Are you concerned that the information you’ve entered into the website is secure? You should be. Even when you’re accessing your social media accounts, you will notice that Facebook and Twitter are using a SSL certificate. There are several reasons why your website should have a SSL certificate.
Google Ranking Boost
It was late 2014 when Google gave public notice that websites with a SSL will receive a small ranking boosting. This is mainly because Google’s intent is to make the internet safer on a broader basis. Google has even recommended ‘https everywhere” on the internet.
- Authentication – Are you really sending/receiving your information from the proper website, server and company.
- Data Integrity – Maintaining your data during the transfer of information. And making sure the information is not modified during the transfer
- Encryption – Is everyone able to see my information. Encryption protects your information from several types of security breaches.
SSL certificates are so important for web security, that Google dedicated a full 45 minute video that discusses in detail the reasons why you should have a SSL certificate on your website.
Recommended Sites For SSL
- eCommerce Sites – Any website that accepts credit card payment is required to have a SSL certificate installed. Your merchant account will require you to meet certain security standards to protect your customers payment information.
- Membership sites – Web site owners who provide content as a part of a private membership should have a SSL certificate. The certificate will protect your members email address, login id’s and passwords. You don’t want to take the chance of having a data breach.
- Sensitive Information – If your clients are submitting sensitive information such as personal information, social security numbers, medical information and legal documents. This becomes really important for medical or legal websites.
The actual cost of the SSL certificate can vary, depending on the type of certificate that you purchase. The cost can range from $30 – $100+. And you will need to renew your SSL certificate on a yearly basis. You should also know that not all hosting plans allow you to have a SSL certificate. Depending on your web host, you may need to upgrade to achieve the additional resources. I recommend consulting with your current webmaster or reach out to me.
SSL Certificate Example
Retailminded migrated to a new hosting company in January 2015. As a result, they took the opportunity to update their security on the site and server level. Instead of having a SSL certificate only on the eCommerce pages of the site, we decided that it was beneficial to protect the complete site with the SSL protection. Now that every single page of the site is under the protection of the SSL certificate, there has been a increase of organic traffic on the site and a slight reduction in the bounce rate.
As we continue to see internet security becoming a bigger issue, I’m positive that Google will increase it’s push for newer and more innovative ways to factor the use of the SSL in search results. This of course will force more site owners to maintain security. And offer consumers another layer of trust when surfing the internet for information and products.