I’ve been seeing a lot of questions about SSL certificates lately, and I wanted to give some answers so you can make an informed decision when it comes to your site.
- Does my site need an SSL certificate?
My standard answer to this is that if your site processes payments on the site, then the answer is a resounding YES. Your site needs to be encrypted.
- Is an SSL certificate expensive?
Not typically. You can find the actual SSL certificate for as little as $10 per year if you shop around. You’ll probably need a dedicated IP, which varies according to your web host, but can be around $2 per month. Then if you don’t know how to install the SSL, you might have to pay your web host to do it, which can vary.
- Do I need to secure my entire site, or just the checkout pages?
Ask 10 people this, and you’ll get 10 different answers. The truth is, you only NEED to secure the checkout pages. However, I recommend you go ahead and do them all for a number of reasons. It’s not any harder to encrypt the whole site, and Google gives a favorable ranking to sites who use SSL. So why not do it all? (Some may argue it makes your site slower, but it’s a marginal change at best.)
- Should I use an SSL if I don’t have e-commerce?
You don’t have to, but if you have any kind of forms, I recommend it. Why? Simple – if you are collecting information in a form, people are more inclined to fill out that form if they can see that little green padlock. This is simply about conversion rates. You’ll get more submissions if you have it. (Don’t forget to put on the badge!)
- How do I install my SSL?
That varies depending on your web host and what kind of access you have, so I don’t have a good answer.
- I installed an SSL, but I don’t get the green padlock? Why?
Usually this is a result of insecure images, meaning that the path to an image on the page does not have the https. You may want to do a find and replace in your database to update all the URL paths to use https. Check out www.whynopadlock.com to get help discovering what may be causing your problem.
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