SSL, a term we all heard several times as an internet user. Whether you are a webmaster or a regular internet user, you might have come across this term at least once in your internet journey. Today, we are going to break down what it actually means.
What is SSL?
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a security technology for establishing an encrypted connection between a web server and a browser. This makes sure that each bit of information send and received between a web server and a web browser is secured from external attacks. SSL is a great way to protect data from hackers and spammers by routing them through the encryption tunnel. That’s why millions of websites including E-commerce sites, Business sites, or even personal blogs utilizes the SSL by configuring HTTPS on their website.
SSL can be applied using an SSL certificate which can be bought from external sources. Free SSL certificates are also available online. After installing the SSL on your website, the website will be accessible from the HTTPS version too. For example, if your website was http://example.com, the site will be also accessible from https://example.com. In addition, your browser will show a green lock before your URL to exhibit the trust of your website. This is considered as a crucial trust factor for the e-commerce websites which needs the sensitive information such as credit card details and other payment information.
SSL certificates will have the information such as your domain name, company name, address, city, state and country. Some extremely secure certificates may demand even more information regarding the user. But the sensitive information will be hidden from the users. They can only see the details such as Certificate issuance date, Certificate expiration date, Issued authority, etc. The below image shows how your website URL will be visible to the browsers in different variations such as with or without SSL.
What is an SSL Certificate Provider?
SSL Certificate providers provide SSL certificates which could be installed on your website. The certificates can be installed from your web hosting interface, which varies on different web hosting companies. The companies such as Sitegorund, Bluehost, GoDaddy, etc. provides a much easier SSL certificate installation when compared to others. Especially in cloud and self-managed web hosting, the installation is a little bit complicated.
Here are some of the best SSL certificate providers.
- Comodo: It owns the major portion of the SSL market share. With numerous certificate options for different types of businesses, Comodo is one of the best or probably the best SSL certificate provider. But a small problem is that most of the Comodo certificates are costly, especially for the high security ones.
- Symantec: Symantec is yet another good SSL certificate provider with a 256-bit encryption just like the Comodo. The pricing is very high for the Symantec certificates. Due to the high protection they are offering with the warranty, numerous giant websites use this as their option.
- GoDaddy: A popular name in the domain industry also provides SSL certificates. They are famous for the cheapness of their products and in the case of SSL also, the things are same. You could own an SSL from GoDaddy for just $69.99.
- GlobalSign: Yet another authority for buying SSL certificates. They have different SSL options for individuals, Businesses, Organizations, etc. The pricing is average, which is not much as the first two providers and not cheap as the GoDaddy.
- GeoTrust: Fast processing of the SSL certificates is the main advantage of the GeoTrust. The pricing is average when comparing with other SSL certificate providers.
- Digicert: It is a good way of protection your business domain from hackers and spammers. With various certificate options, they also provide 2048-bit SSL certificates.
- Startcom: With the name of StartSSL they also do provide free SSLs. You can avail it by visiting their websiote and signing up for a free SSL certificate.
- Entrust: Entrust provides various types of SSL certificates with an affordable range. But still, the price is a little high when compared to cheap SSL services out there.
- Trustwave: It provides carious certificate options including Organizational SSL Certificates, Wildcard SSL certificates and EV SSL certificates.
- Let’s Encrypt: One of the best free SSL services out there. It provides a simple free, renewable SSL certificate free for life. But you have to renew the SSL every 3 months. The Let’s Encrypt sponsors include the big names on the internet such as Google, Shopify, Automatic, Mozilla, etc. So, if you do not want to spend money, you can get a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt.
If you do not want to use a certificate provider, you can create your own self-signed SSL certificates.
Impact of SSL on SEO
SSL and SEO was two completely different things before few years. But after the search engines such as Google announced the SSL as a ranking factor, SSL became one of the most crucial factors of SEO. As per Google, they are currently providing a small ranking boost to the websites with HTTPS over those without. In the near future, SSL will became one of the most important ranking factors. This might be due to the drastic increase in online fraud and data stealing over the regular transfer protocol.
When looking from the SEO point of view, the SSL certificates are not directly related with it. But the real reason is, search engines such as Google primarily aims to build a better internet where all the information are secure and useful. For this, securing each and every website on the internet is a necessary factor. This will drastically limit the possibilities of getting hacked. So, for those websites which obeys this, the search engines gives a positive push in the rankings. Now, the SSL directly related to the SEO.
If you are a webmaster who are still own a website without SSL, it is the time to rethink. Sooner or later, each and every website will step into the search engine ways of serving websites with the Secure Sockets Layer. So, it is wise to go ahead of any others and grab some extra ranking boost earlier. If you don’t have money to spend on such SSL certificates, there are a lot of free SSLs available on the internet. The Let’s Encrypt which is a Linux collaborative project, is one of the best free SSL services you could choose. Numerous browsers including the Chrome and Mozilla recognize the Let’s Encrypt certificates as valid and gives the green lock for them. So, don’t wait, go and install an SSL certificate on your website too.