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What is SSL Certificates and Why Are They Important?

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 07:12 -- Becca
SSL Certificates and Why Are They Important

Secure Socket Layer, or simply SSL, is a security protocol that encrypts the communication between a web server and a web browser. In this age of web vulnerability, WordPress SSL certificates provide an additional security layer by ensuring that the communication between a web server and a web browser is private.

When you visit a website, you will notice that the URL is either HTTP or HTTPS. The S in the HTTPS refers to the SSL certificate. Good crawlers also take this into consideration when they are compiling SERPs. A website with WordPress SSL certificate is given preference.

Google Chrome started marking websites without WordPress SSL as “Not Secure”. This resulted in visitors avoiding engagement on such websites. Site owners experienced a decline in conversions like sales, subscription, and more.

What is an SSL Certificate?

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encrypts the transferred data between a web server and a web browser. When you install a WordPress SSL certificate on your website, you will notice your HTTP protocol changing to HTTPS.

Here are the four key benefits of using an SSL certificate.

1. SSL Protects Data

The core function of an SSL certificate is to protect server-client communication. On installing SSL, every bit of information is encrypted. In layman’s terms, the data is locked and can only be unlocked by the intended recipient (browser or server) as no one else can have the key to open it. While dealing with sensitive data such as IDs, passwords, credit card numbers, etc., SSL helps you protect against the mischievous army of hackers and skimmers. As the data is turned into the undecipherable format by SSL, hacker’s skills prove to be an edgeless sword against the unsurpassable encryption technology of SSL certificates.

2. SSL Affirms Your Identity

The second primary task of an SSL certificate is to provide authentication to a website. Identity verification is one of the most important aspects as far as web security is concerned. There is no doubt about the fact that the internet is increasingly deceptive.

When you want to install an SSL certificate, you must go through a validation process set by an independent third party called a Certificate Authority (CA). Depending on the type of certificate, the CA verifies the identity of you and your organization. Once you have proved your identity, your website gets trust indicators vouching for your integrity. When users see them, they know who they’re talking to.

Such verification makes sure that no imposter creates a fake website pretending to be yours. In technical terms, this is called Phishing. Thus, SSL helps users drive to your real website, saves users from frauds and enhances your reputation.

3. Better Search Engine Ranking

In 2014, Google made changes to its algorithm in order to give the upper hand to HTTPS-enabled websites. This has been evident in various studies conducted by SEO experts around the world. One such study conducted by Brian Dean, founder of Backlinko.com shows a strong correlation between HTTPS and higher search engine rankings.

4. SSL is required for PCI Compliance

In order to accept credit card information on your website, you must pass certain audits that show that you are complying with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards. One of the requirements is properly using an SSL Certificate.

How Does a WordPress SSL Certificate Work?

SSL certificate converts your HTTP protocol into an HTTPS protocol by encrypting the data that is transferred from a web server to a web browser. This process of data encryption involves a user submitting information which can include name, credit card number, home address.

This data is then encrypted and transported from HTTPS to your web server. Any attempt of a data breach will not leak out the information because it is encrypted.

Types of WordPress SSL Certificates

Single Domain

Single domain SSL certificates can only be used on a single domain or a single IP address at a time.

Multi-domain

Multi-domain SSL certificates can be used on more than one domains.

Wildcard

A Wildcard SSL certificate is used on a single domain but can be extended to multiple subdomains.

Multi-domain Wildcard

As the name suggests, the multi-domain wildcard is a hybrid of both, multi-domain and a wildcard SSL certificate. This means that the SSL certificate can be used on multiple domains and also multiple sub domains.

Top WordPress SSL Certificate Providers

SSL certificate is a third-party tool that you can get from a number of SSL providers. In this article, we will mention both, paid and free SSL certificates for WordPress.

  1. RapidSSL
  2. Thawte
  3. GeoTrust
  4. Cheap SSL Shop.
  5. Comodo
  6. Let’s Encrypt
  7. Cloudflare
  8. WoSign
  9. SSL For Free

Final Words

How safe would you feel if your browser warned you about a website being “not secure”? Because that’s what will be shown in the upcoming version of Chrome if you don’t have an SSL certificate. Do you want that? Of course, you don’t.

So, what are you waiting for? add an unconquerable layer of protection to your website.