What Is an SSL Certificate?
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. It is sometimes also referred to as a digital certificate. SSL certificates enable a secure communication between the web server and the visitor’s web browser. It plays the role of encrypting all the data files and information that are sent between the web servers and the visitors to the website. If any malicious activity aims to intercept the data files in the course of their transfer, then the data files will remain unreadable because of the encryption attached to them. As such, the information cannot be altered or stolen because of the encryption provided by SSL certificates.
To establish whether or not a website has been installed with an SSL certificate, you have to check for a padlock in the address bar of your browser. Websites with an SSL certificate will thus appear as HTTPS instead of HTTP.
Is an SSL Certificate Mandatory?
In 2017, Google announced plans to flag all websites without SSL certificates. Online security has become a key necessity to any website. The reason is because of the increasing number of cyber breaches and insecurities that has left most websites in devastating situations. Google wants to correct this trend and it will require all websites to have an SSL certificate. So, if your website does not have an SSL certificate, then it is about time you should start thinking about acquiring one. Most web browsers such as Google and Mozilla have made it mandatory for all websites to be served with an HTTPS encryption. To make sure that this transition came to effect, the browsers developed a new security warning that will alert the website visitors whether or not their connection is secure.
Is SSL expensive?
Now that you understand what SSL certificates are and why they are so necessary for the security of your websites, the question you should be asking yourself is how much it costs to install an SSL certificate on your website.
The actual cost of installing an SSL certificate usually varies depending on the web hosting provider that you choose for your website as well as the type of SSL certificate that you choose to go for. There are a lot of cheap SSL certificates that can give you the essential encryption services to your website. You can visit this page to check out for some of the prices of different SSL certificates.
What Type of SSL Certificate should You Go For?
There exist a few options you can make when it comes to the type of SSL certificate that you want to make. The most basic SSL certificate option is the Domain Validation option. The DV SSL encrypts all the connections to your site. A padlock symbol is displayed to tell the user that the connection is indeed secure. Domain Validation is sufficient to play the encryption role for your website. The procedure of acquiring the DV is quite simple and one can get the certificate on the very day that it is requested for. They are fairly cheap and come with warranties from the suppliers.
The next type of SSL certificate is the Extended Validation certificate. This is a more advanced option that will not only provide utmost encryption to the contents of your website but also verify your business. It is comparatively more expensive than the Domain Validation certificate. Still, there are many options from where you can find cheap EV SSL for your website. The EV certificate gives the users utmost assurance that they are interacting with the site that they intended to interact with. They will know this by checking on a padlock as it will give details about EV issuer, EV brand, certificate expiry, domain name, etc. EV certificates are very useful to E-commerce websites.
The third option is the Organization Validated certificates which have the core purpose of encrypting the sensitive information of the users during transactions. The OV also provides a higher level of assurance. It verifies the business credentials before issuing a certificate.
Another option is the SSL Wildcard certificate. They are used to secure multiple subdomains. Buying a single Wildcard certificate is cheaper compared to buying several single domain SSL certificates as there are several cheap Wildcard SSL certificates which you can go for a secure site.
Other positive SSL certificates types that you can decide to get for your website are multidomain Wildcard SSL certificates and the unified Communications Certificates (UCC).
Does an SSL Certificate Reduce your Websites’ speed?
No. SSL certificates do not reduce your web page load speeds but instead increase the load speeds. SSL certificates work with the HTTP/2 protocol which plays a critical role in improving the general performance of your website. If you install an SSL certificate on your website, the website will be able to load faster because of the HTTP/2 protocol. HTTP/2 protocol enhances the multiplexing feature. With it, the server can make requests and receive several web elements by just a single connection. In doing so, latency is reduced because the user will not have to wait multiple messages before getting the website page that they are trying to access. SSL certificates, therefore, play a vital role in increasing the speed of your website.
Is SSL a Legal Requirement?
The question of whether or not an SSL certificate is a legal requirement will depend on the type of operations that your website does. If you have a website that involves collection of vital user data such as the credit card details of the users and other important details, then it is a legal requirement that the website should have an SSL certificate. On the other hand, if the website entails the collection of personal details such as the names and geographical location of the customers, then it is not a legal requirement for you to have an SSL certificate. But I recommend that, no matter what your website deals with, just be cautious and install an SSL certificate onto it.
With the increasing cases of cyberattacks and security breaches, you do not have a choice but to be on the safe side all you require is an SSL certificate to secure all your connections. Do not wait until it is too late. Start planning on encrypting all your websites with an SSL certificate.