From Firefox to Chrome, internet browsers are encouraging websites to get a secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate, regardless if the website collects passwords or takes payment. Websites secured by an SSL certificate appear with “https” (hypertext transfer protocol secure) in the URL instead of “http,” marking them to users as secure websites that will safeguard their sensitive data.
If your business hasn’t transitioned to https, there are four big drivers that will make you reconsider —and soon. Here’s why acquiring an SSL certificate is better for both your business and your customers:
1. You can help prevent cybercriminal activity
When a website isn’t secure, cybercriminals can take advantage by intercepting information and stealing it, modifying it or using it to trick your customers into giving up sensitive information. By modifying the information that they intercept, they can also trick your customers into giving up their passwords or even into installing malware.
But when you have an SSL certificate, the communication between your web server and the browser used by a visitor to your website is secured through encryption.
2. Your website will be faster
An https website is actually faster than an http website. Http serves your website in different packets, but https serves everything in just one packet, cutting down on loading times and making your website even more convenient for your customers to use. A pretty self-explanatory benefit to switching to https!
3. Your Google search ranking may improve
Even going back four years, Google emphasized the importance of https. Their search engine gives websites with an SSL certificate a slight search rankings boost, and Google has even stated that over time they may strengthen the boost in order to encourage website owners to switch from http to https. This is a subtler but definitely quite valuable benefit to switching to https.
4. You can foster greater trust with your customers
In July, Google’s browser, Chrome, began displaying all http websites as “Not secure” in the URL bar. Https websites will display as “Secure” with a closed green padlock.
Marking https websites as “Secure” has been a practice for a while now — not just on Chrome — but not all http websites have come with a “Not secure” warning. This change will outright warn internet users when they visit an unsecured website and will very likely increase the number of users who choose to exit that website rather than expose themselves to the risks we outlined in reason number one above.
When users see the green padlock symbolizing the website’s SSL certificate (and thus its strengthened security), they know they can trust that the information they provide will stay secure when transmitted. They’re more likely to stay on your website and even become your customer than they would be if you stayed unsecured with http.
Don’t Wait to Switch to Https
With all the benefits we outlined above, there’s really no reason to wait until Google starts marking all http sites as “Not secure” to switch from http to https. You can get a jumpstart by getting your SSL certificate now.
Wipfli can make the entire process easy for you by working with your hosting company to move your website to an SSL server and then implementing the SSL certificate (including purchasing, signing and applying the certificate). We can also go a step further by evaluating the overall strength of your website and optimizing its design, content, security and visibility.
Click here to learn more about Wipfli Web Marketing’s SSL and website solutions.