Google recently indicated that they would count the safety of a website as a weighting in their ranking. This means that if you secure your site with an SSL certificate, you will be able to rank higher in the search results. Google will not let go of how strong this weighting is, but it will let it be taken into account in the future.
Your website visitors
A second important consideration is your visitors. An SSL certificate (if properly configured) will give you such a nice green lock next to your website address. This shows your visitors that you take their security seriously.
If your site uses a secure connection, you are simply less likely to be hacked. And being hacked, you don’t want that !
What exactly is HTTPS ?
HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol that was once designed for the transfer of internet pages. HTTPS uses a so-called SSL certificate. This certificate is used for the encryption, and this ensures that your information cannot be intercepted or changed on the go. Explained very briefly but this is what it’s all about in the beginning. The information you see (on the website you visit), or that you send (e.g. an order from a webshop) is sent encrypted, so you can work safely online.
As mentioned before, you can easily see if a website uses HTTPS by checking if there is a green lock in the address bar of your browser.
Now there are actually two types of SSL certificates:
The green lock (the DV certificate, which stands for Domain Validation, the most used certificate)
The green bar with the company name in it (the EV certificate which stands for Extended Validation)
Although they look different, there is technically no difference between the two. The difference lies mainly in what happens before you get the certificate, and therefore also in the price.
The first one makes sure that your connection is encrypted and that you are actually communicating with the server that belongs to the domain name you entered.
The second, in addition to what the DV also offers, gives you a guarantee that the website actually belongs to the organization that is on it.
This is possible because the authority that issues the certificate carries out checks to establish this.
We believe that the EV certificates are generally not necessary. First of all, as a user, you are particularly concerned about the secure connection. Secondly, you can only see the green bar from your desktop. Your tablet and smartphone only show a green lock anyway. Thirdly, they are a lot more expensive than the DV certificates.
How can I provide my website with an SSL certificate?
There are a number of steps to achieve this, fortunately many hosting providers provides now free SSL certificate with only 1-clic installation, thanks to Let’s Encrypt for that !
Conclusion: move into HTTPS !
Or you have to have a very good reason not to do it but in principle it is best to just start using HTTPS. Your site becomes safer, it has a positive influence on your position in Google and it gives a better image to your visitors!