Article updated January 2021.
A Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL, enables a secure connection on your website and encrypts all data being sent between browsers and servers, which keeps your website safe and keeps your visitors safe. When you visit a website and see the URL change from http to https, you can feel peace of mind knowing that the website is secure.
In the past, an SSL was most critical when a website was collecting personal information, such as addresses, credit cards, health information, etc. However, today it is recommended that all websites install an SSL, and there are more benefits than simply protecting information.
Many browsers display for visitors when an SSL is not installed and, therefore, the website isn't secure. Although the SSL might not be critical for that particular site, the message will certainly scare away some visitors. Remember when Google Chrome began penalizing websites in its search rankings when they didn't offer some form of mobile compatibility? Well, they now do the same for websites without an SSL installed.
Most browsers display a warning if a website doesn't have a security certificate installed. The time is now to get that SSL installed if you haven't already. Depending on your website host, the price typically runs between $75 - $125 per year, and some hosting plans even include a free SSL.
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