Should I get an SSL certificate for my website?

Last Updated On: February 25, 2018

While we all know that besides basic website hosting, there are different website hosting services that are not completely necessary. One of those services that you should choose to get for your website is the SSL certificate.

Why should my website use encrypted data communication?

The main reason why encrypted data communication is used is to protect sensitive data that is sent over the internet (such as personal information or billing information) so that only the intended parties can understand it. If the data was not encrypted then many computers in-between your website and client browser computer would be able to see your client credit card information, username, password and other information that could lead to identity theft or data being stolen by hackers. Having an SSL certificate with your website will enable your visitors to trust your website services, without fear of having their personal information stolen.

SSL encryption will prevent intrusive companies (such as ISP) or hacker attackers from interacting with the data sent between your website server and your visitor’s browser. Additionally, it brings a layer of protection to your website against malware or even adware.

How does SSL certificate work?

A certificate authority is an entity that issues a digital certificate, which certifies the ownership of a public key to your website. The client browser and website server will check your website digital certificate and if confirmed as positive, they will start a “secured” SSL encrypted session. Data that is now encrypted is shared between client and server, effectively protecting their communication.

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The SSL certificate will also provide authentication by using a proper Public Key infrastructure (PKI) and SSL certificate from a trusted SSL provider. Trusted SSL providers will make sure an SSL certificate is issued only to a verified business or company that has passed multiple identity checks.

Does SSL have any disadvantages?

With so many boons, now we can talk about some of the shortcomings of getting an SSL certificate. Yes, SSL certificate is not a free service, so it will add additional cost to keeping your website online. However, you should be aware that the increased trust from customers will lead to better conversion and leverage the cost. Website performance is another issue, as the information sent has to be encrypted by the server, increasing the server resources needed to run the website. However, the website performance impact that visitors will be able to see is perceivable only with a very high concurrent website visitor count and can be alleviated with additional special hardware or additional resources. Overall the disadvantages are minor when compared to the advantages with SSL certificated website.

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One SSL certificate for one domain name?

Most SSL certificates work only for one domain name or a specific sub-domain, while another domain could try to use that certificate, it would only return an error. To be able to certificate multiple subdomains with one certificate, it is needed to get a “wildcard certificate”, while a UC (unified communication) certificate is used to secure multiple domain names.

Should I get an SSL certificate for my website?

While we have discussed the direct advantages and disadvantages of an SSL certificate, for any kind of website that will communicate sensitive data between client and server there certainly is a need to have one. Nevertheless, with recent disclosure about Google preferring websites that have SSL certification in their SEO, it is now one of the features that can provide an edge over the competition in the search ranking, to any website.Finally, the https prefix in the browser will communicate to the website visitor that it is using encryption protection for the data transmitted, which can lead to increased traffic and conversion. With so many positive effects, it is difficult not to recommend getting an SSL certificate for any kind of website. Yes, if it fits your budget, by all means, get one.

 

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