HTTPS and Your Website

Why Your Website Needs An SSL Certificate

As we know by now, Google writes a lot of the rules when it comes to your website and its position in search results. Your website must be mobile friendly, it must have descriptive text and images, and lately, Google is giving preferential search positioning to sites with HTTPS protocol.

So What is HTTPS?

According to Wikipedia, “HTTPS is a communications protocol for secure communication over a computer network which is widely used on the Internet. HTTPS consists of communication over Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) within a connection encrypted by Transport Layer Security, or its predecessor, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). The main motivation for HTTPS is authentication of the visited website and protection of the privacy and integrity of the exchanged data.”

What is an SSL Certificate?

An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information sent to the server.

OK, But What Does it Mean For My Website?

If you have an online store, take reservations, collect email addresses, or if you collect any personal information, your website should be encrypted with an SSL Certificate. The SSL Certificate verifies to the user that your website is genuine and the information they share with you is secure. With Google giving preferential search positioning to sites with the https protocol, adding an SSL certificate to your site is necessary.

How Do I Get an SSL Certificate?

There are numerous places on the internet to purchase SSL certificates, and the prices can vary widely. Often your web hosting company can sell you a certificate and set it up for you. Another option is work with your webmaster to set up the certificate for your site and set up a 301 redirect to point visitors and search engines to the secure pages.

Other Things to Note

Just a couple more things…. Be sure to set your Google Analytic reporting to reflect the change from http to https in the admin section. Also, in Google’s search console, set the preferred version of your web address to reflect the change. Sorry to be brief with the extra things to note. There are too many variables to mention. Feel free to ask questions on this topic in the comments below.