For the past year, we’ve been advising all of our clients to upgrade their hosting accounts to include an SSL certificate. To a lot of business owners this might seem like a small but unnecessary up-charge, or just another Internet fad that will soon fade into the background. However, the reasons to make this upgrade are not only real, but growing more urgent.

To make sure there is not any confusion, we want to be as clear as possible: if you haven’t done so already, you should consider adding an SSL into your business website today.

In order to help you understand what’s at stake and why it’s so pressing, let’s take a look at a few commonly asked questions (and their answers) about SSL certificates…

What is an SSL?

SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. It securely encrypts transfers of information between a website and a visitor, protecting your website from hackers or thieves trying to spy and/or steal sensitive data. You already use SSL connections dozens of times a week whether you realize it or not. Every user login based or e-commerce website uses this type of connection, and tens of thousands of businesses have made the switch, too.

What are the Benefits of SSL?

The immediate benefit of adding an SSL to your web hosting packages is that your website will be more secure. That means fewer data security worries and better peace of mind for your customers. Not only e-commerce or user account driven websites are in need of an SSL. They add a level of security to protect your website and its visitors.

What’s Happening With Google & SSL’s in Recent News?

Google recently made SSL’s a search signal within its algorithm. That means websites with SSL’s get a boost in search rankings, and those without are at a disadvantage. So, there are marketing considerations you should take into account, too. You can get more visitors to your website with an SSL and take better care of their contact details and other submitted information.

When Google announced it would prioritize websites with SSL connections, that was enough to push a lot of businesses in the right direction. Now, word has come out that the popular Chrome browser (another Google product) will soon begin marking connections as “secure” or “not secure” based on SSL functionality. It’s probable that other browsers will quickly follow suit. Additionally, search results within Google’s own listings are likely to be marked the same way.

To the average prospect, who might not be tech-savvy or care about the details of SSL technology, seeing a website noted as “not secure” will probably be enough to scare them away. That makes it hard to overstate the massive disadvantage business owners who have non-secure sites will be facing.

Why Don’t All Websites Use https:// & an SSL?

This is the one question we can’t really answer. Making your website more secure costs very little, and it’s an easy change that can be implemented through your hosting provider with the help of a good web development team.

This is one of those trends you want to be in front of rather than playing catch up to your competitors. We suspect there are some marketers who aren’t paying enough attention to realize what kinds of shifts are going to take place, but there’s really no excuse for sitting on your hands when real sales and revenue are at stake.

Chances are, if you’re managing your own hosted website, you’ll have to purchase your own SSL Certificate, and apply it to your website hosting account.  If you use hosted e-commerce solutions like Shopify, they offer the SSL for free, as part of your hosting package.

To learn more about https://& SSL connections, and how easy it is to add to your web hosting package, call today!

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