Do I Need An SSL Certificate?

But first, what is an SSL Certificate?

SSL certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. When installed on a web server, it activates the padlock and the https protocol (over port 443) and allows secure connections from a web server to a browser.

Should YOU have one?  If you sell products the straight-up answer is yes. In general, it’s a good idea to have one for SEO purposes… indeed, Google is giving a small rankings boost to sites using SSL. In the past month, Masterpiece Web Designs has had more inquiries about SSL certificates than ever before. Suddenly companies are becoming aware of what SSL Certificates are and inquiring about the benefits.

Is it REALLY necessary?

DO YOU SELL PRODUCTS? If you’re taking credit card payments directly on your website, you definitely need SSL in place to encrypt your customers’ credit card information. If you use PayPal exclusively to accept payments, you don’t need SSL since customers aren’t paying you directly. Still, the sight of that ‘padlock’ symbol on a website makes your customers feel secure.  There is a real and perceived sense of security associated with the SSL Certificate.

MEMBERSHIP SITES… It’s a good idea to have an SSL if you operate a paid or free membership website. Your members are sharing a lot of information with you on that website – information that could be stolen or shared if your site is not secure… and you could be responsible for that.

DO YOUR VISITORS SUBMIT PERSONAL INFO ON A FORM. If your site’s visitors are submitting any personal information, documents, photos, etc. via forms on the site, you might consider SSL to keep that information safe. Think about it and take a quick inventory of your interactions with others on your site –  you might be surprised how much information you collect about your visitors even if you don’t sell products or offer memberships or subscriptions.

IS YOUR SITE JUST A BLOG. If your site is just a simple blog consisting of only blog posts and a simple contact form, an SSL Certificate is probably not necessary. The Google rank benefit probably won’t count for much in that case… we can suggest other ways to boost your SEO.

What do I need to know about an SSL

Well, we’ll tell you why WE decided to use an SSL Certificate on our website:

One Word —- TRUST. As web designers, we understand technology and security. Most savvy internet users look for that green padlock symbol while shopping online, paying an invoice, or submitting any personal information via a form. We use our website to interact with clients and accept payments. It is important for us to know that our clients feel safe interacting with us and submitting information through our website.

What We Have Noticed:

  • Lower bounce rate: People are staying on our site, looking around, willing to complete forms and use the site for functional purposes. We observe this by studying the metrics and feel that a sense of security contributes to the sense of trust that keeps traffic on our website.
  • It is easy for us to collect payment through our payment portal without people being concerned or asking questions
  • We feel that the SSL Certificate has offered us a boost in SEO. We also blog, change content regularly, and interact with customers on our website so we do other things to boost SEO but we launched our site with the intent of doing what we can to gain organic search engine rank near our workplace without having to pay big bucks to get there.

For our company, having an SSL Certificate is worth it, even though we are not a huge company. We want to offer our clients the best security and experience, making it as easy as possible for them to do business with Masterpiece Web Designs.  It is important for us to exchange information with our customers online. As time goes by, websites are a communication platform – so much more than just an informational display. We design highly interactive digital environments and experiences.  We recommend that most of our clients purchase an SSL Certificate.

Okay so how much does an SSL Certificate cost?

Well, it’s so great that you ask that question!  We’re running a SPECIAL rate on purchasing a year of SSL certification.  $150 for first year of SSL Certification.  This annual fee can be added to  your next month’s hosting payment if you want to start NOW.  If you’re thinking of getting a new website, now’s the time to build your new site with SSL Certificate. Contact us if you have any questions. We are happy to help!