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SSL: The most important certification your business could have (and needs)

Web Hosting Blog

We all know that the internet can be used for anything these days. Anything you can buy on the high street, you can buy on the internet, and more. The e-commerce industry is only likely to continue to grow, and as it does, more online stores will appear, meaning more competition for those already selling on the internet.

So, as customers become more savvy when it comes to internet shopping and more choice presents itself, it stands to reason that e-commerce sites need to do make sure they are doing everything they can to fulfil the needs of their potential customers and stand out from the competition.

Without a doubt, the single most important action that a business with an e-commerce site can take is to purchase a suitable SSL certificate for the site. There are so many benefits to having an SSL certificate now, that it makes no sense at all to skip on purchasing one. An SSL certificate isn’t a luxury, businesses should view purchasing an SSL certificate as being just as important as purchasing a domain name and there are countless reasons why. In this blog, we’re going to look at the most important ones.

-Google has made SSL certificates mandatory – Google now flags all unencrypted websites to it’s users in a bid to make the internet as secure as possible. Simply put, this means that if your site does not have an SSL certificate, if a customer goes to your homepage, they will be redirected to a warning page explaining that the site is unencrypted and therefore potentially unsafe. It’s no surprise that many users would simply click off your site at this point and go elsewhere.

-Your customer’s data will be protected – Because SSL certificates encrypt the data that moves between the user and your server, any data that customers enter on to your website will be encrypted during it’s journey. This means that information cannot be intercepted by anyone who might use the information for dishonest means. This is especially useful if you have a site where customers are entering personally identifiable information or payment card information.

-It proves your business is legitimate – As well as encrypting information, an SSL also provides authentication to your business. Because your business must pass verification checks before a certificate being issued, this means that customers who visit your site can be confident in the fact that they are dealing with a genuine company rather than a fraudster or an imposter.

-It will help you to be PCI DSS compliant – Having an SSL certificate is a requirement of PCI DSS compliance. So if you take payment card information on your website, in order to comply with the industry standards, you will need to have an SSL certificate.

-Customers will trust your site – Actually the previous points all feed back in to this one. Essentially all the benefits of an SSL certificate have a common end result, which is trust in your website is gained by your visitors. The more customers trust your website, the less likely they will be to click off it and go elsewhere.

There are many different types of SSL certificate and which one you choose will depend on what your individual business needs are, but here are a few of the common terms explained:

-Extended Validation – These tend to be the most expensive SSLs but the do offer the most features. These are the certificates that show the green address bar in the browser and the authorised name of the company so the business can be easily distinguished as legitimate. In order to receive this SSL the company has to go through a pretty rigorous authentication process and so they’re usually used by sites which would be heavy on processing personal data and taking online payments.

-Wildcard – a Wildcard SSL certificate covers a domain and all of it’s subdomains, and is usually cheaper than purchasing lots of individual SSL certificates for each domain. So with this, you could cover www.example.com and then shop.example.com and blog.example.com.

-Multi Domain – These are useful if your company operates more than one site with unique domains. You can cover all the domains with a single certificate. These usually come with a set number of domains that you can cover, with the option to add more domains on to the certificate paying individually for each. This however, usually still works out cheaper than buying lots of individual certificates. It is very important to note that the same company information will show on the certificate for all domains though, and so it’s only suitable if all the domains you are covering belong to the same company.

There is such importance, especially now, to securing your site with an SSL certificate. To find out about the certificates offered by CWCS, visit our SSL certificate page where you can compare features of several certificates to choose the one suitable for your business.