For businesses operating in the digital age, it’s essential to have an attractive website that’s easy to use and provides value to visitors. But custom web solutions need to address more than mere aesthetic appeal and content quality. They also need to provide security for both the business and their customers online.
Cybercrime is on the rise, especially during the ongoing pandemic. When custom websites have vulnerabilities that are easy to hack, this can put private data at risk of a breach. And if a hacking attempt is successful, this could do irreparable damage to your brand. therefore, you need to do everything in your power to ensure the web design services you use make security a priority. In many cases, that starts with SSL certification. In today’s post, we’ll learn a bit more about SSL, what’s involved, and why it matters when exploring custom web solutions for your business.
What Is SSL?
First of all, what is SSL? SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, is basically a protocol that encrypts data between a visitor’s computer and a given website. It allows a browser to create a secure connection between itself and a site or an entire server. The main indicators that a website is protected by an SSL certificate is a URL that begins with “https://” and that the URL field features an icon of a locked padlock.
Obtaining an SSL certificate for your website means that your site provides an extra cushion of protection for visitors. It communicates that your company owns the site that someone is visiting and that you’ve made the effort to protect users’ private information. This means that a web visitor can safely browse your site (and even enter data like their password or credit card number) while knowing that they’re protected.
Why Does SSL Certification Matter?
Technically, you don’t have to obtain this level of security for your site; you can still launch your personalized website design without an SSL certificate. Some business owners might be wondering whether it’s really necessary to have an SSL certificate for their site — especially if they don’t handle online orders. But even if that’s the case, protecting your site with this certificate is extremely important for a few different reasons.
For one thing, users are less likely to trust a website that doesn’t have SSL certification. Your site has only three to eight seconds to catch a customer’s attention before they leave your page — and if they see an unlocked padlock icon or a message from Google that your site might not be secure, they’re going to hightail it out of there even before those three seconds are up. As any custom web solutions provider will tell you, it’s not a great idea to risk the perception of your brand in this way.
But perhaps more essential than that, businesses of all kinds can easily become targets for criminal activity online. Without an SSL certificate, it’s all too easy for a hacker to get ahold of data like passwords (which may be used across a lot of different websites, in spite of best practices), credit card numbers, webform details, and other information. This could be used to hurt both your business and your customers, so you won’t want to take a chance on that.
Providers of custom web solutions would also caution businesses to obtain SSL certification because Google cares about it. Having a domain with HTTPS has been considered a ranking factor in Google’s search algorithm for years. If your site doesn’t have an SSL certificate, you could be risking your ability to rank. That means your search optimization efforts could be curtailed if you don’t take the step to secure your site in this manner.
In the end, SSL certification is affordable and relatively easy to install (especially if you work with a professional web design firm). That means there’s really no excuse to have a non-secure website — but you might pay a hefty price if you ignore the need for SSL. For more information on how to improve your site security and overall design, please contact our team today.