You want your website to make a great first impression, right?
You want your website to be viewed as safe and secure, right?
Then it’s imperative to get an SSL certificate for your website. If not, visitors to your site may start to see a security warning at the top of the screen (in some browsers).
What is SSL?
It stands for “secure socket layer” and ensures that all the pages are secure—so that if information shared by visitors on your website (even if it’s just an email address), it is safe. When your site has an SSL certificate, it starts with https.
The Announcement from Google
In the past two years, this has become extremely important to Google…and Google is making sure it’s important to you. Last year, Google announced sites with SSL certs would receive better search engine rankings than sites without them (which encouraged many sites to get it done). Now, it’s necessary. Because if your site does not have an SSL certificate, your viewers will see a security warning at the top of their screen. That’s definitely bad for business. So, it’s time, folks!
How do you get an SSL certificate for your website?
The ease in which this can be done depends largely on your web host. It’s something you may want to have your webmistress/webmaster do for you, because there are some SEO considerations:
- If you are maintaining a Google Search Console or Google Analytics account, some additional updates will need to be made.
- If there are existing incoming links that go to your http address, you are going to need all those links rewritten to https. This may be possible through your host’s control panel, or you may need a plugin for your WordPress site, such as Really Simple SSL.
How much does it cost?
Good news: an SSL certificate is free through many web hosts (including two of my favorites, SiteGround and Bluehost). SiteGround, like many progressive web hosts, provides free SSL certificates through Let’s Encrypt, an open-source certificate authority. I’m all about open source!
At the moment, this is paid feature through GoDaddy. Either way, it’s important to purchase or obtain your SSL certificate through your web host.
Do it! Don’t wait. Make this something you do by the end of the year. It’s essential—and I don’t use that term lightly!
Want to do it yourself?
Watch my video series on How to Add an SSL Certificate to WordPress 🙂