If you have a blog or a website for your business you’ve probably heard of SEO, or search engine optimization. If not, head over to my post with important SEO tactics that you should be using.
SEO is important because it helps your website appear higher in the results on search engines and this helps you get more traffic. A couple of years ago, the biggest search engine of all (Google – duh!) started giving an SEO boost to more secure websites.
“Secure” in this circumstance means websites that are secured by SSL encryption, which stands for “secure socket layer.” Basically, having SSL on your website helps make the transfer of data between your website’s server and user’s browsers safer by preventing hackers from intercepting it.
SSL encryption has always been important for websites where credit card or other sensitive information is being exchanged. (If you have an eCommerce website you may already have it installed.) But now Google has announced news to incentivize everyone to start using this extra security measure…
Why you need to add SSL to your website
Starting in January 2017, Google will start calling out websites that don’t use SSL with an ugly red warning symbol in the Chrome address bar:
as opposed to the pretty and attractive green padlock:
So what exactly does this mean for you as a website owner? A few things…
- It affects your branding. The most important thing in my opinion is how visitors to your site will feel if they see the red “x.” They might wonder if your site is safe and question whether or not it’s legit. This can definitely send some people in the opposite direction. So if you’re running an online business, I’d say that’s reason enough to add SSL.
- It affects your SEO. Remember at the beginning when I mentioned SEO? Having a more secure website will boost your SEO so that’s another great reason to jump on the bandwagon.
- It affects your readers and customers. If those aren’t good enough reasons, then how about just the fact that you want to keep the data from your website SAFE. Protect your hard work and your readers’ sensitive info from hackers by adding SSL to your site.
How to make your website more secure
- Check to see what your website host offers. If you’re on a shared hosting plan, such as the basic plans on GoDaddy and BlueHost, you may need to upgrade in order or purchase an add-on to get SSL on your website.
- If you’re using Squarespace or Dreamhost, you’re in luck because they offer free SSL certificates with their hosting plans.
- Flywheel, the WordPress hosting company I use and 100% recommend, also includes free SSL with all hosting plans.
If all of this is sounding a little overwhelming, I can help! Check out my WordPress Managed Hosting Plan where you’ll not only get the benefits of extra security from SSL but also a ton of other important features such as daily backups and nightly malware scans.