As I mentioned in my earlier 2017 email to my hosting customers, this is a year of big change for me as I transition my business into a full digital offering. One of those big changes is a revamp of my hosting services to include several new features, including bigger hosting packages as well as customised deals for those who need them, as well as some specialist features that will improve your overall digital experience.
Introducing SSL Certificates
One of the specialist features I am now offering is something you may have heard of already, namely SSL Certificates. What is an SSL Certificate and why is it important to have one?
An SSL (secure socket layer) certificate proves, via a third party, that your site is what it claims to be and also encrypts any information travelling between it and the person using it. It also shows a security padlock in the address line of a browser when somebody is visiting your site. You’ll see this on banking and shopping websites.
SSL Certificates are issued by many different vendors and each one has a different degree of encryption and trust, not to mention price.
So Why Do I Need SSL For My Website?
If you’re not engaging in secure transactions on your website, you may ask why would you need this SSL certificate?
Here’s the thing, if you are relying on your website to appear higher up in search rankings and deliver business to you through search marketing, having an SSL certificate is now a big deal. Google are using the presence of SSL on a website to determine its importance in their search results. If sites of similar content are indexed in a search result, the ones with SSL certificates will appear higher in the rankings from now on.
Not only that, but browsers like Chrome and Firefox will soon begin showing warning signs that a website is not secure if it doesn’t have an SSL certificate installed.
If you have 45 minutes to spare on some seriously geeky stuff, go and watch this video by Google and you’ll get a clearer picture as to why this is happening.
Bummer if you don’t have an SSL certificate, right? Well, not necessarily.
Here’s The Good News
There are free certificates out there and one of these is a cPanel issued certificate that is included in your hosting service with me, but not installed on your account by default. This certificate is all you really need, unless you really want a more expensive, 3rd party certification for your site. I recently installed it to my Photographers.travel website (note the padlock) and will be doing so for my other sites too.
I can do this cPanel installation for you, plus if you are a WordPress user I can also re-direct all your pages to use your certificate and display the padlock on your site’s address bar.
The cost for this installation service is R500 for the duration of your certificate. If the free certificate doesn’t auto renew, I will update it manually on the server at a cost of R150 per renewal.
If you want the deluxe 3rd party certificate with the green padlock I can offer you several options starting at R1500 per year. Why so much? Firstly, if you opt for a 3rd party certificate you will need your own dedicated IP address, plus cost of the certificates need to be accounted for each year and these costs vary for each provider. Symantec’s cheapest certificate will cost you a cool $399 a year.
So, there you have it. If you feel you would like your site to have the added security feature and potentially do better than other sites for SEO, simply place an order using this link.