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Why your WordPress site needs a SSL certificate

Date: Monday, 12th December 2016 | Category: , , , , ,

Getting an SSL certificate for your WordPress website is now more important than ever, and here’s why…

What is an SSL certificate?

As we discussed in our previous blog post, SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. Essentially it is used to ensure that personal and sensitive information such as bank details, usernames and passwords, address etc. are not stolen or hacked.

You can tell if a site has an SSL installed by seeing if they have the padlock symbol to the left of the URL in the search bar. It will also mean their URL prefix will be ‘https’ instead of ‘http’.

If you do not have one, a warning ‘i’ symbol will appear instead of the green padlock, to warn users that your site may not be secure.

Why does my site need one?

In addition to the site being flagged as unsecure by the symbol in the URL bar, you also face the risk of being demoted in the search results by Google. Google themselves released a statement earlier this year based around how security is their top priority and therefore sites with higher security will be favoured in their search results. You can read the full statement here.

Main advantages of having an SSL installed…

  • Added site protection – reduces the risk of getting viruses and Trojans as there is an added layer of protection. As WordPress is the most popular CMS framework in the world, it is unfortunately the one that is most commonly targeted by hackers, making this extra level of security even more important
  • Safer integration – when you want to integrate your site with another site or service, for example if you want a Twitter feed stream, you open yourself up more to viruses from that other source. With SSL protection you reduce this risk
  • No loss of features – it has been announced that WordPress updates will be coming out early 2017; these updates will be based around sites having SSL certificates, meaning some of the updates will only work for websites that have them
  • Higher conversion rates – (we predict). Essentially, knowing that a site is concerned for your security and is actively doing something to ensure that you as a user are protected, you are more likely to trust and buy into the company and brand, therefore enhancing user experience and leading to an increase in conversions.

What will happen if I don’t get one?

In the short term, you will see no change in the functionality of your site. However, aside from missing out on the advantages listed above and Google flagging your site as unsecure, you will eventually start to lose functionalities as more SSL-focused updates come out.

How, when and what do I do?

There is no need to panic; getting an SSL certificate is a fairly simple and quick process which we can manage for you. There will be no change to your hosting fees however we will require an initial payment of £160 to set this up for you, then an ongoing £100 per annum starting from year two.

If you are already a client of ours, we require no extra information for you and can get the process going straight away if you require. If your website is not currently with us we can still act quickly however will just need to gather some information from you first. Get in touch to find out more and discuss what your next steps should be.

There are three different levels available to you depending on your requirements; generic, named and validated. For a full breakdown of what these mean and to find out more about getting an SSL certificate for your website, please call me directly on 01234 779 054 or email me at jazmine.brace@phew.org.uk.