SSL Certificate: What Is It & Why Do I Need It?

Apr 2019

ssl-certificate-what-is-it-why-do-i-need-itOne of the key components to building a high-quality website is to ensure that it is safe to use. As technology and hackers get smarter, so do the web maintenance requirements and responsibilities needed to keep a website safe.

At KWSM: a web marketing agency, we are constantly building and maintaining multiple websites for our clients.  It is imperative that we have our finger on the pulse. That being said, we see that the SSL certificate has become a new standard item needed to keep websites secure.

What is an SSL Certificate?

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. Simply put, adding an SSL certificate to a website will make the connection of the website more secure and much safer when people browse, buy, and communicate via the website.

The SSL certificate encrypts all the data submitted by your website visitors (passwords, credit card numbers, etc.) in a way that only the intended recipient (your business) can understand it. Since all this information is being passed on different servers, if it was not encrypted, it would be very easy to be stolen by hackers.

Why Do You Need an SSL Certificate?


For starters, Google now factors whether you have an SSL certificate into how they rank websites in search. Without an SSL certificate, many browsers (such as Chrome) will indicate that your website is not secure in the browser bar.  When clicked, this button warns users to avoid entering any sensitive information to avoid it getting stolen by hackers. Not exactly a good first impression, right?

If your website is used for e-commerce or to bring in new clients (99% of websites), then it is probably a good idea to take the step to make your website secure. Without it, the warning sign will likely cause some visitors to leave.

You might be thinking that your site is relatively small and no one would want to attack it. You would be wrong. Most hackers are not real humans; they are bots sifting through thousands of websites at a time to look for a potential target. If these web crawlers find your website is vulnerable, they will attack it. And since it all happens behind the scenes, you may not even realize when you have been hacked.

Which is why we want to emphasize that the sooner you get your SSL certificate set up, the better!

How Do You Set Up an SSL Certificate?

Fortunately, installing an SSL certificate is simple and inexpensive (only $75 per year). Similar to paying an annual fee for your domain, the SSL certificate must be paid each year.

To have KWSM set it up, we charge a one-time fee of $250 to install it and ensure that your website switches over properly. Contact us to get started.

43% of Cyber Attacks Target Small Businesses

Is your website secure enough to withstand these attacks? Our team of experts will be able to help you optimize your website so that your website is safe to use.

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