Have you been putting off managing the security details for your small business website with HTTPS? Now is the time to pay attention to website housekeeping! HTTPS is the standard for professional websites. The importance has been in the spotlight for a number of months as Google Chrome 68 actively highlights websites as “secure” and “not secure” to website visitors.

In a move to increase security measures in browsers and on phones,  Google and other search engines (including Safari on iPhone) are already flagging sites as not secure.

This means if your website doesn’t have an SSL certificate, it will display a ‘Not Secure’ in the URL bar.

What is an SSL Certificate?

An SSL certificate is a small online data file that digitally links a security key to the details of the organization or site on which it is installed. When installed, an SSL certificate activates the green padlock and https protocol and further allows/ensures secured connections from a web server to the requesting browser so that a third party finds ‘information in transit’ difficult to intercept or comprehend.

There are various types of SSL certificates and the most basic one (for non eCommerce websites) can be activated for free through most hosting accounts and the Let’s Encrypt Plugin.

However, an SSL will not keep your website secure on it’s own.  Tips on how to keep your website secure.

What happens if you don’t set up SSL on your website?

Some businesses are ignoring the recommendations for HTTPS on their websites. Or they simply don’t know the importance.

  • By not activating and installing HTTPS on your website, it will not rank as well as competitor sites with HTTPS. Google and a variety of other search engine have made it clear that SSL is now a ranking signal.
  •   A non-secure website can cause loss of trust in a companies brand
  •  And by not having a secure website, the website could become a liability for the info that is put at risk

How to get SSL set up on your Website

The good news is that most hosting companies offer the basic free basic SSL services with Let’s Encrypt.  Hosting companies that we have worked with and that offer this service are:

  • SiteGround website hosting – SiteGround has a high uptime rate, awesome technical support for WordPress and they will transfer your website from your old host to a new account for free!
  • Inmotion Hosting: Also highly recommended, we have used Inmotion Hosting for customer accounts for years. Learn more about the options Inmotion Hosting offers.
  • BlueHost currently hosts over 2 million websites from customers all over the globe. Over the years they have improved with their technical support for webmasters and they also offer free/basic SSL. More about Bluehost

Given the huge benefits of an SSL certificate, and the fact that Let’s Encrypt is free and automated, you’d assume that all the major hosting companies will be promoting free SSL to their customers. However, their not. They may prefer to resell an expensive certificate for basic SSL which should be a service included with basic hosting plans. As a website owner you will need to determine what you need and what you are paying for.

To find out if your hosting company offers a free basic SSL Certificate give them a call! Or contact Rosepapa Creative to help manage your website and keep everything running smooth.

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