Most websites may ask for personal information through their contact forms or allow users to enter their credit card information in order to make a purchase.
But how likely would visitors convert into a sale or lead if they knew that the website they were on wasn’t secure?
Luckily there is a simply way to find out.
If you look at the address bar you’ll likely notice the prefix before a website address that is either http or https.
If the website you are on is using HTTPS then this means that the website you’re on is using an encryption method called SSL thus giving an indication that the website is secure.
What is an SSL certificate?
SSL stands for (Secure Sockets Layer). The SSL certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates the identify of a website and encrypts information between the browser and the server and returned using a decryption key. This means that the data undecipherable and keeps sensitive information such as personal or credit card information safe from hackers.
Why it’s important to have an SSL certificate in 2020
Google Chrome which has nearly 60% market share of all browsers and has recently released v62 which displays a an SSL certificate on the address bar. If one is provided then the site will display as “secure” if not then it will display as “non-secure” which could impact how users perceive a website.
It is estimated that over 90% of HTTP traffic was secured by the end of 2019.
50% of websites are still not using SSL certificates, however this number is quickly increasing as site owners or businesses are realizing the impact it can have on user experience, security and search ranking.
85% of online shoppers will avoid websites that are non-secure. This understandable since they are entering sensitive information such as credit card info. In addition, this can negatively affect bounce rate and online sales.
Since 2014, Google has been using HTTPS as a ranking signal. That’s right! Part of your SEO strategy should be implementing an SSL certificate on your website.
GlobalSign survey reported 84% of users would abandon a purchase if it were sent over an insecure connection or concerned that there data could be vulnerable to hackers.
There are several methods of obtaining an SSL certificate:
1. You can purchase one from your hosting company. 2. Purchase it directly from SSL certificate companies such as GeoTrust and install it. 3. Install a free SSL certificate which is what I do with small or low budget sites using Cloudflare.com.
How to setup FREE SSL on your website using CloudFlare
Many web hosting companies charge a yearly fee for SSL certificates while others such as SiteGround offer free SSL using CloudFlare that can be enabled easily through your hosting dashboard.
If you want to save a few bucks and setup SSL you can do so easily by following the steps below.
1. Register an account with CloudFlare
2. Enter your websites domain name without any prefix (ie. nextoronto.com)
3. Choose the Free plan.
4. Scroll to bottom and hit ‘Continue’ button.
5. Configure your domain with newly created ClouldFlare nameservers.
In this step simply copy the two newly created nameservers and paste them in your domain control panel settings under ‘nameservers’.
6. Configure your WordPress website to use https
If your website is created using WordPress, be sure to update your domain settings in your dashboard by visiting Settings->General.
It will usually take between 3-12 hours for domain to propagate with the newly added nameserver settings.
If your SSL isn’t working after the namesevers have been updated it’s likely due to mixed content issues. This means that you have URL’s on your website that are referencing HTTP instead of HTTPS.
To fix this you can do a search and replace within the HTML content and replace http with https.
If your website is developed in WordPress, the fix is a lot simpler. By installing a plugin such as Really Simple SSL, it will automatically configure all URL’s to be secure (https).
I'm the CEO of NexToronto Web Development & Internet Marketing. I have a wide range of interests which span across multiple facets including web development, internet marketing, kiniseology, psychology, comedy and art.