SSL - What it is and Why you Need It?

When developing a site there are two questions that will always be asked, is my site secure and can you make it faster?

While there are hundreds of ways that these two questions can be addressed there is no silver bullet...until now, enter SSL or TLS.

What is SSL?

First of all you might be asking, what is SSL? SSL is commonly seen as the S at the end of HTTPS, it used to be short for Secure Sockets Layer. But that protocol is actually no longer used and we simply keep it around because HTTPT doesn’t roll off the tongue as easy.

SSL and HTTPS tell the browser that this site you have just loaded is, in fact, the site you have requested. You can trust the site and the connection from your computer to its server because the connection is now encrypted. Feel free to send all the sensitive data you want to the site and you are the only two able to see it.

Why Install It?

Besides the security it provided there are a few more reasons you will want to install one as soon as you can. The first major reason you'll want one is that Google give better rankings to HTTPS sites than HTTP sites. This is not just because they are more secure but also faster and Google likes fast sites.

HTTPS is also a required part of a new system called HTTP/2. You can't have HTTP/2 without HTTPS. Why would you want HTTP/2? Well, not only can it speed up your site by as much as 50% but HTTP/2 site will also get ranked higher by Google.

So if you only have a SSL cert you get one boost to your ranking but if you have SSL and HTTP/2 it will add an additional factor to help improve any ranking you currently have.

Google boosts are great and all but a faster site also means happier visitors, Amazon has found in all of its studies that every extra second it takes a site to load after 1.5 seconds could cost them as much as $1.6 billion in sales each year and Google has found that every four tenths of a second could lose them 8 million searches per day.

A faster site means happy visitors, and happy visitors means more conversions.

There is one final reason that you will want an SSL cert added to your site. We have talked about the benefits to security and speed. There is the simple reality that by the end of the year your site may no longer be viewable without one. That's right, two of the major web browsers have stated they intend to begin blocking and warning users when a site does not have an SSL cert.

For now, these warnings are only on pages where there are forms. But it will soon be the whole site that is blocked by a big red screen and may eventually be dropped from Google.

The Future is HTTPS and HTTP/2. At Together Digital we are happy to offer affordable and scalable options to our clients to secure and speed up their sites with SSL. If you want to know more about this feel free to contact us.

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