• X Factor

SSL Website Encryption

Updated: Feb 5, 2019

The horror stories of hackers and online crime are familiar to most of us. In fact, the U.S. is the most frequent target of online criminals, and they’ve succeeded in costing businesses and non-profits billions of dollars. Even a small or mid-size organization has a lot at stake when it comes to security. So, taking a few minutes to evaluate web site security is always worth it.

Fortunately, there’s a quick way to verify whether your site is considered “secure” or “unsecure.” The key to look for is an SSL certificate. If your site has this certificate, an “HTTPS” will display before the web address in your internet browser. Unsecure sites (HTTP) may have an “unsecure” warning in the viewer’s browsers, and may cause visitors to navigate away from the page:

Secure Site (using SSL encryption)

Unsecure Site (not using SSL encryption)

Benefits of using SSL encryption

Having an SSL certificate for your website makes it more reputable both in the eyes of your visitors and the search engines they rely on to find you. Google gives priority placement to websites with SSL certificates, meaning that sites with SSL will appear above sites without it, leading to more visitors and potential customers. Benefits of using SSL with your site include:

  • Information submitted through the site (customer information, online transactions, etc.) are sent securely, making it drastically more difficult for hackers to steal valuable data.

  • Your site will have better placement with Google resulting in more natural search impressions, accounting for 70% of all site traffic.

  • Visitors will know that you prioritize the security of their information, boosting your organization's reputation.

How do I enable SSL on my site?

The method and degree of complexity in applying for an SSL certificate depends on your Website Host. Some hosts (such as GoDaddy) require a yearly subscription. Those costs can add up.

Luckily, many hosts allow for the use of free, open-source SSL certs such as This can be a cost-effective alternative. Just a word of caution, though: Setting up an SSL cert in this way can be complicated. A qualified webmaster should be able to help you do this.

If you need assistance in verifying your security certification and/or applying for an SSL cert, we’ll be happy to help. Contact us today!