For years, Google has been pushing the internet towards SSL, encryption certified internet websites that cannot be broken into or hacked. While I personally at times look at the cost and consider it the latest money making scan from the very same people that steal all our data, is it really all it promises to be.

Here I will look at some considerations on SSL just so you can decide is it really for you.

Why SSL is important?

This is important because the information you send on the Internet is passed from computer to computer to get to the destination server. Any computer in between you and the server can see your credit card numbers, usernames and passwords, and other sensitive information if it is not encrypted with an SSL certificate.

What does is cost?

Cost Getting a SSL certificate for your business can be expensive because the service providers need to pay for maintenance of the infrastructure and they have to verify your business credentials. All this entails cost. Therefore, it may not be a viable option for small businesses. In my experience unless you are a large web front, it is not worth it.

Will it affect my search results?
Better search engine rankings Google recently added having a SSL certificate as one of the ranking parameters for search results. Having a SSL certificate brings your site a competitive advantage in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs).

Is SSL really secure?

SSL does not provide any security once the data is on the server. It is still necessary to use hashing and server side encryption if you want to protect the data at rest from breaches to the server itself. HTTPS is HTTP sent over an SSL encrypted connection. SSL only secures the connection between client and server.

What does the SSL do?

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral. To be able to create an SSL connection a web server requires an SSL Certificate.

Conclusion:

Unless you are really looking at your website stats or you capture sensitive information, SSL is in my opinion an expensive way to upgrade your website. Costs go from £100 all the way up to several hundred, depending on the level of security required. The top end certificates can be really fiddly to install too and I would not recommend trying unless you have web experience.

WyvernDesign.com for example doesn’t have SSL because I don’t truly believe I will benefit from it. Luckily, SSL is an optional extra you can decide on down the line so you should never feel forced into it when starting up.