HTTPS in 2017: Not Just About Security

Monday, 30 January 2017

HTTPS in 2017: Not Just About Security

Posted by Rahul Gupta
In the past, you were in elite company if your website had an SSL certificate. During the late 90’s, early 00’s SSL certificates were typically only used if your site was taking valuable personal financial information such as credit card numbers or bank information.

These days, however, it’s a different story. Now you’ll seldom find websites which don’t proudly display that little green padlock.

There are numerous reasons for this. More often than not SSL certificates are installed just because of the vast amount of benefits that come with them, and due to so much competition, the price to have a certificate installed along with the purchase of the certificate itself is minimal.

In my opinion, the only people who don’t bother with getting setup for HTTPS are simply those that don’t understand it. There are zero negatives, only positives and for less than the price of a cup of coffee you too could be set up with an SSL certificate in just a matter of minutes.
HTTPS in 2017
In this article we’re going to look at the options available for SSL certification currently and also run through some of the benefits that you’ll receive should you wish to install a certificate on your website. It will help you out to overcome those myths about SSL certificates.

The Options

When it comes to SSL certificates, there are typically three options. Each of these options can come with different features or bolt ons depending on who you buy them with, but they’re essentially the same thing.
  • Standard

As the name suggests, this is the standard SSL certificate which you’ll find on most websites. It provides security for a single URL either yourdomain.com or www.yourdomain.com for example and comes with all the essential features you would expect.
  • Wildcard

This is a one size fits all solution that is ideal if you have lots of sub domains. Whereas with a standard certificate you’d need to buy one for each sub domain, with a wildcard solution you wouldn't need to. Any sub domain would be covered.
  • Extended Validation

This is the “Ferrari package” of SSL, it’s the best you can get and provides the most security. If you’ve ever seen a company name appearing next to the padlock in your browser, it’s because they have an extended validation certificate or EVSSL.

You can check here for an example of the various SSL solutions offered by a typical web hosting company.

Google

On of the main reasons for the influx of SSL installs throughout 2016 and 2017 is Google. They publicly came out and said that they’d rank websites higher if their site were served via HTTPS.

It apparently led to lots of people getting certificates installed in the hope of better positions. Whether it is having an effect remains to be seen as pretty much every top 10 results you find now everyone has an SSL certificate!

Trust and Security

It’s important not to forget that the primary goal of the SSL certificate is to provide trust and security. You can be safe & secure in the knowledge that any data you’re sending over your web connection is encrypted and that the company you’re dealing with at the other end cares enough about you and your data to properly secure it.

As you can see, the benefits of having a certificate by far outweigh any negatives. Sure you may have to part with a few dollars to get started, but the benefits you’ll receive, especially if you’re a commercial website will by far outweigh that. Especially if you do receive an increased ranking on Google etc. by doing so.

There are numerous firms out there offering SSL certificates such as GeoTrust or like most people you could just choose to speak with your web hosting company and have them order a certificate on your behalf.

If you order via them, they’ll probably install it for you too as it’s much easier for them to do that than to try and work with the certificate you’ve bought yourself from a third party.

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