August 17, 2018

Does my WordPress website need an SSL Certificate?

I’m going to assume you’ve found this article because you’ve heard of SSL Certificates. But, you’re not sure if your  website needs one. Don’t worry though, you’re among many looking for the same answer. Often when we speak with new Brisbane web design clients, they have no idea what an SSL is or why they need it for their website. That’s why we’ve decided the write this article and answer this age old question: does my WordPress website need an SSL Certificate?

What is an SSL Certificate?

An SSL Certificate essentially helps encrypt data that users input into your website. Whether it’s their username and password, when they use your contact form, or when they purchase items with a credit card. The SSL Certificate allows that data to be securely transferred from their browser to your website’s server, stopping a third-party from collecting that information.

What does Google think off SSL Certificates?

In the lead up to October 2017, Google warned all websites that allow users to input any kind of text that they must have an SSL Certificate installed or they’ll be punished. Published how? Well, Google explained that if you don’t have one installed on your website then you could face negative SEO results. You’ll also notice that you have a ‘Not Secure’ warning against your URL in Goolge Chrome. This tells users that their data isn’t safe in your website and this could quickly reduce leads and sales.

That means that HAVING an SSL Certificate could potentially boost your SEO and search rankings over your competitors who don’t have one installed. It also means that your website looks far more trustworthy with a green ‘Secure’ noticed against your URL.

Deeperlook.com.au URL is secured with an SSL Certificate

Okay, my WordPress Website doesn’t have an SSL Certificate, what can I do?

That’s a great question! And, I’m glad you’ve realised that YES you should have an SSL Certificate installed on your website.

Generally, if you contact your web hosting provider, they should point you to an SSL Certificate you can purchase from them. In most cases, they’ll install it for you and that should be it. However, if they do install one for you but your URL still says http:// and not https:// then you should install this plugin: Really Simple SSL.

  1. Once installed and activated the plugin.
  2. You’ll get a notification on your Plugins Page syaing, Almost ready to migrate to SSL!
  3. Follow the instructions and select the blue Go ahead, activate SSL! button.
  4. Your website should refresh and now be SSL certified.
  5. Sometimes you might be logged out but simply log back in and everything will be finished for you.

We’ve included a quick Really Simple SSL Plugin installation video below for you if you’re having trouble.

So I have to pay for an SSL Certificate?

Yep, you sure do. On average, a basic SSL Certificate should cost you about $50 for a year. However, you can get a free SSL if you redirect your website through Cloudflare. To do this, you’ll most likely need the assistance of your web developer or web host. Learn more about Cloudflare’s free SSL Certificate here.

I’m still confused, do I need one or not?

Yes, yes, yes! Your WordPress website should most certainly have an SSL Certificate installed. It doesn’t matter how many visitors you get a month or what kind of data goes through your site, we certainly suggest having one. Remember, your website is a representation of your business. If users see a ‘Secured’ message, they’ll be far more likely to use your business over a competitor that has a ‘Not Secure’ warning. Google also loves to provide it’s users with healthy websites, and nothing says healthy like an SSL Certificate. So, if Google loves SSLs, then having one will tell Google to love your website.

If you’re having some trouble buying, installing or activating your SSL Certificate onto your Brisbane WordPress website, then please get in contact with us. It’s usually a very quick job for an experienced Brisbane web design agency like DeeperLook, so we’ll have you up and running in no time. You can get in touch with our friendly team using our contact page or our grab a web design quote page.

Well that’s about it from us this week. We hope we’ve explained why it’s important to have an SSL Certificate. And, how you can fix your website if you don’t already have one.