A Windows web hosting service or Linux web hosting service will be able to provide you with the facility to use an SSL certificate that can then be used to ensure that all data transferred between your website and your visitor’s computers is secure. SSL stands for ‘secure socket layer’ and adds an additional layer of security to your website as it allows you to ensure that all of the data transferred between the server that your website is hosted on and your visitor’s computers is encrypted, this means that if any hackers or malicious attackers try to eavesdrop on the information as it is being transferred, they won’t be able to do anything with it as it will be unreadable. It is important to take into consideration that you will need a dedicated IP address if you wish to use an SSL certificate,; this will need to be purchased as an additional extra with a shared web hosting service but will be provided for free with a VPS server or dedicated server.
What are the advantages of using SSL web hosting?
Using an SSL certificate with your web hosting package and website will provide you with many advantages in terms of security as it will allow you to expand the possibilities of what you are able to use your website for. Such advantages may include:
- Secure web hosting – although an SSL certificate isn’t directly related to the security of the server that your website is hosted on, it will still aid you in developing a secure web hosting environment as it means that you can be sure that the data transferred out of your website is encrypted – as long as your web hosting package will provide you with a dedicated IP address then you will be able to use an SSL certificate with your website
- Visitor confidence – most SSL certificate issuers will provide you with a ‘seal’ that you can display on your website, and on top of this most web browsers will make something of the fact that your website is using an SSL certificate – both of these factors will increase the confidence that your visitor’s have in your website meaning that if your website is an online shop or you are using it to collect personal information then your visitors are more likely to input confidential information such as their name and address or even their credit card information
- Varying costs – the cost of setting up your website to use an SSL certificate can vary depending on several different factors including the strength of the certificate that you are using – this can be beneficial in most cases since it means that you will be able to setup your website to use an SSL certificate for a relatively low amount of money if you choose to go for one of the less stronger SSL certificates – however, if you are a larger business then this could cost you more as it will mean you are going to need a stronger SSL certificate if you are going to be handling particularly sensitive information.
An SSL certificate will be able to provide you with a more secure web hosting environment but will also allow you to show to your visitors that you take the security of your website seriously and that you care about the safety of the data that they’re entering into your website.
What are the disadvantages of using SSL web hosting?
There can also be disadvantages to using an SSL certificate that you should be aware of if you wish to create a reliable and usable secure web hosting environment. The disadvantages that you could face may include:
- Extra costs – as well as the cost of the SSL certificate that you are going to be using, you will also need to consider the cost of a dedicated IP address to you as well as the administration costs that may be involved with the installation of an SSL certificate – some web hosting providers will charge you for the installation of a dedicated SSL certificate although if you buy one directly from them then this cost may be waived, but nearly every web hosting company around will charge you a small monthly fee in order to have a dedicated IP address fixed to your web hosting account
- Need for dedicated IP address – the need for a dedicated IP address in order to be able to use an SSL certificate can be off-putting for some since it is an added cost and generally means that you have to update your DNS servers before you can make use of the SSL certificate thus increasing the deployment time – this can also add to the cost of deployment an SSL certificate.
In conclusion, SSL web hosting can benefit both you and your visitors since a secure web hosting environment will provide you with peace of mind whilst the use of an SSL certificate will provide your visitors with a higher sense of security and trust with you and your website.