Before entering their personal details into your website, your visitors are going to want to be sure that they can trust you with their details and that you are going to be able to offer a sufficient level of security to keep their details safe. SSL certificates are one way of providing a high level of security because they help to ensure that all data transferred between your website and client computers is encrypted, meaning that if hackers were to attempt to eavesdrop on a connection then the any data that they did gather would be useless to them. Any web hosting service will allow you to use an SSL certificate with your website, enabling you to create the secure environment that will suit your needs; even though you are going to need to purchase an additional dedicated IP address for use with your shared web hosting plan if you wish to use an SSL certificate, the additional cost is worth it and with a VPS server or a dedicated server you can use your existing dedicated IP addresses as you wish. SSL certificates are available at different price points depending on the strength of the encryption provided and the level of trust that there is in the organization providing the certificate signing; there are many value certificates that are offered by a large number of web hosting providers, but if you are running a busy website then you should consider choosing a stronger certificate that is signed by a more well-known company.
Why should I use an SSL certificate with my website?
There are many benefits to using an SSL certificate with your website and when they are so cheap to setup and configure for use with your web hosting account, there aren’t many reasons that you shouldn’t get one. Some of the benefits available include:
- Customer trust – if you are going to be selling goods or services through your website then an SSL certificate is one way in which you will be able to obtain your customer’s trust because you will need this before they enter their personal details into your website – an SSL certificate will be visible in the web browser of any client computer that visits your website as it will be validated by the browser itself and then as long as your certificate is valid, this should be shown by the client’s browser – you may also wish to place a security seal on your website that shows that you are using an SSL certificate as part of your security measures – once customers have trust in your website, they will be more willing to purchase goods and services from you and to recommend your website to others
- Extra layer of security – SSL certificates will provide an additional level of security for your web hosting environment on top of any server-side security measures that may already be in place – the benefit of using an SSL certificate is that it helps to guarantee the security of data transferred between your visitor’s computers and your website, something that isn’t always possible when using standard security techniques such as firewalls and anti-virus applications – furthermore, the purpose of your website will allow you to select the strength of the SSL certificate that you go for
- Cheap to implement – depending on the strength of the certificate that you purchase, SSL certificates are fairly cheap and simple to implement and can also be used on a majority of web hosting accounts – the weakest certificates available aren’t recommended for the biggest businesses, but ca still be used to provide a good level of security for those who are on a tight budget – if you are using a VPS server or a dedicated server then it is going to be easy to setup your SSL certificate, but as a shared web hosting customer additional efforts will be required because you will need to contact your web hosting company to purchase a dedicated IP address for your website as well as for assistance with the installation process.
Are there any disadvantages to using SSL certificates?
There are a couple of disadvantages to using SSL certificates and if you don’t strictly require an SSL certificate then you may not wish to purchase one. A couple of the disadvantages include:
- Cost – in order to receive a strong SSL certificate that can provide a good level of encryption for the data that it is meant to be protecting, you are going to need to pay a good amount of money – furthermore, some certificate signing authorities aren’t recognized by all web browsers meaning that you will have to pay an additional premium to be sure that your SSL certificate will be valid with all web browsers and that it won’t throw up any issues for anyone who tries to access the secure areas of your website
- Certificate expiration – it is important to note that all SSL certificates expire eventually and the longer the expiration date you purchase for your certificate, the more expensive your SSL certificate is going to be – the shortest period that you can purchase an SSL certificate for is one year, but it is recommended that you purchase them for a long period of time as otherwise once the certificate that you are using has expired, you will have to purchase a new one and go through the time consuming installation process once again.
In conclusion, an SSL web hosting service will allow you to provide your website and visitors with a good level of security through the encryption of the data that will be provided. Even if you are a beginner then an SSL certificate represents an affordable option and will provide you with an improve security situation, just at a lower level; bigger businesses may wish to consider more expensive SSL certificates because they usually provide a stronger level of encryption. Furthermore, whatever the form of web hosting that you are using, you should be able to use an SSL certificate with your website.