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SSL: Not Just for E-commerce, Database or Member-driven Websites Anymore

Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Keeping Up with IAMTEEJAY

The web is experiencing another growth-spurt/growth-pain moment. Late last year, Google, in an attempt to make the web a safer place, introduced an algorithm that seeks out the SSL certificates of websites.  This Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a standardized protocol that allows for a secure and private session between you and the website you are viewing. This Spring Google announced that they will begin favoring sites that use SSL in their search engine.  By default, penalizing sites that don’t.  

For the longest time SSL applied wherever you had to log in to see and share content. Your online banking site and E-bay are great examples where SSL was an early standard. Now, Google is requiring all sites to have this SSL certificate or face a significant drop in ranking at search engines. So, even if you aren't selling anything but just talking about sheep on a hill, and you need to find customers at Google.com, you will need an SSL certificate for your site(s).

For many, the act is as simple as requesting one from your host provider and then a applying it to each of your domains. The more domains you have, the more SSL certificates you will need. Unfortunately, these certificates are not free. The larger your site, the more content you will have to protect and the more costly your SSL key will be with cost ranging from $149 on up.  Keep in mind too, that there are certificates that cover a primary domain and its sub-domains all at once.

For customers using CMS platforms such as SquareSpace, Wix, or Weebly, SSL certificates are offered alongside their hosting plans. Customers with Wordpress sites or simply are not using a third-party, CMS (Content Management System), will have to reach out to their host provider to discuss their options on how to have it installed if it is not already.

Business Catalyst, on the other hand, is just now starting to roll-out its SSL for all sites service this spring - and just in time too. They currently offer their SSL at no additional charge for those using their webCommerce hosting subscription. They have not announced a pricing schedule for the standard SSL for their Basic+ and webMarketing hosting subscriptions.

I will pay close attention to this matter and make sure that all my BC customers do the right thing when the time is right!

Of course we could do nothing, but then your site will be at the mercy of Google and all the modern browsers out there constantly reminding their users that your site is not secure.  All the while, your competition, whose sites do use SSL, will out-rank yours in search results.

Is it highway robbery? It may feel like it, but it's not. It’s hard to accept forced upgrades, changes and learning curves, but this change should benefit legitimate websites and their owners.

There are so many websites out there containing malware routines that literally hold your computer and website hostage.  They can overwhelm your screen with one pop-up after another or even lift personal information that can be used against you during a character assassination.  Adding an SSL certificate is just the next step to improve security across the Internet and its users. SSL is verification that a website is legitimate and shows consumers that the owner has taken steps to ensure the well-being and safety of their users.

We used to just have security at banks and airports, but now we have them at the malls, movie theaters, and  the beach. We even have a guard at our local bowling alley. So, in a way, we are a little behind the curve with Internet security.

Security is just today's standard protocol. Get your own security guard for your website.  If you are not on the Business Catalyst platform and you don't have SSL Certificate for your site, let me help!



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