What do reddit.com, google.com and huffingtonpost.com all have in common? They are secured with SSL.
What is SSL?
SSL is an abbreviation of “Secure Socket Layer”. A Secure Socket Layer is a protocol that encrypts communication information in a network. This means that, when you visit a website secured with SSL, an encrypted connection is established between your browser and the server where the website is hosted on. SSL can also be used to secure email, instant messaging, and other types of communication.
If you want to set up SSL for your roofing website, you first have to acquire what is called an “SSL certificate”, which gets issued by trusted certificate authorities, such as Comodo, IdenTrust and Symantec. Here trusted means that web browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, but also operating systems like Windows rely on these authorities to issue certificates that are legitimate.
By the way, you can check if a website uses an encrypted connection by looking for a green lock symbol that gets displayed next to your browser’s address bar. In addition to that, the URL of the site must start with https rather than http.
Why does your roofing website need an SSL certificate?
Encrypted connections are primarily used to protect all kinds of sensitive data – think credit card information and user account passwords – from getting stolen by cybercriminals. However, there’s more to them than just that.
Here are five more reasons for why you need to add a Secure Sockets Layer to your roofing website:
With the help of a public key, the identity of the communicating parties in a secured connection can be authenticated. In other words, your website visitors can make sure that they are dealing with a site that is truly yours and not some disguised, third-party property
All information that is sent and received goes through an integrity check with the help of an authentication code. This code prevents that data is altered or lost during transmission.
Yes, Google considers SSL a positive ranking signal and favors encrypted websites over non-encrypted ones. Of course, this doesn’t mean that, as soon as you make the switch, you will automatically outrank all of your competitors that haven’t implemented SSL, but it’s definitely one more step in the right direction – and an easy one, I would think.
An SSL certificate will add trust to your site. Even if you don’t run an eCommerce store and don’t collect personal information directly on your website, your prospective clients will appreciate that you take data security seriously and that you do everything you can to protect their identities.
What’s more, since October last year, Google Chrome shows a note stating that a website is “Not secure“, if it serves content on http. So even if you think that SSL will not directly benefit your business, the absence of it is likely going to do harm.
Higher Conversion Rates
Conversions on a roofing company website? Absolutely! It’s also a conversion, when a site visitor subscribes to your email newsletter, fills out a contact form or hops on the phone to give you a call and asks for a cost estimate.
What you have to know is that according to a study conducted by GlobalSign, “75% of users are aware of security risks when visiting a website” and “77% are concerned about their data being intercepted or misused online“. The best way of handling this is to improve security.
SSL Myths Debunked
There is a lot of misinformation about SSL certificates out there, for example that they will protect your site against malware and viruses, which is not true. Both can infect your website in many different ways.
Other misconceptions are:
- Added SSL will slow down your site. Again, no true. It will only slow down your website, if you didn’t configure it properly in the first place. The bandwidth that SSL consumes is not even worth mentioning.
- You only need to secure pages that collect sensitive information. You need to secure every single page on your website to rule out a security breach.
- SSL certificates don’t work for subdomains. Yes, they do. You might want to look into Wildcard certificates.
- An SSL certificate will solve all your security issues. Unfortunately, it won’t. It only protects data while it is being transmitting between the communicating parties. Once the data is stored on your server, it can potentially get stolen or lost.
- It’s too complicated to set up. No, it isn’t. Also, many hosts offer a service to do the configuration for you. As a general rule: The earlier you implement SSL on your site, the easier it is to set up everything correctly.
There are certificates that only costs you a couple of bucks per year, which should be sufficient for your roofing business website. More expensive ones that provide a higher security level can cost a couple of hundred up to more than a thousand dollars on an annual basis.
Get Your Roofing Site Secured with an SSL Certificate Now!
SSL is not only affordable, it’s also easy to set up and adds an additional layer of security to your website. On top of that, it helps to build trust with your site visitors and brings you a small SEO advantage. To easiest way to get your site secured is to contact your web host and ask them about their SSL plans. Most of us won’t need anything fancy and the cheapest will usually do. Having your web-host handle this makes life easier as there are setup steps that can become complicated when you’re working between different parties.
If your web-host can’t help, consider buying a certificate from a third party like instantSSL or ssls.com. What may be even easier is moving to a web-host that includes the certificate and install absolutely free, like WPXHosting.