Help Guides

SSL certificates & HTTPS - Doing more than just protecting your data

Find out why your website should be using HTTPS, what the benefits are and why you'll be missing out if your website isn't using it.

SSL certificates & HTTPS - Doing more than just protecting your data

A recent conversation with one of our clients turned, as it often does, towards the security of their website. They asked “What’s the point of getting an SSL certificate?” closely followed by “Do I really need one?

The short answers are that you add a layer of protection for people using your website, encrypting the data sent between them and your website, and yes, you definitely do need one.

Let’s start with a brief summary of why using HTTPS is a must:

  • Data being sent from users to your website is protected. Your customers can trust your website to protect their personal and payment information. This builds trust in your brand!

  • You avoid your website being tagged by Google as ‘Not Secure’, a potential red flag for users, and something that will push customers towards more secure & trustworthy alternatives.

  • Websites using HTTPS load faster, improving user experience and your rankings.

  • When comparing two equal websites, Google will rank the one with HTTPS above one without.

Already convinced? Great! Get in touch and we can discuss your options. Still looking for more information on why all of these things are important, and the impact they can have on your website? Then keep reading!

What is HTTPS?

Most people know someone who has been affected by some form of data breach, whether they’ve been personally targeted by a ‘hacker’ or had their information lost by a bank. It’s a horrible feeling, and can often have far reaching consequences.

HTTPS is a way to encrypt information sent between a browser and web server. It protects your website’s users from “man-in-the-middle” attacks, where information being sent to the website is stolen, whether that’s personal information or credit card details.

Why do I need it now?

Protecting your customers has never been a bad thing, but it wasn’t always seen as necessary for all types of websites, and was often restricted to just e-commerce sites.

That’s no longer the case.

The use and protection of our personal data is a hot topic and something people care about now more than ever….and Google has taken note of that.

As of July 2018, Google will be updating chrome to mark any website as insecure if it isn’t using HTTPS. Here’s how it looks:

Not exactly inviting, and for many users it’s more than enough to make them head straight for that back button faster than you can say ‘my bounce rate just shot up 50%!

But as ever, the proof is in the pudding, and in this case the pudding is statistics:

  • 80% of the top 100,000 websites world wide are using HTTPS.

  • 84% of users will abandon a purchase if they know data is being sent over an unsecure connection.

  • 40% of websites ranked on the first page of Google use HTTPS.

Are there any other benefits?

We're glad you asked. If protecting your customers data, building trust AND avoiding being named and shamed by Google isn’t enough…you’re in luck! There are some other big benefits to adopting HTTPS for your website.

An SSL certificate can improve your rankings

Google has already confirmed that it uses HTTPS as a ‘tie-breaker’ when all other ranking signals are equal between two websites. Numerous studies have shown a marked increase in website rankings following the change to HTTPS.

Websites with HTTPS load faster

Google has labelled speed as one of its major ranking factors, and HTTPS results in faster load times for your website. This one’s an easy win, especially following Google’s Mobile First update.

So what’s the takeaway?

If you don’t have an SSL certificate, and your website is still running on http, you are going to fall behind your competitors who have already benefited from using it.

Their website will rank better, load faster, protect their customers data and convert traffic into sales more often. It’s as simple as that!

We offer a basic SSL deal as part of our hosting package at just £20 per month! For more information fill out our contact form.

Adam Draper

Adam Draper

Head of Marketing