Hyde Park, Kingston, Woodstock, Poughkeepsie, Newburgh, website and mobile design.

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In this blog we cover general internet news, trends, and how-to's of interest to our clients.

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SSL or Not SSL. Does your Website need to run Securely?
January 1, 2019

OK, first, what even is SSL? Communications from a customer's web browser to your website can be encrypted (SSL) or not encrypted (non-SSL). Don't worry about what SSL means, it doesn't matter. But if you see a little lock in your browser's address bar, next to the website URL, then the site is running under SSL. Every e-commerce site, where you might login, or may enter your credit card number, already runs under SSL. SSL encryption means that the credit card number you enter in your browser cannot be seen by anyone hacking that communication as it travels to the server running the website.

So, SSL is a good thing, if your website asks users to type in sensitive or personal information. But the majority of the sites my customers have do not do that. So is SSL needed?

Well... as of July 2018 Google's Chrome browser started marking any non-SSL sites as "not secure".

And all the other browsers have followed suit, though more subtely indicating that non-SSL sites are not as secure as SSL sites.

Your web browser probably displays a little indicator like this one shown next to my own website ... 

The little "i" in a circle means the site is not secure, and clicking on that idicator will tell the user that.

Also, Google has said that SSL websites will be looked upon more favorably in search results. So an SSL website may have a slight edge in a Google search over a website that is non-SSL.

So what's the bottom line?

  • If your website asks users to login or enter any sensitive information on forms, it's probably a good idea to run SSL.
  • If you are trying to get the very highest Google search ranking possible, it's probably a good idea to run SSL.

Contact me and I can change your site to run SSL. I charge $35 per year for this service.