SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and was created by Netscape. It’s an encryption technology that creates a secure connection between your web server and your visitors web browser allowing private information to be transmitted without the problems of eavesdropping, data tampering, or message forgery. When installed on a web server, it activates the https protocol and shows the padlock.
SSL is the heart of our secure internet. It protects your sensitive information as it travels across the world and also boosts your SEO ranking. It’s rare that Google reveals its actual ranking factors, but at the end of 2014 representatives announced they would reward sites using SSL certificates with a boost in the search results.
We studied the use of SSL for quit a while now, we left it out due to not especially informative results and for reasons of space. But nowadays most computers can handle thousands of SSL requests simultaneously, the algorithms are very fast. For our e-commerce systems we use SSL certificates for the transactions, but it would be better to provide it for all the sensitive information that is send. It gives you an encrypted tunnel all the way to the end. It should be used anywhere where you send and retrieve information that should not be public. It is a very dangerous assumption to believe that no one is watching the traffic between server and web browser, that’s why we focus on various ways to secure this information.
The benefit of including an SSL certificate is that it also provides the user with information about the website owner, it will vouch for the domain or even provide the business name and geographic location depending on the certificate you choose. So as a visitor you can be confident you’re visiting a trustworthy website and your data is protected.
SSL takes more server resources, because the information needs to be encrypted. But with the proper server or specialized hardware this impact can be minimized. It’s also an extra cost for a website owner. SSL providers need to set up a trusted infrastructure and validate your identity so off course a cost is involved. Depending on the information you want to secure a different SSL certificate is needed and a different cost is charged.
Long story short, use SSL if there is anything you don’t want anyone else to see going across a network that is not entirely in your control. Proper use of SSL certificates will help protect your visitors, help protect your website, and help you to gain your visitors trust and sell more.