Do I need SSL on my website?

Yes. And now that the answer is out of the way, lets talk about WHY you need SSL on your website.

What is SSL and why do I need it on my website?

SSL is a technology that creates a secure layer between your browser and a web server.  This layer is created by creating (with the server) encryption that wraps up communication between the two points – ensuring that anyone who might ‘catch’ a piece of the data between the two cannot decrypt it and find out what you’re typing.  Consider logging into your online banking for example.  Without SSL – the act of typing your account number and password into a form and hitting submit – would send that information over the network connection to the bank.  If someone ON the network (wifi or otherwise) was listening, they would see your account number and password on the way to the bank.  Your information – is now public.

SSL ensure that from the time you connect to a webserver, all communications between the two points is secured.


I don’t ask for banking information or credit cards. Do I need SSL?

SSL has become an inexpensive layer of security, and using it is a means of saying “I care about your security and privacy” to users.  This is ‘optically’ important, particularly moving into 2018, where several major browsers are – and will more loudly be – telling users that their connection to you is ‘Insecure’.  From a marketing perspective – your hand is being forced.  From a ‘benefits’ perspective however, there are other reasons to support SSL on your site.


Does SSL impact my ranking on Google?

Short answer, Yes.  Since 2016 Google has ‘preferred’ sites that support SSL.  That’s not to say that they penalize site that don’t use SSL, only that your ‘trust’ metric will be higher with it enabled.  Moving into 2018, it is entirely possible that sites without SSL may suffer a negative ranking impact – but only time and the Google Algorithm will tell.


Websites with benefits?

Indeed there are also side benefits to converting your site to support SSL.  Aside from the key customer security and Google search rank value, SSL is one of the few ways to prevent your web-use from being intercepted on a compromised network.

Wifi Networks are notorious for their vulnerabilities – and with the recent ‘KRACK’ exploit (learn about it here, and here…) even a network that ‘requires’ a ‘password’ can be exposed, which provides access to view your data over the connection.  SSL site use encrypts your traffic, rendering the data… inaccessible – at least for now.


So there you have it.  You need SSL on your site.  You just do.  If you care about your business, your customers, your site, or your visitors, it’s not really an option.  It’s just the right thing to do.