With more and more companies offering online services and people availing these services through online payments, there is an urgent need to make these transactions safe and secure.
Furthermore, it is not just the online payments you have to worry about; it is the online backlogging and other online interactions that take place on your business website. Once your website goes live, you start getting a number of hits and traffic on your website. We all know how vulnerable such online websites are to outside attacks and cybercrime. You do not want to lose your valuable data from your website to such a crime.
This is where an SSL certificate comes into play. If you have one for your website, your website gets secure in a huge way and further improves its credibility. When your customers get to know about your website having the SSL certificate, they indulge in online transactions with the knowledge of their information being secure. This is exactly what you want to improve your business.
What are SSL certificates?
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is one of the most important components of making a business website secure, helping you gain a trustworthy image.
You might have seen the http or https at the start of a URL. The S in https stands for secure and to get that S, you need a SSL certificate. It lets your website have a secure connection.
Why do I need SSL certificate?
As a businessman who provides services through an online medium, it is a must that you provide your customers with a secure platform to operate. Your customer needs to feel safe when they put in their bank and card details on your website to avail these services.
To get such a secure platform, the best option is to get an SSL certificate, which connects your website to the net through a cryptographic key, keeping the connection secure and tamper-proof.
Benefits of an SSL certificate
The benefits of an SSL certificate are aplenty. We have listed some of the major benefits down here:
- By having https pages, you gain a better Google ranking, which is imperative in making your website better than others in the market
- Create a safer and better experience for your consumers
- Improve the trust of your customers and increase conversions
- Protect all the data available on your website, be it yours or the customers’
- Encrypt both your connections; server-server and browser to server
- Improve the security of your apps available on mobiles and cloud in general
Types of SSL certificates
You can get an SSL certificate with ease through a process that involves a few background checks or get through a source that uses extensive research and thorough processes.
The increased number of vetting is what determines the price of an SSL certificate. Depending on the background checks involved and the benefits you get, there are 6 different types of SSL certificates that you can get.
- Extended Validation Certificate
- Organisational Validated Certificate
- Domain Validated Certificate
- Wildcard SSL certificate
- Unified Communications certificate
- Multi-Domain SSL certificate
How to Install an SSL certificate
To set up https on your website, you need to follow the following steps:
Step 1 – Have a dedicated IP address
It is very important that you host with a dedicated IP address to have the maximum security. More often than not, when you avail the hosting services from a local host, you have to share your IP address with other business websites, which can be troublesome. With a dedicated IP address, you can ensure that the traffic going to that address comes just to your website.
Step 2 – Buy an SSL certificate
If you did not get an SSL certificate when you purchased your hosting services, you need to buy one separately. You can buy it from any of the various providers, given they are credible enough to provide such services. Since each certificate is checked by “Certificate Authorities”, each certificate has a cost to it, which can be based on a yearly basis or for more than that.
Step 3 – Activate the certificate
To activate the certificate, you will require 1-2 days. For this, you need the CSR key that you can generate on your hosting page. Go to the control panel and click on “Generate an SSL certificate and Signing Request” and then fill up the details. “Host to make cert for” can be your domain name. Once you fill up the details, you will get a long list of words and symbols that looks like a cod. This is the CSR key which you will put up in the fields that ask for it. Put your official email ID in the approver email box to get the final part of the certificate. You get the file in a.crt file.
Step 4 – Install the certificate
You just have to paste the SSL certificate in the control panel of your web host. Once you hit the ‘Submit’ button, your business website will be SSL certified. Now, you may search for your website using https at the start and see whether you have completed the process.
Step 5 – Update your site according to the https
Once your website is https approved, you need to make sure that it is safe for your consumers as well. Create https addresses for pages that involve online transactions and sensitive data of your customers. You need not create https addresses for all your pages, as it can hit the speed of your website.
Now that you have an idea about why you need an SSL certificate and the steps involved in installing one, you surely must be able to do so without any guidance.
However, if you feel like you are not getting a hang of it, you can always look for a web host that provides such services in the complete package. You need to give it a day or two to get your site fully functional because of the number of background checks involved to determine the authenticity of the website.
Since it is a paid service, you must always look for a value for money SSL certificate. If your budget allows, make sure that you buy the services for multiple years during the initial payment itself to benefit you in the long run.
Also read: Tips to Secure Your E-commerce Website