It is essential for your website’s successful SEO optimization to know what is the SSL certificate and why it is so important.
First of all, SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer.
This very important feature assures you that YOU ARE SAFE to browse the webpage you entered in the search engine and that your personal data is secure and encrypted.
Have you ever browsed the internet and opened some websites and the “warning” page popped up saying that the webpage is NOT secure and recommendable for visiting?
This usually happens because that webpage is not covered with the SSL certificate. This means that data and your personal information you might provide to this website (in case you decided to ignore this message) is not secure and not encrypted. Sometimes, you will not be able to enter the page at all.
What does this security certificate do and why you have to install it on your website?
- It encrypts the information sent to the server. The browser will access the digital certificate and establish a secure connection whenever an internet user sends any confidential information.
- It proves a domain ownership
- Secures your visitor’s personal information and data
- Boosts your website’s Google ranking
How do you know that the website has installed SSL?
- You will see the lock next to the URL typed in the browser
- The website’s URL starts with HTTPS. The letter S at the end of the HTTP stands for SECURE
Where you can find the SSL certificate and how to turn it on?
Every provider offers SSL certificates. This is something that I consider as a mandatory feature to have in order to achieve successful SEO optimization.
When you visit your hosting account, for example, SiteGround, you will see that there is an option to turn ON the SSL certificate feature. You just have to turn it on. This automatically installs the certificate on your website.
Now what you have to do is to start the plugin on your WordPress website which supports the SSL certificate and you are all set.
The plugin recommended to use for this is Really Simple SSL. You just need to download it and activate the SSL with one click on the activation button.
You will see that your URL changed from Http to HttpS.
IMPORTANT steps before the SSL activation:
- Back up your website
- In case you can’t find your SSL certificate in your hosting account, contact customer support, they will be more than happy to help you
- Some providers charge an annual fee for SSL. I strongly recommend the Wealthy Affiliate as they provide free certification, customer support, and even easier installation of the SSL certificate. And if you are just starting your WordPress blog, you will find amazingly detailed step-by-step training to successfully build and run your business.
How to verify that your SSL certificate is working properly?
You can verify this in several ways. First, check within your WordPress if the plugin is enabled.
When you click on the little lock next to your URL the window with all the information about your certificate will pop up and it will be written CONNECTION IS SECURE. You can find more details within this window:
An SSL certificate contains the following information:
- The certificate holder’s and issuer’s names
- The certificate serial number, issue, and expiration date
- A copy of the certificate holder’s public key
You can find this information on every website you browse. It’s public.
Does the SSL have an expiration date?
The SSL certificate does have an expiration date, but this is renewed automatically when is provided for free. If your hosting provider charges for the Security certificate, then, you will just have to renew it manually with the payment.
So let’s recap:
SSL certificate is the NUMBER ONE tool you are recommended to have installed on your website in order to gain Google trust and higher rankings, therefore better SEO optimization of your website which of course brings more audience and ultimately a SUCCESS to your business!
What else is important to know?
Since a few years ago, Google made this feature pretty much mandatory. The SSL certificate assures your website is safe for your visitors and Google appreciates that.
This leads to trust as SAFETY is your number one priority as well right? It’s the same for your visitors. Since we are talking business here, you want to make sure that people will trust your website when entering their personal information especially when your business is selling products.
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