There is much debate as to whether an SSL is of use for certain sites or whether it is a factor in how Google ranks your site for SEO. Indeed, Google itself has said they would like to see SSL everywhere but very little weighting is given to SSL compared with say, offering good quality content.
Whats is SSL(Secure Sockets Layer)?
If you look to the left of the URL bar you will notice a small green padlock verifying that data transfer is taking place over a secure socket layer which essentially means that any sensitive data such as credit card information is transferred securely and any third party who happen to be eavesdropping at that particular time would not be able to intercept your data as it would be encrypted and this process safeguards millions over peoples data all over the world every day.
Is it necessary?
Is your site an e-commerce site? If you are selling products on your site and are processing payments via a third party payment gateway provider then there is no doubt you should get an ssl certificate for your site.
Do you have a sign in section on your site? If you have a section on your site where users are required to sign in and it contains some personal information, this could potentially be quite sensitive so you may want to consider an SSL certificate for this type of website. For example if you have a signup form where you are entering your own important information then if you were to enter this information in a public space such as a coffee shop, an unscrupulous individual could be listening in and would have access to your important details.
Is your site a blog? If you have a fairly simple site where no data is being sent by the user then you may not need an SSL certificate. Take the Mail Online, possibly the most popular newspaper site in the world with over 200m unique visitors and month and guess what? No SSL certificate!
How can I ensure my site is using SSL?
Normally you can speak to your web hosting company who will be able to provide you with a certificate and in many cases can install it and configure the server for you.
If you have a little more experience with configuring a server and would like to do it yourself you will be aware that getting it all set up is not overly complicated.
Getting an SSL certificate may or may not be necessary depending on the type of website you are offering. It is also fairly difficult to ascertain whether or not it is likely to give you any kind of boost in terms of SEO. But at the very least having that green padlock icon in the user’s browser is another tick in the box and comes across as being more professional. SSL certificates start at just around £7 so for that price is it not just worth trying it anyway?