Should you get SSL for your website? Top 5 Reasons to go HTTPS, and Top 5 Drawbacks

Top 5 reasons to purchase SSL for your website, in David Letterman style, without the jokes lol:

ssl-https

5) Increased Google Ranking
Earlier we wrote about how adding SSL may give you a bump up in your Google search engine ranking, according to Google’s August 2014 new ranking algorithm announcement .  In summary, last year Google said that SSL added to secure a website would be a very slight factor in determining site ranking, way behind good content, but that they will consider increasing its impact as they give webmasters the chance to go secure.  So it may or may not be push enough for you to make the change to HTTPS for your website.

4) More SEO Info For Marketing Research
You get more referrer data when your website is HTTPS secure.  When traffic passes from a secure HTTPS website to a non-secure HTTP website, the referral data gets stripped away.  HTTP to HTTP you keep the data.  HTTPS to HTTPS you also keep the data.  This referral data includes the url where your website visitor came from, and any keywords they entered in the search engine.

Now, if the user comes to your website from a search engine with practices like Google, this isn’t so true.  Google does a tricky redirect after a user clicks on a site search result, so even though Google is an HTTPS site, it doesn’t matter whether your website is HTTPS or not, you can still receive the referral data – but just what Google chooses to release to you.  Currently, if the web surfer is logged into their Google account, their search terms are not released to you, just that they were directed to your website via a Google search.  Of course, Google does release keywords to their Adwords customers that pay for ads on their chosen keywords/keyphrases.

3) Security.  Privacy.  
Perhaps that should be repeated a few times.  Really that’s the purpose of SSL to get the HTTPS website.  Data that is transferred from your web server to the user’s internet browser, and vice versa, is encrypted and secure.

Security.  Security.  Security.

When is security really important?  Really if you are accepting credit cards directly on your website, without a payment gateway system, like PayPal for example, you must have SSL installed on your server, and serve your HTTPS website.

But is it just about credit cards?  No.

Privacy.  Privacy.  Privacy.

You don’t want third parties to be able to intercept the transfer of data on your website in any case.  For example, when a user enters in their login username/password – you don’t want that intercepted.  When they send you a contact form, they are intending to send you the contact form, not a hacker.  So you want to keep it secure.  Security is not just for interactive processes however.  It also keeps your website secure as a whole, protecting more against hacking.  Of course you still need to make sure your website builder, like UltimateWB, is utilizing the most accepted coding technologies and methods, to avoid sql code injections, for example.

2) Customer Trust.  Good PR.
If you get SSL, when customers go on your website, they will most likely notice the green colored padlock icon in their internet browser URL address bar, with the HTTPS at the beginning of your domain name.  Green meaning go.  Safe.  That you care about your customers and their security, and your website/business, enough to pay the extra fees for the SSL, means something.  It’s like a clean restaurant with an A rating in the window.  Customer trust is very important, as is security.

1) Your Competition Has It.
If your competition has an HTTPS website, it’s even worse if you don’t.  Say the web surfer is switching back and forth between your website and their website, trying to decide who to go with.  You having the HTTPS is one point in your favor, or at least a tie.  Plus, Google says you should have it. :-)


Now reasons why you won’t want to add SSL to your website, and convince yourself to opt for the HTTP vs HTTPS?  Be sure to read the explanations beneath the bold headers, for the full view!

1) Cssl-http-or-httpsost.
It is added cost to purchase and install a signed SSL Certificate to your server.  After reading the top 5 reasons to buy SSL for your site, decide if it’s worth it to you.

2) Slower Webpage Loading Due to Encryption.
It is an extra process to encrypt data transfer.  Extra process means extra time.  But whether it means too much time, or even noticeable extra time, depends on your server and the coding/software your website uses, as well as your website content.  So really, it does not have to be a factor to dissuade you from securing your website.

3) You already have an HTTP website, and are worried making the switch to HTTPS will affect your SEO negatively and make you lose website traffic or social media status.
There is a right way to do the switch.  And actually a not so good idea way to do it.  You want to add redirect coding to your website .htaccess file to redirect users automatically to your https website as the default.  You want your website to be served securely all the time, and also in this way you don’t lose any traffic from old links.  This also transfers over your rankings/seo.  We add this .htaccess coding to your website account when purchasing the SSL add-on for your UltimateWB web hosting.

Social Media counts – like Facebook Like counts, Google+1 counts – depend on your website URL.  The way they have it set up, it makes a difference whether you are using HTTPS or HTTP – those are 2 different URLs with 2 different counts in their world.  So, unfortuntely, switching your website from HTTP to HTTPS will start your counts off from 0.  A good reason to start with SSL.

4) You don’t have an interactive website.  It’s just a plain static website.
Actually, even then your website will benefit from being secure.  HTTPS verifies that the website is the one the server is supposed to be talking to.  It prevents tampering by 3rd parties executing man-in-the-middle attacks.  So your website will be more secure for your visitors.  And more private.  HTTPS encrypts all communication, including URLS, browsing history, and referrer data, besides sensitive credit card info, passwords, and contact form submission.

5) Added Work.
How much added work will this be?  It really depends.

If your website was created with UltimateWB software, the change can be quick and easy.  It involves updating a few database table fields to update your new URL – just like you would if you changed your domain name.  If you have specified your URLs on your website relatively, without the “http://…” part throughout your website, that is it for the domain name change modifications.  On UltimateWB software, by default the built-in apps, Page Manager/Content Management System (CMS) update your website urls you enter in the Page Content Editor box to the relative form.  Easy Peasy there!  If you use WordPress for your blog, you will need to update any of your strictly defined website urls, the “http://…” type.

And then there is the .htaccess file coding update to redirect users from your http site to your https site, to not lose traffic.  That is actually just 2 lines of code that you need to add.  We have already included it in the UltimateWB software .htaccess file, you just need to uncomment it by removing the front “#”, and enter in your domain name where specified.  Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.

And of course, you can’t forget the first thing that needs to be done – the SSL purchase and installation.  But most web hosting companies, like UltimateWB, do the SSL install for you, included in the cost.

So what have you decided? SSL for HTTPS, or just HTTP?

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One Response to Should you get SSL for your website? Top 5 Reasons to go HTTPS, and Top 5 Drawbacks

  1. Pingback: When do you need a secured server, i.e. SSL certificate for your website? | Ultimate Web Builder Blog

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