It’s indisputable: 2017 is the year of the more secure web.

If you’ve ever been on online, there’s no doubt that you’ve seen a green padlock next to the website’s address with the prefix ‘https://’ on the top of your browser, in fact, if you look right now, you’ll see one on this very website. This is an SSL certificate, and it’s the internet’s must-have feature for new and existing websites.

SSL Certificate Graphic

So, what is an SSL certificate?

SSL is an acronym for ‘Secure Sockets Layer’, and is the standard technology used for securely establishing an encrypted connection between computer networks – in the case of websites, it ensures that any data transferred between web server and web browser remains private.

The certificate itself ties the ownership details of a web server to encrypted keys – the same keys which are used to activate a secure connection within the web browser and allows for the HTTPS and padlock to be displayed.

Why is SSL Important?

In a nutshell, SSL ensures that any data you send from your computer to a website is private and secure. This could be anything from your Instagram password when you log in, to your credit card and billing details when you buy anything online.

Way back in 2014, Google announced that if your website was secured with HTTPS, then it would receive a boost in search result rankings. If you’re familiar with Google and their ranking algorithm, you’d know that they’re very secretive about it – so for them to officially announce this means that Google is going all-in on security.

In September 2016, Google posted that Chrome 56 would begin displaying the security status of a connection in the address bar on pages that include a password and/or credit card field:

google-chrome-56-mark-insecure-address

Google Chrome’s insecure warning from Chrome 56. Credit: Google

The foundation has been laid, and Google’s message has been clear for quite some time now: SSL is necessary for the modern web. We suspect that Google will slowly add more criteria for pages to be marked as ‘Not Secure’ (such as contact forms) before becoming more aggressive in their push to secure the web in 2017. While we still believe that there’s some time before this happens – you should do something about it now.

How do I get an SSL Certificate?

Here at Sixth Story, we’re dedicated to help our clients transition to SSL smoothly, which is why we recommend you get in touch with us and we can arrange an SSL purchase for you, including installation, during which, we’ll:

After we install your certificate, we’ll verify that Google Analytics, Webmaster tools and sitemaps are still business as usual. You’ll also need to consider that any external marketing tools or software have their URLs updated to reflect HTTPs

What now?

From 2017, every new website project we take on will have HTTPS in the discussion. We want the web to be more secure, the digital world is advocating SSL – so this shouldn’t be a matter of ‘Should I get an SSL certificate?’, it’s a matter of ‘When am I going to get an SSL certificate?’

Get a head start in 2017. Contact us today about securing your website.