Have you ever seen a padlock icon displayed in the address bar of your web browser and wondered, “Hey, what’s that all about and how, exactly, did it get there?” You may have noticed, too, that web browsers displaying a padlock icon also happen to have the acronym HTTPS in the URLs that show in the address bar, like so:
The ‘S’ you see at the end of HTTPS stands for ‘Secure’, meaning that all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted. One of the secure protocols generally used by HTTPS pages to encrypt communications is SSL.
But what is SSL and why is it so important?
According to SSL.com, SSL (or Secure Sockets Layer) is “the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser.”
“This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral. SSL is an industry standard and is used by millions of websites in the protection of their online transactions with their customers.”
As explained by SSL Shopper, SSL plays an essential role in protecting your website, providing privacy, security, and data integrity for both your website and the personal information of your users (which is still important even if your website doesn’t handle sensitive information like credit cards numbers).
Is there a Solution?
The solution is to purchase an SSL Certificate for your website. We know that securing your website is critical. We are offering SSL Certificates as part of our Marketing Tools, we include the setup and maintenance as well. To make your site SSL secure, and to learn more about our Marketing Tools that include SSL Certificat, setup, and maintenance for your site, click here.
Note: Third party SSL Certificates are not supported. Because Rain's system is built using multiple servers and load balancers to achieve high reliability, our technicians must install and manage a particular type of SSL security on your behalf. This means we are unable to use an SSL Certificate purchased from a third-party SSL Certificate vendors such as Godaddy, Digicert, and others.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: Does this mean my checkout pages haven't been secure?
A: No. Your checkout pages have always been secure. This announcement is regarding the rest of your website, including your homepage and all content pages. Google wants ALL website pages to be secured with SSL even if no eCommerce is conducted on the site.
- Q: How long has the absence of SSL on home pages and content pages been an issue?
A: Google made a significant change in Chrome in the last month or two alerting more website visitors about pages that are not secured. Google also announced intentions to make non-secured pages more apparent to visitors. We have had many clients notice these change in the past 60 days. Adding SSL Security for the entire website will ensure that Google doesn’t alert your website visitors of an insecure connection
Google has been favoring websites in their search results that use SSL for all pages (not just checkout pages) for quite some time. Two years ago, they stated that it is a factor, but not a large factor. They also stated they may decide to make it a bigger factor in the future. Based on previous statements regarding SSL, along with the recent changes to Chrome, it makes sense that they would increase the importance of SSL as it pertains to search rankings.
- Q: Why does Google want home pages and non-checkout pages to be secured with SSL?
A: Reading between the lines, Google wants visitors that they send to your website to not have to worry about whether or not it is secure. They want all pages on all websites under all circumstances to just be secure. That way visitors don't have to know to check for security symbols, etc.
In our opinion, this treatment by Google seems somewhat burdensome for website owners. We can see the logic behind it, but it clearly creates extra work and cost for the vast majority of websites that do things right because of a few websites that do things wrong. Our preference would be that Google simply bans sites that don't secure their important pages. Unfortunately, we don't have a say in Google's policies.
- Q: Is this something I am required to sign up for?
A: No. This is completely optional. Google, of course, recommends it. We do not recommend it for any reasons other than the fact that Google obviously wields a great deal of influence on users of the internet as outlined on this page.
- Q: How much do SSL certificates typically cost?
A: For the SSL certificate alone, costs typically range between $70 and $250 per year. That does not include the costs of installation, maintenance, and load balancers. The solution that we are offering includes all of those features as a part of our Marketing Tools.