What is a SSL Certificate

An SSL certificate (Secure Socket Layer) are small data files used to encrypt data between the users web browser and the server to which it is communicating with. The primary reasons why SSLs are used is to protect sensitive information which is sent via the internet by encrypting the message until it reaches its intended   recipient. This is vital, as information on the net is passed from computer to computer in order to travel to the designated server means any computer between you and the designated server can be seen and thus stolen;  credit card details, usernames, emails etc if it is not encrypted with a SSL certificate. When a SSL certificate is in place the information is unreadable to everyone except the designated server and the server sending the information.

To obtain and enable a SSL certificate the owner of the website must first purchase an SSL. Prices for SSL certificates can range from £30 to over £1000. There are a number of reasons for these differences.  Some SSL certificates offer free virus scanning of your site, while others offer warranties worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, if your site is breached by hackers who manage to steal customer information some SSL cover just one domain name, while others cover an unlimited number of sub domains, other  SSLs come with 24/7 customer support and can be activated within minutes, while others takes days. Some providers will load it onto your site while others will send the files to you and expect you to upload it, so fundamentally the higher the price the more extensive the SSL certificate. However, the basic encryption is similar, so in many aspects you are paying for the brand but on the other hand you are also paying for trust, the longer a company has existed the more trust others give them and so they can charge higher rates.

So who needs a SSL Certificate?

Any website who obtains customer information, such as credit card details, email addresses etc needs to purchase and implement an SSL certificate, this includes every Ecommerce site. Your customers may not trust you without your site having a SSL certificate. Google will trust you less without an SSL certificate decreasing your SEO ranking slightly. You can tell if a site has a SSL certificate by looking at the hyperlink bar, you should see a small lock with https before the web address.

Where can I buy a SSL certificate?

An SSL certificate can be bought online from a number of trusted sites, such as

Alternatively we at NSM our hosting provider can implement an SSL onto your website from £99 this covers  your site for 12 months.  SSL certificates are extremely important and do provide much needed security to sites due to the increasing number of hackers and fraudsters attempting to steal identities and money.