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Setting Up SSL: Why You Need them & How To Get Them

When starting a web site project, it is important to consider if the site will require an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a type of protocol that adds a level of security to online transactions.

If you are running an ecommerce website that takes orders and completes transactions, you will need to ensure that the information that is passed over the Internet is safe and secure. SSl’s aren’t just for Ecommerce sites either.  Any site that collects important information such as social security numbers, credit card numbers, or bank account information will require the use of one. This will protect you and your customers as well as help you verify that you are a trustworthy website and viable business.  And let’s face it, anything that makes your customers  feel more comfortable completing a transaction on your site is well worth it.

Below are some tips and information about how to go about obtaining an SSL

  • Decide if your website will require a SSL early in the web design and development process as it can take a couple of weeks to obtain the certificate depending on the issuing company. It is a good idea to have the company that hosts your site start the enrollment process since the SSL is tied to the server where the website will be hosted.
  • There are many SSL options available and these vary in price and level of security. The type of SSL you need will depend on the nature of your site and the information that you collect. Some examples of available vendors include: VeriSign, Thawte, GeoTrust, and GoDaddy. VeriSign is the most well-known brand of SSL and is also one of the more expensive. Ultimately, it is your decision which one you choose but consulting with your hosting and/or web design firm would be a smart move.
  • To get an SSL you will need up to date domain registration (it is important how your domain is registered) as well as
  • To get an SSL you will need documentation about your company (this could include articles of incorporation, utility bill, etc.) to verify that you are a legitimate business.
  • SSLs can range in price from $10 and $1,500 a year, depending on the security level you need and whether the certificate is dedicated to one web site or many. A typical SSL will cost you about $250/year which requires renewal every 1-2 years.

An SSL is a necessity for any ecommerce site or one that collects any type of personal information.
Not only will this protect your business and your customers, it will also help your conversion rate since people will be more likely to complete a transaction because they know their information will be safe. And who doesn’t want more sales?

Protect yourself and your customers- get an SSL certificate!