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The increased importance of SSL/HTTPS for websites

It has long been a security requirement that any website which captures credit card information needs to be accessed via HTTPS - ie, the data exchange needs to be secured with an SSL certificate. The standards for this have increased over the years, and this trend is likely to continue.

Recently, all modern web browsers implemented a change in the way that web addresses (URLs) are classified, and for sites without an SSL certificate this is likely to start causing issues. This is for several reasons:

  1. Particularly for sites where any form of login is required, the browser will now display the site as being insecure. Nothing has changed on the actual sites, however the browser is now warning people that the exchange of data is not secured by SSL. This is now being extended to cover all sites, whether a login is required or not.
  2. Google has begun showing such sites in their search listings as insecure, which will most likely concern potential site visitors
  3. From next year, Google will also be favouring sites that use HTTPS in their rankings, and penalising those that do not.

For these reasons we are now recommending that all sites should consider installing an SSL certificate and allow connections to be made via HTTPS.

Typically an SSL certificate costs $110 per annum or more. Anticipating an increased demand for such certificates, we have negotiated a supply agreement with Comodo which will allow us to provide a single domain certificate for $99 per year. For sites that we host, we will also install and configure these for you at no extra cost.

Please note that at this point, unless your site captures credit card details it is not compulsory to install an SSL certificate, however, current trends suggest that by mid 2018, if you do not have one for your site you are likely to be at a disadvantage to your competitors that do. And most likely, you will increasingly find site visitors contacting you to advise that your site is not secure.

If you would like more information or would like to arrange for an SSL certificate for your site, please contact us.