When should you use an SSL certificate?

Avatar for administrator administrator 21st March 2017 0 Comments

The short answer; unless you have a very good reason there is usually no scenario where having an SSL certificate on your website would be a ‘bad idea’. In fact, it is usually a significant benefit for all websites. Just the small SEO benefits you will receive, and providing your visitors with the additional trust / confidence that the little green ‘padlock’ symbol gives is enough of a reason to implement one.

There are some minor drawbacks… for example; there are certain scenarios where an SSL connection might increase load speeds slightly (as all data needs to be encrypted), but now-a-days the degradation of load speeds is minimal when compared with other page-speed factors.

On balance, our recommendation is if you can implement SSL, you should – And there are very few reasons why you ‘can’t’ – Cost is not one of those reasons as I explain below!

What is SSL? 

SSL (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, such as customer financial data, is passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral.

What do I need to consider when deciding whether I need SSL?

The law – Although an SSL certificate is not required by law in the UK, if you are processing payments or collecting customer data on your website you are in dangerous territory and failing to ensure you safe-guard customer data securely may result in you being in breach of the Data Protection Act.

If you divert your customers away to a payment gateway whom operate against PCI DSS compliance (like PayPal) you should be okay, but if you collect customer data (particularly financial data like Cards / Address) then you need to consider applying an SSL certificate.

Customer Confidence / Trust – Your customers will feel safer on your website if you apply an SSL certificate. The Green Padlock has become synonymous, even amongst non-technical internet users that the website they are on is ‘safe’. If you do not have this Green Padlock, you may lose out on customers whom will fear your website is not safe.

Website Blocking – Google Chrome has recently announced they are going to be much harsher on websites whom do not follow their policies on enforcing SSL. Chrome has been reported since early 2016 to be ramping up its war on un-encrypted websites. If Google Chrome thinks your website should have an SSL certificate and it doesn’t, then you may find that they start blocking visitors from visiting your website and displaying a WARNING to visitors.Other Browsers are thought to be working towards implementing a similar approach.

But… Aren’t there cost implications?

SSL Certificates are a misunderstood beast but there are cheap and FREE alternatives. The confusion with SSL is in part down to the vast differences in cost across the marketplace from FREE certificates right up to several £100 – Often companies will add their own margin onto these as they pass down the supply chain so the end customer ends up paying more. In contract to the potential costs of having your website blocked in Google Chrome and the likely costs you’ve spent already on website development, the costs are negligible and almost certainly justify the benefits.

So how do you know what you need?

One of the main difference between buying a custom SSL certificate and getting one from a Free certificate provider (Like Let’s Encrypt) is that a free one usually needs to be renewed more frequently. With paid certificates, you usually also receive some form of ‘insurance’, but this depends on the provider. Our advice is that you are best approaching a company such as ourselves whom can assess your requirements for an SSL certificate, purchase it for you and install it. You can contact us for a no-obligation quotation.



Wait... Before you go…

We're hosting a FREE WEBINAR on the steps you need to take to avoid failure and how to grow your business using digital marketing.

On the 25th May at 10:00 am

Wait.. Before you go…

We're hosting a FREE WEBINAR on Why HR and Marketing have to run hand-in-hand

On the 6th May at 10:30am

Wait.. Before you go…

We're Crunching the Numbers on the 2021 Budget in our next Webinar!


FREE January Content Plan

Writing Social Media posts and blogs can often seem like a mountainous task - our free January Content Plan will help you to take the first steps for the new year.

With our Calendar, you'll be writing Social Media posts like a pro in no time! Plus, check out our blog for monthly tips & Social Ideas.


FREE Marketing Consultation

Our clients tell us that their number one headache isn’t in selling their products or services, recruiting staff or keeping up to date with their industry; it’s the age-old problem of marketing their business!

Whether you need help with marketing planning, web/graphic design, content writing, blogs and social media help, SEO & PPC reviewing or a combination of all of the above, book your FREE no-obligation marketing consultation with Steve now!


Our FREE Secret Links

Most agencies won't tell you, but a lot of the tools they use on a day to day basis are actually FREE!

We've put together a handy guide to the free tools we use every day to make our lives easier - and we're giving it to you!


Perfect Blog Post Template

A frequently updated Blog is one of the best ways to create extra content for your website; it also keeps your visitors coming back regularly, attracts new visitors and Google loves fresh content!

But did you know that how you structure your blog post can make all the difference?

Download our FREE Blog Post Template to see how to make your content stand out from the crowd!


TikTok Guide

TikTok is a social media channel that is growing very fast. It has more than 3 billion downloads.

As a marketing agency that specialises in social media, we’ve put together our very own TikTok guide for you to use.

FREE HubSpot Consultation

At Square Media we specialise in helping businesses to make the most of their inbound and outbound promotional opportunities – working as a HubSpot CRM Partner we can help you to automate and analyse your business to the nth degree.

Why not let one of our HubSpot experts have a quick chat with you and get you started with a FREE account – no obligation, no pressure and no hard sell tactics (it’s not our style).


Image Size Cheat Sheet

When it comes to Social Media, visual content always works better than just text. But it's a bit of a headache keeping on top of all of the sizes you need to use to get the best from each channel.

Download or print our handy Image Size Cheat Sheet and keep it by your keyboard, so you know what size image to use whatever the situation.


Our Marketing Tips Infographic

Considering 2021 has been eventful with new trends and new marketing techniques arising we’ve made 2022 a lot easier for you!

We’ve put together our own marketing tips infographic especially for you to make your new year a little bit less stressful.

Download our FREE infographic here to find all of our best tips and watch your marketing rocket.


Get your Guide to Google Ads!

Everyone knows that SEO is important to any website, but often we forget about the power of paid Google Ads.

It needn't cost the earth, can be targeted well and can bring in business easily from Day 1!

Our FREE downloadable Google Ads Guide will help you to hit the ground running.


5 Killer Marketing Emails!

One of the most valuable tools in your online arsenal is your email/newsletter subscription list, yet it’s one of the ones that is most easy to ignore.

Simply put, if someone has signed up to your email list, they have given you permission to contact them, and how you use the first few emails that you send can be the deciding factor in whether they stay on your list and eventually become a customer, or hit the unsubscribe button so fast that you never get a chance to pitch your business.

So let’s look at 5 killer e-marketing email types, what they do and how to use them!


Start 2022 as you mean to go on!

Every great marketing campaign starts with the basics of getting your brand focused and clear.

Use our free brand guideline template to ensure that your brand is consistent across all of your content!


Christmas fun with Dino Bounce!

It's Christmas Day so let's start with some fun - how far through Dino Bounce can you get?

Don't forget to share your score at the end with the hashtag #dinoBounce (our convenient Twitter button will do this for you)