What is SSL Hosting, and How Does it Work?
SSL (short for “Secure Sockets Layer”) is an encryption protocol that manages information that passes through your website. Whenever you have SSL encryption on your site, any information that comes in or goes out will be encrypted for as long as it rests on your servers. Today, having an SSL certificate shows users that you have their concerns in mind, and that you actively protect their privacy.
SSL certificates vary in price and level of security but having them for your website is no longer optional. In fact, today Google highly recommends it, and most browsers will instantly flag a website that doesn’t have one. As a result, many web hosting platforms have started including SSL certificates in their hosting packages, both free and paid add-on. SSL hosting works in two ways, by encrypting data as it passes in and out of your website, and by keeping it fully encrypted as it rests in your servers. This means that no matter where hackers are attempting to intercept your data, they’ll find encrypted bits that can’t be decoded. Companies that offer SSL options in hosting will include it as part of a larger package.
When Should I Use SSL Hosting?
These days, the better question is whether there is any time when you shouldn’t use SSL certificates for your hosting. When it comes to privacy, safety, and even how well your website performs on search engines, having a hosting service that also offers SSL certificates is necessary.
The main reason to use SSL certificates is to give your visitors peace of mind. Most modern browsers track which websites offer security features such as SSL and HTTPS encryption and will alert users when they’re not. Additionally, search engines like Google and Bing tend to give higher scores to those that use SSL. Most importantly, if you’re building a website from scratch, choosing a hosting platform that already includes SSL certificates will save you both time and money.
What Are The Main Benefits of SSL Hosting?
Although there are many benefits to installing SSL certificates on your website, the two key advantages are:
It Gives you Much Better Security
Perhaps the most important reason to go for SSL hosting is to increase your website’s security. SSL encrypts all the data that enters your website’s servers. Especially if you work in an industry where you must collect data such as payment details, sensitive personal information, and even contact details, encrypting data is necessary. Even if a hacker manages to break through your security, with SSL encryption they’ll find themselves with a large file of worthless data bytes, since it cannot be decrypted without the right key.
It Helps Improve your Website’s SEO for Better Rankings
Search engine optimization is quickly becoming a trend for websites because it produces results. With more consumers than ever focusing their attention on the top few links on any search, it’s vital to be ranked at or near the top. While there are multiple factors that affect your ranking and you can use SEO to start climbing, having an SSL certificate that’s active is the quickest way to start trending higher in terms of search results. Google tends to prioritize websites that offer users a safer experience.
What To Ask Yourself when Considering an SSL Hosting Solution
There are a few things you should keep in mind before you dive in and purchase the first host you see that looks great. When you start considering which SSL hosting solution works best for you, evaluate the three following aspects:
It’s important to remember that when you sign up for an SSL host, you’re not just paying for the certificate, but for the whole service. Before you hit “Checkout”, explore every hosting option’s services, including the type of servers they offer, what features they include in their services (such as one-click installations, optimized speeds, uptime guarantees, and more), and see that they match your requirements. If you have SSL certificates but not a working website, you may be overpaying.
As with any security-related concern online, one of the most important considerations you can make is the source of the services you’re paying for. While many companies are happy to offer you the moon to get you to sign up with them, not every company will provide a transparent accounting of their business. Look for services that are highly regarded (via expert and user reviews), and those who can clearly prove where their services are based. If they are using white labeled tools, they should also indicate who the original service vendor is.
Even the best-designed and most careful websites have problems periodically, whether it’s an internal problem or an external one. In the rare instances when it does happen, or even if you have a question, having access to a support staff that is available around the clock via easily accessible communication channels (such as phone or live chat) might be the difference between a positive outcome and a major headache. Moreover, encountering security issues always represents an urgent matter, and you should have access to solutions when you need them most.