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SSL Certificates

Why is an SSL certificate a good idea

  • Better ranking on Google
  • Stops clever hackers from copying your website or redirecting it somewhere else
  • Protects customer data
  • Gives your website users trust in your business

What Does SSL Stand For?

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 passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral. To be able to create an SSL connection a web server requires an SSL Certificate.

Do I already have one?

The simple way to check if your website has an SSL certificate, is to look at the browser address bar. If the website URL starts with https:// then it has an SSL certificate. if it is just http:// then it doesn’t.

How Does It Work?

SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organisation’s details. When installed on a web server, it activates the padlock and the https protocol and allows secure connections from a web server to a browser. After the secure connection is made, the session key is used to encrypt all transmitted data. The browser connects to a web server (website) secured with SSL (https). The browser requests that the server identify itself. The server then sends a copy of its SSL Certificate, including the server’s public key.

Do I Need One ?

This is important because the information you send on the Internet is passed from computer to computer to get to the destination server. Any computer in between you and the server can see you or your clients credit card numbers, usernames and passwords, and other sensitive information if it is not encrypted with an SSL certificate. It is not just payment details collected by E-Commerce websites that should be protected, but it is also important to protect data submitted through a contact form.

My website does not currently record credit card details and does not require any usernames and passwords. Do I still need an SSL certificate, and why is it better for my Google ranking?

Google favors HTTPS-encrypted websites over non-encypted HTTP websites, and will therfore push them higher up in the search results.

An SSL certificate shows Google that the website’s ownership has been ‘Authenticated’, it has ‘Data Integrity’, and is ‘Encrypted’.

How much do they cost?

Web Directions can provide your website with an SSL certificate. Standard cost for this service is £60 per year. Payments for this will be included in your monthly direct debit, along with your hosting and email services.

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Glossary

Meta Tags

Meta tags and metadata allows the website to define non-visible information about the website. Search engines can use this information to determine what information they should feature in the search results etc.

Alt Text

Stands for alternative text. This is the text that is displayed if an image fails to load and is also used for accessibility. If you are blind, your computer will read out the image alt text as a way of describing to the user what the image is portraying.

HTML5 Element Tags

HTML5 offers new semantic elements to define different parts of a web page which make it easier for search engines to locate and read relevant content on your site.

Backend

This is the non-customer facing, behind the scenes part of the website. EG, the code files and databases which make the website work.

Breadcrumb Navigation Paths

These are text links which show the user where abouts on the website they are in relation to other content on the site. If they clicked on ‘Link 1’ from the homepage, the breadcrumb on that page would display as ‘Home > Link 1’. You can then use these links to quickly navigate back to previously visited or other relative pages on the website.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics allows you to track pages on your website and monitor which pages are viewed the most, how visitors got to that page and how long they stayed on that page. You can then use this information to improve weaker pages and also to find ways to encourage visitors to come back to your website. Read more here.