Over the last few years, Google has been presenting website visitors with a big ‘Your Connection is not Private’ if they were visiting a website without a current SSL Certificate. Google. In other words, they are alerting the visitor that the website is unsafe because any information submitted to the website is sent as plain text and can be intercepted by hackers.
A SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate encrypts information travelling between your website and your web browser – this protects sensitive information such as your customer’s details, credit card information etc.
Websites with SSL Certificates start with https:// as opposed to http:// or show a padlock next to the web address. This indicates that you can trust that any information submitted to the site will be encrypted.
Depending on your industry, you may also need an SSL Certificate to comply with Australian Privacy Laws. If you sell products online and your business processes, transmits or stores cardholder data, then you need to comply with payment card industry (PCI) standards which include your website having an SSL certificate.
The good news is, a good hosting company (such as VentraIP) can provide you with a free, good quality SSL Certificate. This is enough if you need to cover a basic contact form. If you sell products online, or are a large corporation and require authentication (proof that you are who you say you are) then you need to look at a paid SSL certificate.
Because installing an SSL certificate enforces all links within the site to start with https:// (note the ‘s’), simply installing an SSL certificate on an existing website usually doesn’t work.
Installing the plugin Really Simple SSL on your site after your hosting company installs your SSL Certificate will force all the links to be https://.