Have you ever noticed a green lock icon on certain Websites ? Or are you wondering if you should obtain an SSL Certificate for WooCommerce. So why do we discover a bit more about SSL together? SSL sounds like a complicated issue to most of the people but the basic of how they work is quite simple.
1. What is SSL?
Secure Sockets Layers (SSL) is a standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a server and a client. It makes the data between Web Servers and Browsers be transmitted securely by ensuring these following factors:
– Authentication:The authenticity of the page you will be working with will be verified. In turn, the Website will also check the authenticity of the users.
– Encryption: Information can’t be accessed by third parties. The data must be encrypted in order to prevent “sensitive” information from eavesdropping when it is transmitted via the Internet.
– Integrity: The information is accurate and integral during the transmission.
Developed by Netscape in 1994, SSL nowadays is widely used on World Wide Web. It is responsible for authenticating and encrypting communication between client and server. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standardized and gave SSL a new name as TLS (Transport Layer Security). Actually, TLS is just a new version of SSL . TLS version 1.0 is equivalent to SSL version 3.1.
An SSL certificate is a small data file that is provided by a third party. When being installed on your web server, it allows secure connection from a web server to a browser.
2. How does SSL work?
Let’s take a look at this process in order to understand what happens behind the scenes when using SSL:
3. Why your WooCommerce Site need an SSL/TLS?
• The security problem is very important to any Website, especially for online shops. There are a lot of Interactions between a client and a server in an eCommerce Site. Your customer must provide their personal information such as credit card numbers to finish the payment process, social account and password to log in and so on. Therefore, you need to secure all their private information. It also helps you build customer’s trust – the most important key for a successful eCommerce Site. No one wants to buy products in an unsecured online shop where hackers can steal their information.
• Furthermore, using SSL can bring you more advantages than that.
First, They can affect your SEO efforts.
As you know, Google stated that it would give a ranking boost to SSL-secured Websites. Therefore, SSL certificate is also a ranking factor in Google’s online search algorithm.
Second, SSL can help you protect login pages. You need to login to dashboard anytime you want to edit your content. On an unsecured login page, attackers can easily find which login URL you use. They can see your username and password in plain text. Especially when you connect to the same network, using free wifi at a coffee shop or a public place, for example, hackers can wait ahead to read any unencrypted information you send. However, by using SSL, the data is immediately encrypted, preventing hackers from reading data in transit.
• Finally, according to the WooCommerce plugin developers, any WooCommerce website using the PayPal Standard payment method will need an SSL for added security from September 2016. So having SSL is the requirement for your WooCommerce Site in case you are using PayPal to check out.
4. How do I know if a Website uses SSL/TLS
There are two ways to realize whether a website uses SSL/TLS or not.
– Green lock icon on the address bar
– A URL begins with “https” instead of “HTTP”
5. So SSL that sounds great. How do I get my own certificate?
Paying for a certificate
You can buy SSL certificate from various third parties in the market. The cost ranges from $30 to $50 per year for single domains and up to $300 per year for multi – domain or wildcard options.
According to the level of security, there are many kinds of SSL certificates. You should think twice the type of certificate you need before buying. If you are running a small scale online businesses which don’t require high security, you can use cheap SSL certificate like Comodo PositveSSL, Rapid SSL Standard. They support domain.com and www.domain.com. However, if your Website needs a higher level of security, extended validation (EV) or organization validation (OV) SSL certificates are the better choices. Furthermore, using EV allows you to display the name of the organization on the address bar of all browsers, making customers trust to order the products from this Website more.
Free Certificate from Let’s Encrypt or CloudFlare
Surely many people have heard about getting free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt. It is a public beta program from the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG). It allows everyone to secure their site with permanent SSL certificate for free. You can send the Let’s Encrypt documentation to your developer in order to know the process of installation.
Besides, CloudFlare has provided free SSL. It makes a chance for everyone to increase their Website security as well as SEO friendly. If you are interested in, go free SSL and read the detailed instructions.
SSL certificate may sound complicated but they turn out not to be. For those who are wondering whether to use SSL for your WooComerce Site, I hope this above brief overview has helped you make your decision.