What is HTTPS/SSL
HTTPS (abbr. HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) is an extension of the HTTP protocol to support encryption for increased security. When using HTTPS, data is transferred over SSL or TLS cryptographic protocols. Unlike HTTP with TCP port 80, HTTPS defaults to TCP port 443. A more detailed description of this protocol can be found in Wikipedia.
In the absence of SSL, modern browsers mark your sites as insecure. The use of SSL prevents interception of messages, interference with communication channels, and spoofing of trusted websites. Visitors to your sites will be confident in the confidentiality of data and the authenticity of the pages.
What is an SSL certificate?
An SSL certificate, which stands for Secure Sockets Layer, is a network security protocol designed to protect user data transmitted over the Internet.
While SSL certificates are primarily essential for websites that handle online payments, we recommends that all website owners install SSL and secure their web resources using HTTPS, even if they don’t involve the transmission of confidential data.
When an SSL certificate is used, all information transmitted between the user’s browser and the website is encrypted. This encryption ensures that the data can only be decrypted using a special key known only to the certificate owner.
SSL certificates contain important information such as the site domain, details about the certification authority, a unique serial number, cryptographic key, expiration date, and other relevant data.
The primary function of SSL certificates is to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of information. By employing encryption algorithms, SSL prevents attackers from intercepting and deciphering sensitive data such as names, addresses, credit card numbers, and other confidential information.
Why an SSL Certificate is Beneficial for SEO
The position in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) holds significant importance for any online resource as it directly impacts website traffic, brand recognition, and conversion rates. One crucial aspect that influences the SEO promotion of a website is its credibility. An SSL certificate serves as a testament to the website owner’s commitment to user data protection, and search engines consider sites without SSL as potentially unsafe.
SSL certificates are not only valuable for websites that process online payments. Effective safeguarding of information is crucial for websites that involve the exchange of personal data. Therefore, owners of social networks, online stores, platforms with payment systems, as well as legal and financial enterprises, primarily require SSL certificates.
Google strongly recommends the adoption of HTTPS. Starting from Chrome version 56, websites that transmit passwords and credit card numbers over HTTP (non-HTTPS) are flagged as insecure. In 2018, there were plans to make notifications about insecure sites more prominent and noticeable. However, following negative user feedback, Google now only displays a red icon on sites where it is not recommended to enter personal and confidential information.
Similarly, Yandex considers HTTPS as one of the indicators of a quality website, while its absence poses a risk to users. The Yandex blog states that the ranking algorithm may take into account the presence of both paid and free SSL certificates.
Possible issues when using SSL
It is worth paying attention to possible problems when using SSL:
If your site is indexed by search engines, when using SSL, search engines will initially consider sites accessible via HTTP and HTTPS to be different. Automatic merging of mirrors can take up to 2 months, during which time the site may lose its positions. The correct solution would be to indicate to the search engine that these sites are equivalent using the host directive in the robots.txt file, for example:
Since search engines will see several identical pages on different domains, it is recommended to designate the main page that will be indicated when switching from a search engine. This can be done by correcting all references to “rel=canonical”, you can read more about this in the Google documentation.
If your site uses third-party widgets, such as chat, telephony, statistics, they also need to be transferred to the HTTPS protocol.
There may be problems with third-party services that downloaded data from your site and do not understand 301/302 redirects after transferring it to HTTPS. In order to restore their work, we recommend consulting with the support of these services.
SSL certificate types for sites
Planning to acquire an SSL certificate for your web project, you should first familiarize yourself with the types of such electronic documents. Basically, digital certificates differ in price tag (the higher it is, the more prestigious the certificate). Nevertheless, even inexpensive certificates from AlexHost.com, if chosen correctly, can fully perform the functions assigned to it and reliably protect the site and visitors from scammers’ unauthorized actions. SSL certificates for a website can be classified into the following types:
- For individuals.
- For individual entrepreneurs (small and medium businesses).
- For legal entities (large commercial organizations and enterprises).
- For subdomains.
- For multiple domains.
SSL certificate for individuals is optimal for small projects, including blogs, private sites, forums. In this case we are speaking about certificate with the domain name checking. Such a solution is recommended for websites with platforms where users regularly register private accounts, enter payment data, pay for courses and other services. It’s rather easy to buy such an SSL certificate type for a website:
- Registration within 10-15 minutes.
- No need to provide documents for domain verification.
- Affordable cost guaranteed (in cooperation with AlexHost.com).
An SSL certificate intended for individual entrepreneurs (small and medium-sized businesses) involves a digital document with mandatory organization verification. Suitable for such projects as:
- Corporate websites.
- Internet shops.
- Social network.
- Travel and insurance resources.
Obtaining these certifications takes a lot of effort. Upon purchase, the CA must verify the registration of the organization and the domain name. The processing takes 1-3 days.
An SSL certificate for a site of a large commercial type enterprise involves an even more advanced document verification procedure. Suitable for:
- Internet shops.
- Any state-level organization.
- Banking institutions.
- Investment funds.
The presence of this certificate type on the site is marked by the presence of a green line with the name of the organization, which indicates a thorough check.
The cost of an SSL certificate from AlexHost.com for subdomains is not much different from the previous types, however, it allows you to simultaneously protect data from both the main and subdomains.
Multi-domain certificates, in turn, are optimal for retail chains, mail servers and holdings. Such solutions are recommended for purchase from the AlexHost.com hosting provider if you have several web resources or a site with web pages hosted on subdomains. Thus, one security certificate allows you to guarantee reliable protection of all sites at your disposal (applies, on average, to 3-5 domain names).
How does the SSL certificate function?
How does an SSL certificate work for a website? Installing such a digital document forms a secure connection. In this case, the browser modifies (encrypts) all data entered by the user (card numbers, personal information) into a random symbols’ set, and then redirects it to the server. Thus, the data of a client who pays for a product or service on your web resource is reliably protected from fraudsters. The information decryption procedure is implemented strictly using a unique key placed on the server. At the same time, even if we admit the fact of information leakage, fraudsters will still not be able to recognize it due to the encrypted form.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- What is the SSL certificate for a site needed for?
Any site owner can buy an SSL certificate cheaply via AlexHost.com specialists and implement the specified certificate to ensure maximum protection of users’ personal data. Security is guaranteed through two elements in the face of authentication (the fact of binding a certificate to a domain name) and encryption (modification of data using a unique key).
- For what domains’ quantity one may purchase the SSL certificate?
You can buy an SSL certificate from AlexHost.com and use it for one domain, for several (SAN variety), or for an unlimited number of domains (Wildcard).
- For what term are SSL certificates released?
Buying an SSL certificate from AlexHost.com involves providing you with a security protocol for a period of 1 to 4 years. Their price tags vary, depending on the type of protocol and validity period. The SSL certificate in the trial format is the most beneficial (issued for 1-3 months period).
You can learn more about the full range of certificates, and you can also purchase at this link: https://alexhost.com/ssl-certificates/
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