Do I need an SSL Certificate for my Small Business Website?

When compared to big corporate websites, what small business website owners can achieve is a similar strength of online presence. This can be done by utilizing social and online media (Facebook, YouTube, Tweeter… etc.) and with a global presence, they can target customers all over the world.

However, small businesses website owners usually have a much smaller budget for their online presence, thus many would consider cutting expenses by not engaging in unnecessary services.

Talking about cutting non-essential service, some may consider disengaging an SSL certificate service they have with the website (or not getting it in the first place), toward this effort, which is what we want to discuss.

What is an SSL certificate?

The SSL certificate is a way to protect the client-server communication between your website and your visitors by having that communication encrypted. While the SSL certificate data files are the ones that hold crypto-key for data communication and are crucial for protecting sensitive information communications such as credit card numbers, personal information … etc.

Any website using an SSL certificate will display an “HTTPS” at the beginning of the URL instead of the usual “HTTP” notifying the user that it is a secure website. The term SSL means “Secured Socket Layer”.

The SSL verification process begins with the user browser getting a sequence of the certificates. The client browser will iterate through all certificates in the “validation path” starting with the root certificate, and if the process is concluded without errors in the path then it is accepted as valid.

Why is having an SSL certificate important for small business website owners?

Fact is, just like any other business, small business website owners aim to make a profit, usually through an offer of products or services.

Any product or service sale will require the visitor to leave sensitive information with the website, starting from a basic user registration which requires leaving email and other personal information, to the purchase process where the user will have to leave his credit card information with your website.

To avoid issues and online theft banks and other payment platforms proactively inform their customers to use secure websites, and the average internet user is now mindful, and most likely will not trust your website with their credit card information if you do have SSL.

We can say that your website security is an important factor in establishing a trustworthy interaction with your site visitors. It will help your site gain credibility and build a bond with customers.

Note that SSL certificates are operated by a governing authority that performs several checks to authenticate any business or company before the certificate is issued.

Also besides helping your website gain credibility, you must understand that an SSL certificate will truly help with your website security and help you avoid sensitive transaction issues. The SSL will ensure that your site communication reaches only the intended recipients and that it is not intercepted by any third party.

Having an SSL certificate is good for SEO

You probably do not know this but having an SSL certificate with your website is actually good for your site search engine optimization.

Since 2014 Google has revealed that having an SSL certificate with your website is a positive factor for SEO, and if you check search results you will notice that first page results are all starting with “https”.

Should you have an SSL certificate with your website?

Having said all that, we can note that you must have an SSL certificate with your website, even if you are a small business or company, as it will provide a plethora of positive effects for your site which makes the cost of the service trivial.

One last piece of advice, as you may have noticed, some of our recommended top 10 hosting companies do provide the SSL certificate as an included service with their hosting plans, meaning you can get it for free.