In the last few months you may have heard more and more talk about changes to SSL certificates for online stores. You might have even received an email from PayPal about this and put it in the too hard basket or the “later” pile partly because you are busy but also because you have no idea what an SSL Certificate is and if you REALLY need to do what they are telling you.

 

Here is the quick and dirty guide to what an SSL certificate is and if you should install one on your online, minus all the boring information.

 

What does SSL stand for?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, which is an internet protocol designed to provide security on your website

 

What is an SSL Certificate and why is it so important?

An SSL certificate is important because it provides two things:

 

-It provides Encryption of sensitive data like credit card numbers and personal information

-Provides assurance to your customers that you are trustworthy

-Improved Google rankings (slightly) as they believe your site to be more secure

 

These are very important benefits and, while not all websites require an SSL certificate, it is essential for certain types of sites. To find out if you need an SSL certificate for your site, answer these questions:

 

Do I REALLY need one for my online store?

If your store forwards credit card processing to a third party like PayPal then the short answer is no (this is because payment gateways will have their own super secure SSL sites where they capture customer information like credit card numbers and personal data) HOWEVER there are some sites that use PayPal that collect the data on their own sites and if this is you, then you need an SSL certificate.

 

OK, now Im really confused! So do I need one or not?

If you still aren’t sure then you can always check with PayPal (or whoever your payment gateway is) and ask them. They will be able to let you know if they are covering you or or if you should get an SSL certificate.

 

Where can I get an SSL certificate?

There are a few different providers but I’d start with the hosting company that you are already using as it will make installing approx 100000% times easier. Ask them for what option they have and compare with another provider to check pricing and inclusions.

Remember to always ask for wordpress or woocommerce compatible