SSL Certificate (Secure Sockets Layer). That's the httpS at the beginning of your website domain address. They've been around for a couple years now but they are getting more and more important and if you don't have one, you're already behind the times.
I haven't blogged in a while but the ideas keep building up. I need to share this information because we are seeing more and more sites buying SSL certificates and attaching them to their site. This is imperative and inevitable. So much so, many people may not even click on your site if it's not secure. You might be losing a lot of business because of it.
What it does
It protects your website and amps up the security. It encrypts all your website data with 256-encryption and all your reader's information like credit card numbers, email addresses and other valuable data that you don't want just anyone to have. This includes login information for newsletters and IDX searches.
It also boosts your ranking. Google is not ranking sites without an SSL certificate as high as those that do. Google will flag these unsecured sites and most of your customers, when given the choice, will choose a website that is secure, especially if they know they are providing their information to you.
Can you have one?
By now, most websites should allow for an SSL certificate but that may not be the case. Wordpress is the easiest to add a certificate too because of the level of control. Other IDX websites like Point2, iHomes, Cevado, Real Geeks and others should be compliant at this point but you can call your registrar and ask. ALSO, it's important to ask if their certificate covers the www. and the non-www. addresses. (Meaning their certificate covers a domain like this: https://www.westbloomfieldhomes.com AND https://westbloomfieldhomes.com)
How Much is it?
You can buy one through godaddy.com for about $60 per year. Unless you have multiple subdomains like this: https://www.blog.keytothebay.com where you have a blog off-site but as a subdomain of your actual site, you only need the standard one. Don't buy the Wildcard one unless your web developer tells you that you need to. If we install this for you we charge $75 because it takes about an hour. Honestly, if you don't know how to do it, I would recommend having someone else do it but you can possibly do it yourself and godaddy may help you... may.
Here's a little trick though for a great deal. Look for a godaddy coupon like this:
You can get a great discount on the certificate and anything else you want to buy from them. Kinda neat! But again, if you haven't moved your site into the realm of security, you'll slowly drop and get fewer and fewer leads and views. Just do it. It's time. And if your website provider doesn't offer this, it's time to move to a new platform.