How to setup an online marketplace SSL
So, you have a website or marketplace and keep hearing that you need an SSL? But, what’s that SSL thing, and more importantly, do you need one?
Well, simply put, if you have a website that sells stuff, you do. SSL adds a critical security layer to your online business. If I may use the comparison, having an SSL is like wearing a protective helmet while riding your motorcycle. So yes, SSL is a must!
SSL is your website’s key that shows you are safe to browse to the whole Internet, as a guarantee of a higher level of security, privacy and information protection for your website, and your visitors’ data.
Moreover, SSL is crucial to keep your online business protected, even if your online business doesn’t manage confidential information such as credit card details.
What is the SSL certificate, and how does it work?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and is the standard technology for safeguarding any personal information sent from a computer to another.
The SSL generates a secure link between a users’ browser and your website. If you have an e-commerce platform and you sell products on your site, you need an SSL to secure your website. You can do by enabling HTTPS, so all the information arrives and leaves your website is automatically encrypted.
SSL is also great at blocking phishing attacks and at ensuring that it keeps the internet connection between provider and user secured. For example, the connection between a data server or an e-commerce platform, and a client, or a buyer from that marketplace.
SSL protects the exchange by using unique encryption algorithms, designed to prevent hackers from stealing users’ data such as names, addresses, credit card numbers, and all associated financial information. When the SSL protects the server, it makes it impossible for hackers to read any shifted data between the marketplace and the buyers accessing the systems.
How to set up SSL on your website
Step 1: Get a web host with a dedicated IP address
Before you enable your SSL, you must have your own dedicated IP address. Many small web hosting platforms will get your online business website on a shared IP. It means that you share your online web address, and have the same internet protocol address with several other websites. You don’t want that.
Step 2: Buy an SSL Certificate
Once you’ve moved your website to a dedicated hosting web server, you’ll need to prove that you own that website – something like an identity card for your online business. The fastest way to prove it is via an SSL certificate.
An SSL certificate is like a paragraph of numbers and letters which only your website knows; your unique password.
You can create your own SSL, as a ‘self-signed’ certification; however, most web browsers will check your identification with the “Certificate Authorities” (CA’s). The CA, as a third-party company, can and will identify you as safe, only if it has a copy of your ‘password’. So best is to buy your SSL certificate through these dedicated and approved authorities to be recognised by them.
Step 3: Activate and install the certificate
Here it comes the more complicated part. Once you’ve got the certificate, you’ll have to install it. That goes by generating a CSR via your web hosting’s control panel, for instance, WHM or cPanel. Go to the SSL/TLS option and click on ‘Generate an SSL certificate and Signing Request’.
Most server software platforms will ask for your domain name (www.yourdomain.co.uk), your organisation name and location, the key type (in most cases it is an RSA), and the size of your key.
Once completed click on ‘Generate button, and the software will generate two blocks of letters and numbers. Copy the first block, called ‘Signing Request’. Now, go the authority you’ve bought the certificate from, and paste it there to activate it.
It might ask you for an approval email, which proves you own the domain name ([email protected]). If you haven’t got an email address relating to your domain name, you’ll have to create one.
Finally, to complete the activation, make sure you copy the second block called ‘Certificate’ and paste it into your web host control panel, and press submit. That’s all! Your website is now secured!
Step 4: Update your site to use HTTPS
If you’ve managed to follow so far, congratulation, you’ve installed your first SSL certificate! You still have a few steps left to do, to ensure you protect your visitors’ data.
Most important step? Make sure that from this point on your customers or visitors accessing your website via HTTPS.
If you identified the pages that handle personal information, update their links to use the secure HTTPS link format.
How can an SSL certificate help your online business?
SSL protects data
As a quick recap, the primary purpose of an SSL certificate is to protect the communication between a server and a client. It also helps you protect your clients’ data from the data phishers, while your website is dealing with personal information such as passwords, credit card numbers, IDs, by turning them into an unreadable format.
Better search engine ranking
The HTTPS factor has become a vital Google ranking factor in 2015 to encourage website owners to secure their sites. It means that if your site has the same speed, content, and title tags as your competitor, but if your website is HTTPS enabled while your rival’s not, Google will rank your website far above your competitors’.
SSL improves customer trust
SSL not only vital for encryption and authentication, but it’s also crucial in case of customers’ trust. The easily identifiable signs inform your potential customers that they are safe to browse and buy from your website. Thus, they know you’re a reliable corporation, it’s more likely to they purchase from your platform, or even revisit your site.
It is not necessary to use an SSL certificate. However, it is highly advantageous in terms of data protection, search engine ranking, and customers’ trust. Not sure how to get yours? Give us a call today for a free consultation, we’re always here to help!