SSL (secure socket layer) certificates have been becoming more popular with the recent release of the news that google will punish websites that are not encrypted.
On top of that, Google also said they are “starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal.”
Additionally, Google sent out warnings that Chrome will start showing “not secure” on non-https pages:
If you don’t have your site on SSL yet, now is the time!
Here’s the low down on what you need to know:
How do I get a SSL certificate?
There are lots of options out there from Godaddy, Symantec, Geotrust, RapidSSL, etc with a LARGE variety of prices – everything from $13 / year to thousands per year.
So which should you chose?
For the majority of cases, we just recommend using Cloud Flare which provides free SSL as well as a lot of other performance benefits.
Yes, that’s right, it’s FREE baby.
Here’s how it works:
- Sign up for an account at Cloud Flare.
- Add your site.
- Cloudflare will scan your website to find your IP information.
- Select your package (you can select the free version)
- Cloudflare will give you some settings to change with your registrar (could be your hosting company)
….annnnd Kaboom, now you have SSL + DDos protection, a nice CDN plus a bunch of other cool stuff!
We feel like this is the best option for the majority of people (and we use it ourselves!).
Other SSL Alternatives To Cloud Flare
If you don’t want to use Cloudflare for whatever reason, there are alternatives:
If your sites are hosted on cPanel server, cPanel now includes free SSL for all sites.
If you have more complex hosting, there are services like LetsEncrypt which give free SSL.
Does it really matter what SSL method I chose?
It doesn’t really matter. All SSL certificates are effectively the same. The cheapest $6 per year certificate is the same as the $200 per year certificate.
The only caveat is the “EV” (Extended Validation) certificate that puts the green company name in the browser, which are a waste of money for all but the biggest websites. They can cost many hundreds to thousands, and require that you submit all kinds of business documents like incorporation articles to secure the certificate.
The main difference between certs is basically the little “secure site” badges you can put on your site.
If you really want to buy a certificate, you can get them from The SSL Store. They are based in St Pete down the street from us (The HOTH) and we know them well. A cheap option is the $12.99 certificate here.
There are lots of reasons to move to SSL on your blog even outside of SEO, so if you don’t have one yet… what are you waiting for?
Please consider sharing this post if you think it would be useful to someone!
P.S. Shout out to our technical advisor Jason Gill for giving us the low down for this post.
Clayton Johnson is the CMO of The HOTH SEO company. He has over 8+ years experience in the SEO industry and has spoken at events like SEJ Summit. The HOTH has been featured in Inc 5000, Forbes, SMX, Pubcon, Content Marketing World, Affiliate Summit, Brighton and more.