Understanding SSL Certificates: Protect Your Site and Give Visitors a Safer Experience


Many of you have asked about the benefits of SSL and whether it’s necessary for your website, blog or online store, so we’d like to shed some light on SSL and it’s value for both security and trust online.

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and is used to encrypt information transferred across the Internet. This encryption protects your information from getting intercepted by unwelcome eavesdroppers (ever wonder who might be sniffing your data on the coffee shop public wifi?) and is enabled through an SSL certificate that allows visitors to navigate a website over a secure connection.

But an SSL certificate can do more than just data encryption, it also serves as a powerful trust signal for your visitors, which can help increase sales, form submissions, or whatever it is you need your website to do.

Common SSL Applications

SSL encryption is absolutely vital when sensitive personal information is entered on a website, online store or blog. The Business Plan includes a free SSL certificate, allowing your customers to checkout directly from your domain. You can enable SSL for your entire site or just on checkout from the General tab in the Settings dashboard.

Building Trust

Beyond its primary data encryption functions, SSL promotes a healthy eCommerce ecosystem through a safe and security-centric web experience. Visitors who feel more secure are more likely to buy something from your store.

SSL certificates are indicated in browser windows by https and a lock icon in the address bar. These visual cues ensure that visitors are aware of the secured connection. Most visitors to your site will recognize these SSL signals, helping validate that the experience comes from a trusted source.

Clicking on the lock icon takes users to a screen with even more detailed information about the website and its owner. This can include information about cookies and stored passwords on the domain, further elevating the level of security knowledge SSL places in the hands of visitors.

In order to enable an SSL certificate website owners often need to connect a real world identity to the domain, so SSL encryption not only protects eavesdropping on vulnerable data, but also fake websites from tricking users through impersonation of legitimate brands or people.

Every new website that adopts SSL helps contribute to a more educated and protected web community, which promotes the trust necessary for healthy eCommerce transactions. With SSL enabled on your site, store or blog, you will not only protect your visitors, you will also make them more likely to complete your desired interaction.

We hope this post helps shed more light on SSL and its application as a trust signal. Let us know if there are other technical topics you’d like us to cover!