Basically, if You don’t have an SSL installed, it’s time to think about getting one as more and more companies begin to move toward a secure web.
Beginning in January*, Google Chrome will consider your website as “not secure” if you don’t have an SSL certificate installed and will mark your site as such for people using the Google Chrome Browser.
An SSL certificate not only encrypts credit card data, personal information, and passwords but also displays a lock icon and “HTTPS” in the address bar—your visitors will know your site is protected. This follows the recent change by PayPal in September that required the use of an SSL certificate with PayPal Express.
In most cases, you can request an SSL certificate from your Web Hosting company and they will take care of everything for you – in other cases, you may need to purchase your own SSL Certificate from a company like Comodo, or a registrar like GoDaddy or GKG.Net and have your hosting company install it.
SSL certificates range from Free to Hundred or even thousands of dollars but for the average website you can expect to be in the $50 – $100 range plus installation fees from your hosting company. For the budget minded, I suggest HostGator, not the best Hosting company but not the worst either (reviews are mixed but I’ve had a lot of clients use them for years with relatively few headaches).
The reason I recommend Hostgator is you can get a free one year SSL for free if you have one of their Shared Hosting Business Plans (Shared Hosting, WordPress Hosting or, Cloud Hosting – all support WordPress but the Cloud package offers the best performance). The process to request and get your certificate installed averages less than 15 minutes now that they have automated it.
Unfortunately just gettig an SSL certificate installed may not be enough. When applying your SSL, you can run into issues with mixed content; both secure and insecure elements on one page; if your site displays a broken padlock after adding an SSL certificate check out our previous article “Why No Padlock“.