SSL Hosting – The Contenders for the Best Service Around
Free Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates have become a common feature in shared, cloud, VPS and dedicated hosting plans.
While there are different reasons that your website can benefit from SSL encryption, they’re all linked to the added security SSL delivers to both your website and your server.
Here are some questions worth considering while you’re looking for hosts with SSL attached:
- Is the SSL certificate free or a paid add-on?
- Are its SSL certificates from a dependable source?
- What other security measures are taken?
- Does it come with cPanel or a different easy-to-use control panel?
What is SSL?
SSL uses encryption to protect the communication between web browsers and servers. This communication is conducted by the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which sends requests from the browser and gets responses from the server.
Website use of HTTP on its own is gradually being phased out as increasing amounts of websites adopt HTTPS – a browser-server communication protocol that’s encrypted with SSL.
In SSL, the encryption and decryption of information transferred using HTTPS is done with both a public and a private key, making the connection between the browser and server very difficult for hackers to penetrate.
Why do You Need SSL Hosting?
For starters, SSL provides much-needed security for your browser and server communication line. As in real life journeys, the passage between the browser and the server can be fraught with (cyber) brigands, but SSL encryption seals off any information you’re sending or receiving from prying eyes.
While the security of your browser-server relationship may not seem critical, it actually affects every action you take on the web. After all, every website is housed on a server, and in order to access any website you have to go through its server. If the information you’re sharing with a server, such as your address or credit card information, isn’t encrypted with SSL, there are plenty of highwaymen eager and able to get hold of it in transit.
In the past, the websites that really needed SSL encryption were the ones that required users to input sensitive personal information, such as government, e-commerce, and bank websites. Today, however, users are far more likely to trust a site that has the little HTTPS lock icon nestled next to their URL, even if they’re not entering any information into your website at all.
At the same, Google is really cracking down on websites without SSL encryption that put servers and users at risk by relegating them to the bottom of the search engine results. In other words, if you want users to be able to find your website, you’re going to need an SSL certificate.
What are the Benefits of SSL Hosting?
- Your website is more secure. While hackers are an innovative bunch, using SSL to encrypt communications between your browser and your server is a good way to ward off attacks. By using SSL, you’re making it substantially more difficult for hackers to gain access to personal information uploaded to your website by you or your customers.
- You boost user confidence in your website. Users are increasingly looking for that little lock icon next to your website’s URL to feel safe as they browse. Deciding against SSL could lose you your audience, as the majority of users are likely to click away from websites that instead of lock icon or https have the words “not secure” attached to their URL.
- You improve your SEO rankings. Google is encouraging websites to acquire SSL certificates by downgrading the search engine rankings of websites that only use HTTP. On the flipside, if you do secure your browser-to-server communications with SSL you’ll automatically move higher up the SEO ladder than competitors that are procrastinating with SSL.
What Factors to Consider for SSL Hosting?
- Is it free with the service? Google and users’ unequivocal expectation that websites use SSL encryption have led more hosts to include SSL in their plans. While you could ostensibly set up your own free SSL with Let’s Encrypt, many best free web hosting with SSL solutions save you time and effort by simply offering it as part of their hosting package. Other hosts offer separate and sometimes pricey SSL plans that smaller websites probably won’t need.
- Are the SSL certificates from a dependable source? Not all SSL certificates are equally reputable or reliable. If a hosting plan comes with SSL certificates check to see which company is providing these certificates and what type of reviews they’re getting.
- What other security features does it have set up? SSL is an important piece of your website’s overall security, but it’s not the only security measure you need to implement to keep your website safe. While there are certainly steps you can take on your end to boost security, such as software updates and site backups, you should choose an SSL hosting solution that also offers network and application firewalls as well as DDoS protection.
- Does it come with access to expert support? Any issues that crop up with regards to your SSL certificate could have an immediate impact on consumer trust and SEO. Hosting solutions that offer 24/7/365 tech support through multiple channels and hire webmasters to answer questions can resolve SSL issues before they do any real damage.
Choose the Best SSL Web Hosting
SSL is your ticket to better SEO and higher consumer trust ratings, and cheap hosting with SSL solutions make sure your website has this important certificate at all times. To find the top SSL hosts, read our user reviews and select a winning SSL hosting plan today.