SSL Certificates have been in vogue in the recent past, partially due to the high level of education on website security and PCI Compliance and also due to the fact that many people are ignorant about what it is and just want to go with the flow. Even webmasters who own a simple blog want to sport the https:// in their URL without any other reason. However, having an SSL certificate even if you don’t need it, doesn’t do any harm to your website. This article explains the hype about the SSL Certificate and whether you need one for your WordPress website. We will also take a look at how the SSL Certificate can be helpful in building your online reputation.
in May 2014, we had a couple of clients asking us whether we provide SSL Certificates and how we could implement it on their websites. You also need to take a dedicated IP Address for your SSL Certificate, so that your website can be uniquely identified on the internet. This can be a bit expensive, especially if you don’t need it. When we visited the client’s website, we noticed that they were running nothing more than static HTML pages on their website. They had an order form page, for which they specifically wanted the SSL Certificate. We did explain to them that the SSL Certificate will encrypt data being sent from the users browser to our server, so that it cannot be intercepted in between. However, since there was no critical information like credit card numbers or passwords being transmitted, having an SSL Certificate would not achieve much. The cost of the SSL Certificate and Dedicated IP Address would cost much more than the average amount of payment orders that they were receiving from the form.
An SSL Certificate is highly recommended when you are carrying on financial transactions and storing personal / sensitive information which if leaked or intercepted could cause financial loss or personal injury. The SSL Certificate is just a Proof of Identification which groups the domain name with the server name or hostname. It allows cross-verification and lets your computer know that you have reached the correct server, which has been verified by a certifying authority.
Generally, a personal blog or website does not benefit significantly by having an SSL Certificate. It does not prevent hack attempts or brute force attempts on your web server. An SSL Certificate cannot shield a weak password or bad coding. It will not prevent a vulnerability in the WordPress system from being exploited, neither will it protect an obsolete software from security bugs.
Along with an SSL Certificate you need to take a dedicated IP Address, and may also need to take professional help to install the certificate. If you are doing it just for fun or to show off, it’s just not worth it.
With a recent announcement by Google, that having an SSL Certificate does give you preference in the Search Engine Rankings, many people are rushing to buy them. However, you may want to weigh the costs and benefits before you do it. Although there no harm in having an https website, it may be expensive to maintain.