You may have heard of it. “Mmmm…. yeah, SSL you repeat”, nodding sagely while thinking “don’t ask me about it don’t ask me about it don’t ask me about it!” But WTF IS it?
Well you could ask a techie, and he might tell you “well it should be TLS as the IETF has banned the term SSL now, but that aside it’s a bunch of cryptographic protocols that provide communications security over a network”.
Riiiiiiight *nods head, takes tiny steps away while not breaking eye contact*
SSL explained in plain English (and why you should care)
Very basically, SSL is a way of encrypting information over the internet, so that when you go look at a website, nobody else is listening in.
You need one on your website because it tells anyone using it that you are the website you say you are, and that the connection between you and your people is a safe one. It’s the green padlock thing in your browser. This site has it – have a looksee.
It tells people yes you can pop your name and email address into a form on this site and it won’t end up on a spammer’s list. Yes you can buy something from this site and your card details won’t be diverted to some sleezy bedroom hacker to sell.
How do you get it?
You have to go atop a hill at midnight wearing a navy blue cloak and pray to the Elders of the Internet.
Just kidding – you can get it from the people who host your website.
Get in touch with your hosting people and ask them if they offer “Let’s Encrypt”. If they do, put a suport ticket in to them to ask them to enable it on your hosting. My favourite host, Green Geeks, does this.
You then need a very simple free plugin called “Really Simple SSL”. Install it, activate it then run through it. It basically pops up a message for you that says “do you want to have SSL on your site?” and you click “Yeah mate” and you’re done.
I look after a small number of WordPress websites, including making sure SSL behaves itself. You need never worry about another website problem again. If that sounds great, get in touch below to see if this would work for you.