The first step that leads an ecommerce store to success is to set it up. The second step is to secure it. According to Big Drop Inc., around 33,000 websites are hacked every day, leading to crucial data loss including credit card details and personal information. At one end, it increases online frauds, and at the other, it leads to uncertainty among online shoppers about whether they should use credit cards for online shopping or not.
What is the workaround then? There are many solutions available that help online store owners keep their stores secure. One of the best solutions is to add an SSL certificate to the website.
- What is an Ecommerce SSL certificate?
- How to Check If a Store Uses SSL for Ecommerce?
- Different Types of Ecommerce SSL Certificates
- How to Know If a Website Uses SSL/TLS?
- How to Know If Your Online Store Needs SSL
- How to Install SSL in Ecommerce?
- Adding Free SSL to Cloudways
- Verify SSL Certificate On Ecommerce Store
- Risks of Not Having an SSL Certificate
- Alternative(s) to SSL Certificate
- Guides to Install SSL Certificate on PHP Ecommerce Applications
Let’s learn how Ecommerce SSL certificates can secure your store. This article will also cover details about where you can find free SSL certificates for your websites and how to add them.
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What is an Ecommerce SSL certificate?
Consider this situation. You operate an ecommerce store and customers want to buy from your website. How can you ensure that the credit card information of your customers remains safe even during an attack? This is where an Ecommerce SSL certificate will come in handy.
When you have an SSL certificate installed on your website, the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protects it from hackers and eavesdroppers. Hence, all the information including credit cards, personal data, and site information, transmitting between your server and the client system is encrypted and hackers cannot access it.
This is how GlobalSign explains SSL process:
“SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. When installed on a web server, it activates the padlock and the https protocol and allows secure connections from a web server to a browser.”
SSL certificates are not only limited to websites dealing with financial transactions. All websites that store user data in some way or the other must use SSL certificates for data encryption. Social media websites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter use SSL certificates to bar users with malicious intent from intercepting transactions and user search queries from websites.
How to Check If a Store Uses SSL for Ecommerce?
To find out if a website/store uses an SSL certificate, you should click on the padlock on the browser search bar and then click on the ‘Certificate’ button.
If the website is secure, you will see the certificate information like the one available in the image below.
Meanwhile, websites that are not secure, Google Chrome mentions ‘Not Secure’ tag with the website’s URL.
If you click on the exclamation mark, the website will show a clear message saying ‘Your connection to this site is not secure.’
Google now counts the SSL certificate as a lightweight ranking signal. Therefore, SSL certificates can also help with the ranking of the website in search engines.
Here is how the SSL-secured websites look in various search browsers.
Different Types of Ecommerce SSL Certificates
SSL certificates have different types, each having varying purposes. Let’s learn more about the types of SSL certificates available in the market.
i. Domain Validated (DV) SSL Certificate
A domain validated SSL certificate offers a low level of encryption for the website. It is useful for blogs, business pages, and websites that don’t store information. The domain level certificates require verification of the site through an email or a phone call made to the site owner. This SSL certificate is the least expensive and fastest to obtain. It is a low-cost option for those who want an HTTPS layer and a padlock on their website. Reasons for getting a DV SSL can range from getting higher rankings in search engines, to acting as an authority in the niche or industry.
ii. Organization Validated (OV) SSL Certificate
The OV SSL certificates encrypt user data during transactions. It offers a higher level of SSL encryption than DV SSL. It also displays business information along with the website information in the certificate. OV SSL can help distinguish secure websites from malicious websites. All organizations must obtain an OV-level SSL certificate. Before granting an OV SSL, the certificate authority investigates the business to check who is the rightful owner of the business and the website. It can ask for business documents, bank statements, and domain information from the provider. Once the business information is obtained, the certificate will be available in the browser’s address bar.
iii. Extended Validated (EV) SSL Certificate
The EV SSL certificates provide the highest degree of security to the websites as they cover all aspects of the business. When installed, the EV SSL certificate displays the padlock, HTTPS symbol, and the name of the business along with its country. This ensures that the website is secure and its owner is authentic. It also prevents malicious attacks on the website since all information passes through secure layers. To get an EV SSL, the site owner has to provide documents of his business showing that he has complete authority over the domain name. Usually, high-profile websites such as enterprises avail EV-level SSL certificates to improve data collection, login processes, and online payments.
How to Know If a Website Uses SSL/TLS?
There are two ways to check if a website has an SSL certificate available.
- Use a website SSL checker tool
- Check the website SSL checker certificate manually
1. Use Tool to Check Site SSL
You can check website SSL by using a simple tool called the SSL checker to check if SSL is installed on your website.
It will check the SSL certificate on your website and highlight each detail about the certificate. For example, we had searched for a website on the SSL checker tool and it provided each detail including the type of certificate installed on the website.
You can also use this tool to check if your site has an SSL certificate installed on it.
2. Check SSL Certificate Manually
You can also check the SSL certificate of a website manually if you are using a desktop computer. .
To check the SSL certificate on the desktop, click on the website URL. If it has a padlock, this means the website is secure.
To see the certificate, click on the padlock and then ‘View Certificate’ option.
How to Know If Your Online Store Needs SSL
To answer the question, ‘why do I need an SSL certificate,’ here is a checklist. If your store does any of the following things, it is important to get a site SSL for your ecommerce store.:
- It collects personal information
- It is not secure
- You want to increase the ranking of your website in search engines
- You want to protect your website from hackers
- You want secure logins to the website
- You want a trust seal
- You want to display a trust indicator in the search bar
- You want to protect your website and its subdomains
- You want to encrypt data transferred from client PC to your website
How to Install SSL in Ecommerce?
If you want to get an SSL certificate for your website, you have two options available. These are:
i. Free SSL Certificate
Let’s Encrypt is the only certification authority that offers free Domain-Level SSL certificates for the users. Many web hosting companies allow users to install Let’s Encrypt certificates on their domains for free. For some domains, the installation process is quite cumbersome. Read on to know how to add a free SSL certificate to your website.
ii. Paid SSL Certificate
The second option is to install SSL certificates through paid certificate distribution websites . Comodo SSL is selling a paid EV SSL certificate for $199. DigiCert is selling EV SSL for $70. There are many websites that you can visit to get an SSL certificate for your website depending on your requirements.
Adding Free SSL to Cloudways
Let’s learn how you can add Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate to your Cloudways server within minutes.
First of all, create your account on Cloudways and then launch your first app.
Now, open the Application Management tab, and then navigate to the ‘SSL Certificate’ section.
Enable SSL certificate on Let’s Encrypt and then add relevant details such as your Email Address, Domain Name, and then click on the ‘Install Certificate’ button.
You can add multiple domains at once and Cloudways will provide the Let’s Encrypt certificate for each one of them. However, do note that the process will take some time to complete.
Verify SSL Certificate On Ecommerce Store
Once the SSL certificate installation is complete on your website, it is time to verify it using a third-party tool.
Use Magenticians free SSL checker tool to verify if the certificate is properly installed on your website.
That’s it. Your certificate is successfully installed on your website. It is quite easy to install the SSL Certificate on Cloudways.
Risks of Not Having an SSL Certificate
- Misuse of data: Without an SSL certificate, data is not secure on your website. . This means that all confidential information on your site is accessible to hackers.
- A decrease in website ranking: Secure sites are likely to get higher rankings because Google now prefers an SSL certificate as a ranking factor.
- MITM attacks: Man in the Middle (MITM) attacks can occur on websites that are transferring information through unencrypted channels. The attacker can alter, remove, or even steal such information.
- Losing customer trust: Customers prefer to shop from websites that have the seal of trust available i.e. an SSL padlock in the browser. When the website is not secure, most people won’t place their orders.
- Search engine warning: Search engines will display a warning page for all websites that don’t have an SSL certificate available.
These are the immediate risks of not having an SSL certificate on your website. If your website is not secure, you will get fewer visitors and therefore fewer orders. It will have a drastic impact on your business and can even lead to a complete shutdown of the business.
Alternative(s) to SSL Certificate
SSL certificates have become an integral element of secure online businesses. However, many people prefer not to spend money on buying an SSL certificate. What is the solution available to them?
As I have mentioned in an earlier paragraph, they can get a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt. Cloudways managed hosting platform offers a free SSL certificate with cloud hosting. Cloudways users can enjoy a seamless website performance by adding an SSL certificate to multiple sub-domains at once with the free WildCard SSL certificate.
Guides to Install SSL Certificates on Top PHP Applications
We have written extensively about how to install an SSL certificates on PHP opensource ecommerce platforms. Read about it all here:
- Learn How To Install Magento SSL Certificate.
- Protect Your WooCommerce Store by Installing Free SSL Certificates
- How To Enable SSL In OpenCart Ecommerce Stores
- How To Install SSL On PrestaShop Powered Ecommerce Stores
- How to Deploy a Custom SSL Certificate on your Application?
Growing your ecommerce store without having a secure website can hurt your business down the lane. You will not only be missing out on potential customers, but will also experience slow website speed, a decrease in rankings, and a higher risk of getting hacked.
An SSL certificate saves you from all these troubles. It helps you build a trustworthy customer base by securing your ecommerce store that keeps the user data safe and secure.
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