Web hosting isn’t necessarily the most exciting part of the web design and Internet marketing process. In fact, lots of clients just choose the cheapest hosting package they can find, or the first one their web design team recommends. I guess that a good percentage of business owners couldn’t tell you where their websites are hosted off the top of their heads, and certainly wouldn’t be able to give details about their level of service.
As understandable as that is, it can lead to bottlenecks on your website. Or to put things another way, better hosting can make a bigger difference than you might think. Premium web hosting can make your website faster, more reliable, and safer from attacks. In addition, better hosting gives you the option of adding SSL—or Secure Sockets Layer—protection to your website.
You’ve probably heard of SSL already, and have undoubtedly used it several times already today. But, more business owners than ever are asking about this particular feature because Google recently named it as a search engine signal. That means your website can be easier for customers to find with an SSL than it would be without one.
So, does that mean you should upgrade your hosting and add SSL to your website? To find the answer, let’s take a look at a couple of things you get when you make the change…
Because SSL assists with identity verification and data security, it has the effect of making your website more secure. And, just as importantly, that security is visible to guests and customers. When they see the “https” indicator on their web navigation bar, they know they’ve reached a safer website.
Behind the scenes, SSL connections encrypt data transmissions from one server to the next. So, it becomes virtually impossible for hackers to follow transactions and communications from the outside. That’s a big benefit for any business, but particularly one that deals with sensitive customer information.
Even people who aren’t web-savvy tend to associate SSL with banks and established online merchants, so they know it brings them an added layer of protection. That means that, along with the actual security improvements on your website, you get an added layer of credibility, too.
Better Search Rankings
As mentioned already, Google has already come out and indicated that they prefer websites with SSL hosting attached. And why wouldn’t they? As with their preference towards responsive web designs, they are simply factoring security, convenience, user care into their formulations.
The net of this is that you can improve your website and make it easier to find by adding SSL to your hosting. That’s a double-edged advantage without many downsides.
The bottom line on SSL for small business websites is that it might not make a huge difference right away, but the costs are usually negligible enough to make the investment an easy one. Why not do what you can to make your website safe, trusted, and search engine friendly… especially if it isn’t going to make a noticeable difference in your bottom line?
Now that Google has publicly announced that they’ll be factoring SSL into their search algorithm, we expect to see more and more secure websites popping up. Maybe it’s time to make yours one of them.