Hannah West Design Now Secure!
Hannah West Design is now secured with a brand new SSL certificate! On January 14, we migrated www.hannahwestdesign.com to a new hosting service. Google is now promoting sites that are protected with SSL encryption and demoting those without it as part of a widespread movement to encrypt the web. (Learn more at Let’sEncrypt.org). With that in mind, we decided to make the switch to SSL encryption at the same time. Our new address is https://www.hannahwestdesign.com. It may take a little while for the redirects to be fully active for everyone, so before sending a message through our contact form or using our PayPal buttons elsewhere on the site, please look in your address bar for the green padlock, and if you do not see it, take the time to type in our web address with the https:// to make sure you are on the secure version.
What is SSL?
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. A correctly installed SSL certificate encrypts all information transmitted to and from your website. Websites with contact forms, login pages, online shops, etc. can all benefit from the added security provided by this encryption. There was a time when conventional wisdom said that applying SSL to our website would make it run more slowly. However, recent developments now assure us that the opposite is now true. We are seeing our website load with a bit more “snap” today…the ultimate proof.
The process of implementing SSL can be simple and painless, but it can also be rather harrowing. For me it was somewhere in between those extremes. I have been through this before on client sites as well, and most of the time it goes quickly.
Many things related to SSL certificates have changed in the last couple of years. They used to be expensive, and while prices have come down to be more affordable, there are free certificates available from Let’s Encrypt. The catch is that not all hosts have a quick and easy way to install them and the process of doing it manually can take a good deal of time. Previously you had to have a dedicated IP address (the numerical equivalent of your web address) for an SSL certificate. This meant you had to have private hosting (expensive) or pay a monthly fee of $4.99-6.99 PER MONTH to have a dedicated IP added to your otherwise reasonably-priced shared hosting. However, unique IP addresses are becoming more and more rare, so this requirement has been lifted. All this has made SSL encryption more affordable to the average website owner. The benefits are greater now too.
Benefits of SSL Encryption
If part of your objective is to increase your standing with the search engines, there are additional tasks necessary to do this properly. If your host does not provide free SSL certificates, you should know that premium SSL certificates have become more affordable than they once were. With Hannah West Design now secure, and having received current guidance on the best practices for making sure traffic to your website is directed to the secure version of your website, I’m ready to begin helping others to make this important change as well. If you’re not sure if you want to deal with this undertaking or not, please consider the benefits:
- Receive payments through your ecommerce website – Most payment gateways now require SSL
- Give your visitors and/or customers greater confidence in the security of their transactions, interactions with your site, and their personal information
- Limit liability for identity theft
- Boost page load times
- Greater protection from hackers
- Prevent unknown people snooping on activity to and from your website,
- Boost your SEO
- Participate in the movement to encrypt the entire web
Ready to apply SSL to your own website? Please contact me!