SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a protocol for establishing secure links between networked computers. It was succeeded by TLS (Transport Layer Security), which is the modern version of SSL and provides equivalent security. SSL/TLS is widely used to secure online communications, such as email, instant messaging, and e-commerce transactions, to prevent eavesdropping, tampering, and fraud.
When a user visits a website secured with SSL, their browser will establish an encrypted connection to the website’s server. This encrypted connection ensures that all data transmitted between the user’s browser and the server remains confidential and secure. A website using SSL will typically have a URL starting with “https” instead of “http” and will display a padlock icon in the browser’s address bar.
SSL/TLS certificates, which are issued by trusted certificate authorities (CAs), are used to establish the identity of the website and to ensure the secure transmission of data. By verifying the identity of the website, users can be confident that they are communicating with the intended website and not with an impostor. The SSL/TLS certificate also serves to encrypt the data transmitted between the user’s browser and the website’s server.
How to add SSL
Adding SSL to a website involves the following steps:
Purchase an SSL certificate
You can purchase an SSL certificate from a variety of certificate authorities (CAs), such as Symantec, GlobalSign, and Comodo. Choose the certificate that best fits your needs and budget.
Configure the SSL certificate
After purchasing the SSL certificate, you need to configure it on your web server. The configuration process varies depending on the type of web server you’re using (e.g. Apache, Nginx, IIS).
Install the SSL certificate
After configuring the SSL certificate, you need to install it on your web server. This process can be done through the web server’s administrative interface or through the command line.
Update your website’s code
Once the SSL certificate is installed, you need to update your website’s code to reflect the new URL structure. All non-secure HTTP links should be updated to HTTPS links. This will ensure that all elements of your website (e.g. images, scripts, stylesheets) are loaded securely.
Test the SSL installation
After updating your website’s code, test the SSL installation to ensure that everything is working as expected. You can do this by accessing your website using a browser and checking the security status of your website.
Redirect HTTP traffic to HTTPS
To ensure that all traffic to your website is secure, you need to redirect all HTTP traffic to HTTPS. You can do this through your web server’s configuration file or through a plugin if you’re using a content management system (CMS) like WordPress.
Update your sitemap and submit it to search engines
After redirecting HTTP traffic to HTTPS, update your sitemap to reflect the new URL structure and submit it to search engines such as Google and Bing. This will help search engines index your website more quickly.
Monitor your website’s security status
Regularly monitor your website’s security status to ensure that the SSL certificate remains valid and that all elements of your website are being loaded securely.
Benefits of adding SSL
Adding SSL to a website increases the security of the website and protects sensitive information such as credit card numbers and personal information from being intercepted by third parties.
Improved search engine rankings
Websites that use SSL are given a ranking boost by search engines such as Google, as they are seen as more secure and trustworthy.
Enhanced user experience
When a website uses SSL, users can be confident that their information is being transmitted securely. This enhances the user experience and increases user trust in the website.
Compliance with regulations
If your website handles sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, you may be required by law to use SSL.
Adding SSL to a website is an important step in securing the website and enhancing user trust. The process involves purchasing an SSL certificate, configuring it, installing it, updating your website’s code, redirecting HTTP traffic to HTTPS, updating your sitemap, and monitoring your website’s security status. By following these steps, you can ensure that your website is secure and that all sensitive information transmitted through the website is protected.