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When it comes to running a business, the internet is an awesome place to meet your customer. If you’ve decided to build an online store for your business, congratulations! You’ve made a great decision.

Running an online store comes with its own benefits and challenges. But there’s one thing that’s similar to running a physical shop. You have to secure your shop.

Unfortunately, the internet is also where hackers run wild. Without securing your ecommerce website, you run the risk of exposing your data and the data of your customers.

For online store owners, the most basic thing you must do to secure your site is to install an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. It’s quite simple to do so. In this post, we’ll discuss why your online store needs an SSL certificate and how to get one.

But first, you should start by watching this video of us explaining SSL certificates for online stores!

Why your online store needs an SSL certificate

SSL certificate is a necessity for any online store. Let’s explore the most important reasons why your storefront needs one.

It helps to secure your website

As we explain in our video, installing an SSL certificate is an essential security measure for any online store. It encrypts communication between the store and its customers, preventing hackers from intercepting personal information or stealing credit card details. This is one reason an SSL certificate is required in order to accept credit card payments on a website.

It gives you the padlock and https

Look to the left of the URL of this page. You see that padlock right? That’s the indication that this connection is secure. And you only get that if your online shop has an SSL certificate.

Basically, HTTP is the protocol used to load web pages. It was built a long time ago and can’t meet the security standard we have today. But by installing an SSL certificate, you add a layer of protection on top of that protocol. Your HTTP becomes HTTPS, with the S indicating you have a nice and secure connection.

It gives shoppers a confidence boost

An SSL certificate also gives customers confidence that their transactions are safe and secure. In today’s online environment, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of security, and are more likely to do business with a store that has SSL protection.

Shoppers won’t know that you have a certificate. They just know that a website without the padlock in the address bar is not a good place to do business. After Google launched a new version of Google Chrome in October 2017, the browser would flag a page lacking an SSL certificate with a “not secure” warning.

A website that shows “not secure” in the address bar raises concerns from customers. They won’t feel safe on your website, and you’ll look unprofessional. Even if you don’t exchange any data, customers might feel unsafe and avoid your website. 

It’s a necessity to rank on Google

Google has been vocal about making the internet a safer place, and one way of doing that is HTTPS. SSL encryption is one of the most important ranking factors for Google. SSL-certified websites will rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Non-secure websites are automatically pushed to the bottom of the results.

Without being able to rank and appear in the SERPs, you lose a lot of your online visibility. Fewer people will reach your online store and view your products because they can’t search for you.

But this makes sense when you think about it. Like Bluehost, Google also wants to serve its users the best experience and the best answers to their queries. That’s why Google doesn’t want searchers to land on a non-secure website, which may put them at risk of losing their data.

Besides, website visitors are more likely to stay on your page if they have a secure connection. If Google flags a website as not secure, this can reduce your traffic and ultimately, your revenue.

How to get an SSL certificate for your online store

If you’re looking to add an SSL certificate to your online store, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Here are a few tips:

  1. Make sure you buy a certificate from a reputable provider.
  2. You’ll need to generate a CSR (Certificate Signing Request) from your server.
  3. Choose the right type of certificate for your needs.
  4. Install the certificate on your server.
  5. Test your site to make sure everything is working properly.
  6. Update your site’s URL to reflect the new HTTPS address.

By following these steps, you can add an SSL certificate to your online store and help keep your customers’ information safe and secure. And if you’re looking for a guide on how to do it yourself, we have this in-depth article that walks you through how to add HTTPS to your domain. Check it out!

Get an SSL certificate with Bluehost

If you’re using Bluehost hosting, we’ve simplified this process to make it easier for you. And we also offer free SSL certificates for dedicated IP addresses.

You can do everything within your Bluehost dashboard. When you log into your dashboard, click on My Sites, then choose Manage Site for the website where you want to install the SSL certificate. 

Under the Security tab, you’ll see the option to install your free SSL certificate Once you activate it, the certificate could take a few hours to update your site to use HTTPS.

After it updates, you’ll have to make sure your old HTTP online store redirects to your new HTTPS store. You can do that using a 301 redirect, or you can add SSL to WordPress with the Really Simple SSL plugin that helps you convert HTTP to HTTPS and redirect all your links correctly. 

Bluehost uses AutoSSL for its certificate system. AutoSSL generates new certificates for each website with Let’s Encrypt, and it happens automatically for each new account and accounts with WordPress installed.

Final thoughts

Overall, an SSL certificate is a vital part of running a successful online store. It helps to protect both the store and its customers, and can give customers the peace of mind that their transactions are safe and secure.

Are you ready to take your online business off the ground and launch your brand new website? Check out Bluehost’s hosting packages today. And our experts at BlueSky are always ready to answer your questions!

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