Starting a blog seems like a simple process – get a hosting, install WordPress (or other CMS), and start adding content like there’s no tomorrow. More importantly, is getting traffic to your blog. But once you dig deeper into all the things that need to be done, you realize that there’s a lot more to running a successful blog.
One of such things is an SSL certificate, which secures the data exchanged by your website and your visitors. If a website has one, visitors will see a little padlock in the web browser, usually on the left of the address bar. But, do you really need a secure website with SSL for just a blog – even if you’re just starting out? And why?
Why SSL Certificate Is Necessary For Bogs?
1. Always Put Your Audience First
No matter if you’re running a blog or a brick-and-mortar hardware store, you should always put your potential customers first. Even a blog should be treated as a real business – right from the start. In the case of a blog, your “customers” are your readers who generate revenue for you – either from the ads that they click or from your products or services that they purchase.
That’s why you should put them – and their security – before everything else. Even if you don’t sell them anything (meaning that you’re not processing any transactions on the site), it’s worth giving them a little privacy. Especially that, making them feel secure, has an important impact on the next point – your brand.
2. An SSL Can Have a Surprisingly High ROI
Most blogs are unsuccessful because their users fail to generate enough following to make their online business sustainable. A brand helps attract some of your visitors back to your blog and makes it easier to establish long-term relationships with them.
An SSL is one of the easiest ways of increasing your site’s credibility, as security (and the feeling of one) are one of the core elements of every brand. In the end, one of the biggest costs associated with data breaches has little to do with the security itself. It’s usually all about the lost trust, credibility, and sales, which often go well into millions (and even billions) of dollars.
This also means that an SSL is probably one of the investments with the highest ROI – as you decrease the risk of a data breach, you also decrease the risk of incurring losses which could severely affect even a relatively small blog. Or, in the worst-case scenario, completely ruin your business. And the best is, it takes just a few minutes to deploy the certificate, and make your visitors feel (and be) secure.
3. It’s Hard to Rank with No SSL
Of course, it’s not impossible. But, considering that SEO is becoming more difficult every day, and the number of websites targeting the same keywords keeps increasing, you need to implement all on-page and off-page optimization techniques you can think of. One of them is an SSL certificate – secure websites get a slight SEO boost from Google, which can sometimes be decisive as to who gets the top spot in the search engine results.
But a ranking signal is not the only reason why Google would like you to invest in an SSL. Last July, Google’s own browser, Chrome, started marking websites with no SSL certificate as not secure. Having your site marked with such a warning could severely harm your brand and make some users hesitant as to whether they should spend much time on your site – not to mention making any purchases. And, speaking of those…
4. And Impossible to Add any eCommerce
Well, maybe impossible is a slight exaggeration. But it’s not far from the truth. Sooner or later, you might want to start selling your own products – such as eBooks, video courses, handcraft, or whatever it is that your audience could be interested in. That’s when you’ll want to implement e-commerce on your blog.
If you process any payments on your own, having an SSL certificate is just one of the many requirements you need to fill to be compliant. Most online stores don’t process transactions themselves – instead, they use services such as PayPal or Stripe to do that for them.
Still, that doesn’t mean you’re fine without an SSL. You probably want users to create an account on your site, right? Or fill a form – or do any other thing where they’ll be asked to share their data with you. That’s when an SSL certificate is a must – as it encrypts the communication between your website and its visitors.
5. It Makes Lives of Hackers Just a Tiny Bit Harder
Having an SSL doesn’t just make you (and your audience) sleep well knowing that their data won’t be accessed easily. It also works the other way around – making the life of an average hacker harder. And, if your website is now harder to take advantage of, why would they waste their time targeting it?
This becomes even more obvious if you consider that there are thousands of other websites that still did not invest in an SSL. This makes them an easy target for a break-in – making your blog less interesting for hackers and reducing the chance that it become the next one.
The mass media inform us mostly about all the huge data leaks happening to the big companies – where the numbers of records stolen often go into hundreds of thousands. But how many attacks on small blogs go unnoticed? And not just for the public, but even for the readers and the owners? That’s something worth keeping in mind, and one more reason why getting an SSL certificate for your blog is a no-brainer.