What is SSL? Is SSL Important for Websites?

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For website owners, especially those that are used to support business, data security is of course the main thing that must always be considered. Moreover, the process of transferring data from the browser to the website is a sweet path for threat actors to carry out their actions. 

Therefore, it is important for programmers to improve the security system on the websites they have. One of them is by using SSL or Secure Socket Layer which is able to protect websites from hacker attacks.

This article will discuss in detail what SSL is, how it works, and what its functions are for websites. An SSL security system can be owned by purchasing an SSL certificate (SSL Wildcard) from a hosting service provider, which can guarantee a security system on the website being managed.

Currently, many websites already use SSL. Not without reason, but this SSL has lots of hidden benefits from various aspects, such as security, SEO, and others.

What is SSL and why is it so important for websites? How does SSL work? What is the difference between SSL and TLS? All these questions will be answered in this article!

What is SSL and TLS?

What is SSL? Is SSL Important for Websites?

Secure Socket Layer is an encryption-based internet security protocol commonly used in website security systems. SSL itself is a website security standard that works by encrypting data traffic from a web client to a web server, or from a browser to a website. 

SSL will translate sensitive information such as personal data, credit card numbers, to passwords into code that is hard to read or encrypted. Changes made to the SSL protocol can make data on the website.

SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer, one of the important components that a website must have. With SSL, data transfer on the website becomes more secure and encrypted. Even so important, Google Chrome labels websites without SSL certificates as Not Secure.

If this security system is added to your website, the website URL will change to HTTPS. The main purpose of installing SSL is to secure data exchange that occurs over the internet network. At the beginning we mentioned, what is the difference between SSL and TLS? Actually, now SSL is not used at all and has been replaced by TLS.

Even so, because most people are too familiar with the term SSL, companies still use the term. Even though basically now the encryption feature provided is TLS. Both secure data transfers on the website. However, TLS technology is better because it is newer and is an upgrade over SSL. So you don't need to worry about the difference in these terms.

Why Need to Use SSL/TLS?

Broadly speaking, SSL is needed as a way to increase the security of your website from security threats. However, there are also specific reasons why you need to use SSL/TLS. Following are the reasons in question:

1. Avoid Data Theft

SSL/TLS protects you from data theft threats. You do this by encrypting or scrambling sensitive data. That way, just anyone won't be able to read the data you have and send it.

2. Avoid Sending Wrong Data

SSL/TLS also works for authentication. That is, SSL/TLS ensures that you send information or data to the appropriate destination server. Instead of sending information to hackers or irresponsible parties.

3. Increase Website Reputation

When the website has installed SSL, the browser will show certain notifications. In Internet Explorer, usually the notification will be in the form of a green block in the address bar. Whereas in Firefox and Google Chrome, notifications will be shown in the form of a locked padlock icon.

This notification is useful for increasing your reputation and trust in the eyes of visitors. With notifications, website visitors will not hesitate to access the website. When you create an online store website, potential buyers will also not hesitate to shop on your website.

4. Increase Website Ranking in Search Engines

Google's algorithm also prefers websites that have SSL/TLS certificates. Not just really like it. Google even "forbids" its users to visit websites that don't have SSL/TLS certificates.

So it's no wonder that SSL / TLS is also related to website ranking in search engines. A research proves that most websites with SSL/TLS certificates have a higher position in search engines.

How SSL/TLS Works

After understanding what an SSL certificate is and the reasons for using it, now is the time for you to find out how it works. This SSL certificate will help you secure the communication between two computers connected by the internet network.

Exchange of data such as visiting websites, sending and receiving emails, buying goods online, as well as important company data will be encrypted so that no irresponsible person tries to use the data illegally.

An SSL certificate has two combinations, namely the public key and the private key. The public key is used to encrypt the data to be sent, while the private key is used to decrypt the data into a format that can be reused by the data recipient.

Benefits of SSL/TLS

There are many benefits that you can get if you install an SSL certificate on your website. Here are some of the benefits of SSL:

1. Increase Website Reputation

If your website URL still uses the HTTP protocol, Google will automatically display a Not Secure warning every time a visitor visits your website. This warning will also appear when visitors fill in sensitive data or information such as login data and passwords, forms, as well as personal data and account numbers. Indirectly, Google forces website owners to secure and encrypt data on the internet network.

2. Securing Data Transfers on the Website

The advantage of using another SSL certificate is that with SSL's encryption, data will be more secure. Data exchange that occurs between your computer and the computers of visitors trying to visit your website will be protected by a public key and a private key. What's more, the lock label and HTTPS will help ordinary visitors to be calmer when accessing your website.

3. Improve SEO Quality

One of the factors that has a positive effect on the quality of SEO is the use of SSL on the website. Since 2014, Google has implemented an algorithm that prioritizes websites with SSL over websites without SSL.

Even though SSL is only one of the many SEO factors implemented by Google, of course it's better if you activate SSL. Moreover, now also available free SSL.

Change from HTTP to HTTPS

So what does this have to do with HTTP and HTTPS when using an SSL security system? Websites that have used SSL certificates will change their URL from HTTP to HTTPS protocol. 

The difference between HTTP and HTTPS is quite influential for visitors in today's digital era. Ordinary users are usually familiar with SSL certificates with HTTPS signs that are found when accessing certain websites.

HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) and HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure or HTTPS are protocols specifically designed to transfer information from one computer to another over the internet network. The most striking difference between HTTP and HTTPS is the addition of the letter S (Secure).

However, HTTP is the securely unencrypted version. The absence of authentication means that you don't really know who you are interacting with while on the internet. It could be, when you are transacting with someone, hackers are ready to store your important data.

The addition of this one letter is very important because it means that the website has been installed with an SSL certificate. Installation of this SSL certificate shows that the interconnected computers have agreed to a code that blocks anything that tries to read and retrieve the data they have.

As a website owner, of course this is very helpful when you transact with your clients. This is a very serious concern if you have an e-commerce type website, because you and your clients will often exchange important information such as personal data, account numbers, and so on.


The types of SSL below are distinguished according to the SSL security needs of each website.

1. Domain Validated SSL (DV SSL)

This SSL is highly recommended for SMB (growing business) who need a solution at an affordable price. This DV level SSL certificate only requires domain ownership i.e. DNS or email validation.

DV SSL will only display information that your website is a secure and encrypted website. So, it is not recommended for e-commerce to use this level of SSL. DV SSL is suitable for use on website testing or your internal business site. If you use this certificate, the sign that the domain is secure is HTTPS and a green padlock.

2. Organization Validated SSL (OV SSL)

This SSL is actually the same as DV SSL. However, the domain owner must verify by showing proof of domain ownership and legitimacy. This means that a certificate issuer or CA (Certificate Authority) such as GeoTrust, Comodo SSL, and others will ensure that the domain is registered with business name, location, and other legal information.

OV SSL is usually used on company websites to make it appear more secure and reliable to visitors. If you use this certificate, the sign that the domain is secure is HTTPS and a green padlock.

3. Extended Validated SSL (EV SSL)

EV SSL has a high level of security and is highly recommended for your online business, especially e-commerce websites. The feature of this EV SSL is that your business name is written in green in the URL bar near the domain name.

EV SSL requires domain owners to verify domain ownership with several legal documents. This is because usually this SSL is used for those who have trusted business entities such as PT, CV, and the State Department.

SSL Plays an Important Role

SSL can be said to play an important role in the website security system. Not only does it play a role in encrypting data, but SSL is also one of the requirements to get the title as a "Secure" website from Google. 

By now, of course, you already know what SSL is and the various benefits that are obtained by implementing this security protocol. It's time to start putting SSL up on your priority list.

How to Choose SSL/TLS

In the previous discussion, it was explained about the types of SSL. Please note that there are paid SSL and free SSL. For those of you who want to use cheap SSL for the first time and want to experiment without spending money, you can try free SSL from Cloudflare. But if you choose the free version, you won't get premium features from Cloudflare. After your blog or website starts to develop, you can choose a Paid SSL DV SSL type.

If you have a website for your business or an organization, then Organization Validated SSL (OV SSL) is the right choice to ensure domain ownership that is registered with the company or organization name, clear location and other important information.

The last one is Extended Validated SSL (EV SSL). For those of you who run an online business or e-commerce this type of SSL is the best choice because it has the highest level of security.

For those of you who are new to SSL and want to do the installation yourself, you don't need to worry because we have prepared a guide. However, before that, make sure whether you are going to use free or paid SSL/TLS.

You need to consider this based on your needs and budget. Some free SSL already provide the important features needed by the website. Even so, still to get the full features, you need to use a paid SSL.

Again, whether you go with free or paid SSL is up to you. If so, you can practice how to install SSL on hosting. Especially for those of you who use Cyberpanel, please visit the Cyberpanel SSL configuration guide.

After installing SSL via cPanel, you need to point your website to a new address, namely from the previous HTTP to HTTPS. This applies to both free and paid SSL. Relax, you can do it using a plugin.

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