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is SSL needed for SEO?

Discussion in 'HTML, Graphics & Programming' started by Apex, 25 Oct 2017.

  1. Apex


    Joined: 12 Feb 2006

    Posts: 13,300

    Location: Surrey

    been advised by our SEO company to make our site SSL as google prefer this. anyone know anything about this? easy to do? we are with vidahost
  2. On Holiday


    Joined: 29 Dec 2009

    Posts: 6,743

    Last edited: 4 Feb 2021
  3. Randomface74

    Perma Banned

    Joined: 9 Aug 2009

    Posts: 12,238

    Location: UK

    You should do it because it's good security practice.

    These days I won't use, recommend, or link to any website that doesn't use HTTPS. So it's not just about what Google think.
  4. Varwen


    Joined: 6 Aug 2013

    Posts: 305

    As of this month, Google Chrome has decided that credit cards and passwords aren't the only information that should be encrypted and so they're going to show a "not secure" warning on any pages that contain user data entry, and all pages viewed using HTTP in incognito mode. Even if not required for SEO purposes (though it definitely does help), it's worth considering the effect this may have on your users - I know some of ours would be put off by it.

    As a side note - Plenty O'Toole is right that you can get SSL certificates online very cheaply, but installation normally needs SSH/root server access - if you're on shared hosting it's extremely unlikely that your hosting company will give you this, so you may be stuck with whatever they offer you.
  5. Apex


    Joined: 12 Feb 2006

    Posts: 13,300

    Location: Surrey

    ok just spoke to vidahost. they suggested the paid for version but at £50 per domain per year, no thank you!

    luckily they have done a free version so it's now enabled, and messed up my site css. should be a quick fix and now my sites SSL enabled. woo to progress
  6. rexehuk


    Joined: 13 Jun 2009

    Posts: 4,008

    Location: My own head

    Can dip your toe in for free... paying for SSL is not required.


    No downside whatsoever, unless you're running a business and really want like an EV cert to give some buyer confidence.
  7. Apex


    Joined: 12 Feb 2006

    Posts: 13,300

    Location: Surrey

    thanks. that's the one vidahost installed for me, seems to be the best free option
  8. TheAlex


    Joined: 17 Apr 2006

    Posts: 549

    Location: Staffordshire

    Hmmm... in my view, companies should justify why they're recommending something - "Google prefer this" doesn't say much. Anyway - I see you've installed one already - the downside to some SSL certificates is they slow websites down, which is an SEO-negative. Let's Encrypt is slower than some paid options, but for free, you can't complain. If your website collects any kind of data or sells anything I'd definitely recommend it over not having one.
  9. swinnie


    Joined: 30 Apr 2007

    Posts: 3,094

    Location: Kent

    Where have you got certificates for £7/year? I'm with TSOHost and they would still charge £25/year to manage the certificate.

    What are the advantages/disadvantages of Lets Encrypt certificates vs paid ones?
  10. On Holiday


    Joined: 29 Dec 2009

    Posts: 6,743

    Last edited: 4 Feb 2021
  11. andshrew


    Joined: 25 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,514

    How does who signs your SSL certificate have any impact on performance?
  12. Cromulent


    Joined: 1 Nov 2007

    Posts: 4,118

    Location: England

    This is just incorrect. All SSL certificates of the same cryptographic strength have the same performance impact on a website. Obviously having to encrypt data does take some CPU power but but what with Intel CPUs having the AES-NI instruction set it is all done in hardware and so is incredibly fast (I believe AMD have something similar on their CPUs as well).
  13. Pho


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 9,224

    Location: Derbyshire

    They're slightly cheaper via https://www.ssls.com/ssl-certificates/comodo-positivessl - especially if you go for the 3 year version. As it happens, namecheap also own them.

    We've been using PositiveSSL for a few years but weirdly since migrating our app server over to Server 2016 the other weekend we had problems with our Android app on older versions (KitKat). The apps were throwing SSL handshake errors. What fixed it instantly was switching over to using let's encrypt instead. Free really is better :p

    For anyone running IIS on Windows, Certify the Web makes integrating let's encrypt insanely easy. Free for up to five sites :).
  14. mattc_uk


    Joined: 8 Feb 2011

    Posts: 43

    I would really want to see some hard evidence of the SEO benefits of SSL. Have there been any studies done? My sites don't take payment details or anything like that. The only user data would be cookies etc just for a more personalised user experience on the sites etc. I have a conundrum as one of my hosts doesn't offer SSL! (Yes I know, poor service but it's just an old add-on service from my Internet Provider which costs next to nothing). Changing hosts however would be an absolute nightmare for a well established website.
  15. kindai


    Joined: 9 Aug 2013

    Posts: 7,726

    Location: Bromsgrove

    Google has been using HTTPS in its ranking signal for 2-3 years now.