I've recently completed a few projects that really needed to be fully working online shops. The reality is that the websites that use any kind of payment, NEED to be secure. In this blog post Im going to talk through my recent experiences. If you have, or wish to, have domain and hosting setup and haven't given thought to an online shop. You are in the right place.
What is a SSL Certificate?
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization's details. When installed on a web server, it activates the padlock and the https protocol and allows secure connections from a web server to a browser.
Do you need it ?
Yes. Most websites now have a certain level of protection built into it now where servers and websites detect these transactions.
When you visit any website you will find the URL/link uses http:// before the www.
This is just some basic web speak for HyperText Transfer Protocol that allows the world wide web to define messages and transmit them between servers. When making payments online, this is just not good enough.
What happens is, as mentioned, servers detect the nature of transactions and move over from http to https. The S is for secure. This protocol allows the site to encrypt.
I thought this was about SSL !!
Once a website notices it needs to move over to https it relies on a stronger method of encryption that ensures the website itself is safe. It checks that is has a certificate for SSL.
Within mili-seconds is checks this and if all is well it allows you to move into your cart and even make a payment online.
How do I sort this out ?
More recently, I have had a few issues with clients servers as each one has a different provider. What I didn't foresee was that how unique and different each server product was. I would highly recommend figuring out what you need first and what your budgets are.
For one website I had to deal with billing extra for basic databases, so charges for SSL seemed normal. Other providers offer it in a package for free and some others look like its all well but it never did state if you have one or not, costing the clients even more money. This can be am odd shock if all you want is a site.
How can we help ?
If you got to this bit, you are probably interested in sorting out a problem you have or just need some support. We do this work all the time. What you should do is not worry so much and just talk to your provider.
If you would rather not, thats cool. These things can be daunting. Drop us an email or contact us below and we can take over for you.