SSL a must?


I've been reading a lot of articles that mention the SSL certificate, and I was wondering if it's a must for every site to have it or not? I hear they are expensive. Is it true? What is their true purpose?


Active Member
It's not really a must as there are many websites without this certificate but my thinking is that it is one way of ensuring that the website is secure. I am not very sure of the cost.


I've seen a lot of people saying SSL is necessary for SEO, and a lot of SEO sites seem to think it is compulsory. However I did some split testing using some sites with and some without SSL, and it really didn't make much of a difference to the site's search rankings. If you are taking money then yes, secure your site, but otherwise I think its a nice-to-have, but not really needed.


Active Member
If my memory serves me right, Google once announced https as a ranking signal. In my opinion, I think this is more about sensitizing people about the need for websites to protect their privacy. Still, most webmasters don't think an encrypted connection is worth the effort.
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It's such a relief to hear that the SSL certificate is not really a must, especially when you're just starting out with a new website that hasn't started making money yet.


Staff member
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John Mu of Google:

HTTPS isn't a requirement for search. That almost certainly won't happen in 2017.

What will happen though is that Chrome will flag pages that have a form with either a password or a credit-card field on them, on HTTP, as being "non-secure". This is planned for Chrome 56, going out end of January. If you have a login or credit-card form, make sure it's on HTTPS.

That said, the general trend towards HTTPS isn't going to go away. It'll also get easier and easier to go HTTPS, so perhaps that expensive option you were quoted will end up being just a checkmark at some point. Moving now has the advantage of knowing what's involved (and being able to help your clients when they decide to move). Setting up new sites on HTTPS from the start will probably become the norm next year, HTTPS isn't a fad that'll go away like a 90's sweatband


Thanks for that information. I have a site which accepts payments through Paypal and credit cards so I guess I have to get on that right away.


Thanks for that information. I have a site which accepts payments through Paypal and credit cards so I guess I have to get on that right away.
If your site uses a Paypal button and the payment form redirects to Paypal so all the credit cards and payment information is done through them, it doesn't sound as though you have to rush. A Paypal button isn't "...a form with either a password or a credit-card field on them." so it wouldn't register for penalties.


Dusart may not be in a rush, but I would do it anyway. What you said Mallard, while true, is something the average consumer doesn't know. Having your site as well as the Paypal site being secured will make customers more comfortable.


Active Member
I think this SSL certificate discussion is getting interesting but I love all the points raised here. Whereas it isn't compulsory, I think it is important that a website exists on this platform.


If you're going to run an online business where monies are transferred from both ends, why would you NOT have an SSL certificate? No one can make you get one but it would make no sense for you not to have one.


It makes sense but it's also expensive if you're just a small business that just started and hasn't been making much money. For the more established businesses it's a no-brainer, of course.


Mallard, thank you so much for that detailed explanation. I never quite understood that fully until now. So I'm safe because Paypal takes care of all that. Plus I also use CLickbank, and that is more or less the same.


New Member
SSL is not needed for most websites but Google does rank websites with SSL better than the ones without it. If you are using cloudflare, you can easily enable SSL for your website. If you don’t have SSL or don’t use cloudflare, you can get free SSL certificates from


Google Chrome has started issues the SSL warnings on some sites. So having SSL definitely helps. You can also get the most out of it if you move as early as possible. This way no SEO value will be lost. I am sure in future people will move their blogs through SSL and may take a while for SEO changes to be reflected.
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