Secure Sockets Layer ~ or SSL to you & me

When I started blogging in 2017 SSL was not so much a priority as it has become today.

Secure Sockets Layer

So what does SSL mean…

Secure Sockets Layer, a computing protocol that ensures the security of data sent via the internet by using encryption.


Are you any the wiser? Probably not so I will try and explain.

SSL Certificate

When you ensure you have a secure socket layer (SSL) for your site you are given a certificate to encrypt the data that goes from a user’s computer to your website – and back. Every time a user enters information into your site, SSL makes sure it can securely travel from their browser to your web server. This means sensitive information sent across the Internet is concealed so only the intended recipient can access it.

So basically, when an SSL certificate is used, the information becomes unreadable to everyone except for the server you are sending the information to. This is vital if the information you are sharing is private, such as credit card details.

The padlock seals all

Google will be removing sites who do not have an SSL certificate from their search results. They want to be known as a completely trusted search engine. This is telling us all that an SSL is vital for our SEO.

It is very simple to tell if a site is using an SSL certificate. When you enter the URL and the site is shown in your browser a small padlock will appear before the address. Also the start of the website address will begin with – https: – Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure – NOT http:

Secure Sockets Layer

How to get a SSL Certificate

Most hosts will give you a free SSL certificate which is great ;-). But be careful as some hosts don’t publish this fact but do promote a paid version on their site. It is best to just ask them.

Many hosts will let you have a free certificate for your main site but not for subsequent sites or sub-domains.

Zen SSL Plugin

If this is the case then download this plugin to get your own FREE SSL certificate –

SSL Zen – Free SSL Certificate & HTTPS Redirect for WordPress

It is very easy to do as they provide a step by step guide and more support on the subject here.

I did this successfully with my 4thoughts subdomain when I was with the old hosts. I changed last month. But that is a whole other story.

Really Simple SSL Plugin

Once you have your SSL certificate then you will need to download and activate the Really Simple SSL plugin for it to be recognised.

And they are right it could not be simpler. One click is all you need. But if you are unsure you can find help here.

The simple SSL plugin will ensure the HTTP: will become HTTPS: and you will have the nice padlock that tells google and everyone else that your site is secure for use.

Don’t forget to check anywhere you have listed your site address as an http, in admin settings and analytics, and change it to https:

Occasionally you may notice an orange exclamation mark across the padlock. I have seen this on single pages of various websites. It appears that sometimes it is due to images, or such like that the encryption could not work with for some reason. You hosts may be able to help.

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