Web security leaped forward in 2018. Google began flagging websites lacking the SSL security stamp. Chrome users – so, over 50% of the market, will start to see “not secure” on websites that lack an SSL Certificate. So, if you ever needed an incentive to get on the SSL Certificate bandwagon – Google’s just provided it.
For web hosts, providing SSL is quickly going to provide an industry standard. Let’s quickly refresh how an SSL Certificate improves the user experience.
Why hosts should care about an SSL Certificate
Looking bad in Google Chrome is just part of the story. Aside from appearances, having an SSL Certificate is an excellent foundational security practice. In fact, adopting SSL everywhere will improve your Google search engine rankings.
What is an SSL Certificate?
An SSL Certificate is a tiny data file that attaches a cryptographic key to your website. This security protocol will protect user data transfers, secure logins, and credit card transactions. Plus it will authenticate the overall business website or domain. In browsers, SSL activates the padlock and https to make connections secure from the server to browser.
First – Check your SSL certificate
If you were not persuaded by the security benefits, neglecting to generate an SSL Certificate may cost you organic traffic.
And if that happens, you may start losing customers as competitors turn their SSL Certificate into a standard offering. Just imagine if a customer website is hacked because you failed to recommend them an SSL Certificate. That’s not going to work.
But how exactly can you help your customers adopt SSL and stay current?
Helping your customers manage their SSL Certificates
We need to realize, friends, that most business customers are not fluent with the details of SSL. They know the “lock” icon helps security, but that’s about it. They may not realize SSL is necessary or valuable for their website. To help your customers make the transition, you can use the following process.
1. Identify customers lacking an SSL Certificate
Fortunately, many websites have SSL Certificates in place. In those cases, skip ahead to the “Ongoing Support” section. For everyone else, make a spreadsheet listing the following details:
- Domains that lack an SSL Certificate. Identify the domains that currently lack SSL.
- Customer contact details. You need this information to contact them. If you have a small customer base, we recommend going for a personal approach. Even large hosting companies like GoDaddy find time to call their customers.
- A rationale for reaching out. You can make general recommendations about SSL helping search rankings and protecting customer data. If the customer takes customer payments or sensitive data through their website (including support requests), they have an even greater reason to buy an SSL certificate.
2. Reach out to customers
With your customer list in hand, it is time to reach out to customers. Use the following email template as a starting point:
Dear CUSTOMER NAME,
Your DOMAIN URL doesn’t have any SSL security in place. You may know that a website SSL certificate is one of the most popular ways to secure information sent online. Without SSL in place, your website looks like it’s less secure in Google Chrome, the world’s most popular web browser. Your traffic may also decline because security is a factor in Google’s rankings.
We can offer that you purchase an SSL certificate. To set up your next steps, give us a call or contact us here: XXXX.
Concerned that some of your customers may panic about weak security? You can reassure them that over 25% of US government websites analyzed in 2017 failed SSL testing. They are far from alone. After you complete the initial transition effort, move on to ongoing support.
3. Offer ongoing support for SSL
Like passports, SSL certificates expire. If your customers have expired SSL, it degrades the web experience because you get warnings like this:
Help your customers avoid this type of problem by proactively helping them to keep SSL up to date. We recommend setting up an auto-renewal process to notify customers of charges 30-60 days in advance of the charge. Arguing about the SSL process every year doesn’t help anyone, especially if you’re adding new customers each month.
Plesk’s approach to SSL Certificate providers and web hosts
Now we’ve established why SSL is essential for web hosts. Want to hop on the security bandwagon, then stay on top of SSL and all other requirements for your customers? Use the Symantec SSL Plesk Extension.
Get an SSL Certificate
Unlike other approaches to SSL, the Symantec SSL extension brings additional value. Installed on over one million Web servers around the world, Symantec is a tested solution. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about your security falling behind. Because Symantec has the resources to invest in security.
The Symantec SSL extension integrates smoothly into your server management workflow when you use Plesk. If you’re unsure which certificate to pick, the extension helps you make the right choice. Best of all, the business-level SSL comes with a significant warranty. Which is a sign of us standing behind our product and its SSL certificate price.
Make SSL easy for your customers
SSL is not just for banks and e-commerce companies. Google practically requires it. As a web host, your customers look to you to provide guidance on security. Bring SSL into your standard operating procedures for all of your hosting customers. Follow the button below to learn more.