If your site isn’t forcing the use of https, then the answer is no. More and more web browsers are starting to ding you for not having an SSL certificate (using https). It won’t matter if you don’t collect data or process transactions on your site. Search engines already use https as a ranking factor, now the browsers are making the users aware of the importance of this protocol.
What is SSL?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, a security protocol for establishing encryption for online communication / transmission. It does not mean that the website is secure, but that the communication channel is encrypted. In other words, your site can have an SSL certificate and still be hacked – it’s just less likely for someone to intercept the data while it travels from point A to point B.
If your site uses Secure Sockets Layer, then you will notice that when you highlight your website address in the brower’s address bar, https will be at the start. You may also see a lock. Clicking on the lock will tell you if your site’s connection is “secure” or using https.
The browsers are planning on bringing this capability to the next level by adding a warning on sites when you are about to transfer unsecured data. Essentially, a site with no certificate will have “Not Secure” next to the website address.
FYI- just because you are using https, does not mean your site’s connection is “secure.” SSL certificates expire, and must be updated when they expire. They also need to be implemented properly to be considered “secure.”
Don’t pay for an SSL certificate!
It was once common to pay for SSL certificates. Some hosts, still require you use their paid SSL certificates, often at unreasonable rates. You may want to change hosts if this is the case. We like using SiteGround.
SSL certificates can be obtained… FREE!
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