Over the last several years Michael Mackenzie Communications (MMC) has adopted WordPress as our go-to Web Development platform. Although WordPress constantly strives to harden its security features, it has become an attractive target for hackers due to its growing popularity. WordPress now powers over 27% of the web!
An added layer of website security has been purchasing an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) Certificate. An SSL Certificate creates an encrypted connection and certifies that visitors’ privacy and information moving between their computer and your website is protected. It adds that little padlock icon at the beginning of the web address in your browser and changes http to https. SSL Certificates come with varying degrees of security and have cost anywhere from $35-$995 per year.
Recently Google has started using HTTPS as a ranking signal. Translation… a site with an SSL Certificate gets a boost in ranking within Google searches.
Enter Let’s Encrypt
Let’s Encrypt is a FREE, automated service providing people the digital certificates they need in order to enable HTTPS (SSL/TLS) for websites. Let’s Encrypt is a joint effort, provided by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) to benefit the community, beyond the control of any one organization.
Additionally, they’ve been enthusiastically supported by prominent hosting providers and platforms such as WPEngine (MMC’s preferred hosting platform), Shopify, Automattic, and OVH (among many others) who’ve made it easy for their users to automatically enable SSL.
It’s important to note though that Let’s Encrypt is not the end-all, be-all for SSL Certificates. Let’s Encrypt provides Domain Validated (DV) certificates only. As previously mentioned, there are different levels of security and DV certificates are a lower-level security certificate. So, if you need an even higher level of security, you may want to check out an Extended Validation (EV) certificate. An EV certificate is a certificate used for HTTPS websites and software that “proves” the legal entity controlling the web site and come with a hefty cost.
For more information, see Torque’s Why Let’s Encrypt Has Completely Changed the SSL Landscape.
This post courtesy of Web Developer Kerry Wolfe.