Do I need an SSL Certificate for my web site?

Dry Rot

Member
I am with Godaddy for my single web site. Yeah, I know but I find technology hard work and they do have an excellent 24/7 Help service. But they do also like the money and they are not cheap!

The latest notice I'd had from them is that my SSL Certificate needs to be renewed at the princely sum of $80US/year. Yes, I know I can get one cheaper but my mind freezes at the mere thought of doing that. Which raises the question, do I need one at all?

I have a web site which publicises what I produce. I don't accept money via the internet or through my site at all. I don't even do online banking. I do occasionally accept payments by bank transfer. I occasionally buy or sell through Ebay or buy online using Paypal or a Credit card, but these are secure anyway, aren't they?

My question is simply this: Do I need an SSL Certificate for my web site? (I've read the blurb put up by companies that sell these certificates, but their opinion isn't exactly impartial, is it? I am sure the advice on here will be which is why I am asking!).
 
If you make your website run as http rather than Https, then you don't need the certificate.
HTTPS is encrypted for processing payments.
Most larger sites are Https by default these days, but for smaller sites not processing payments is not needed.
But need to be running the site via http, else the browser will show a certificate error, which puts some people off
 
Do you need a certificate - in short "no".

On the other hand should you have an SSL certificate - even if you are not accepting payments - well if you are having folks enter any of their email, telephone numbers or personal data, then short answer is "yes" you should have one for your website. There are many and varied reasons why not having one isn't a crash hot idea in this scenario, but the main ones centre on security/privacy, trust and authenticity.

There are many and varied certificate issuing authorities which should charge you way less than the inflated prices you've been quoted.
 

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Written by Jamie Day

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