Securing Your Website eCommerce Store with an SSL Certificate
You may have heard about the new Google update where URL address bars will now display the wording “not secure” if you don’t have an SSL certificate for your website. This impacts online business owners who sell things online and collect credit card information.
Without an SSL, you can’t collect credit card info on your website itself as the information would be easily hackable and can cause major security issues. Therefore, you’ll likely need to send your shoppers off your website to a third party payment collection site like Paypal.
Why did I decide to add an SSL finally?
For starters, I got tired of seeing the “not secure” message in the upper left side of the URL address bar. I didn’t want this to deter shoppers even though I don’t think many people really pay attention to whether a URL is http or https.
Additionally, I wanted the security so I can now start collecting payment directly. One less step for the customer!
Previously, I was using PayPal and Stripe only to collect payments on my store over at GolfPracticeGuides.com/shop but the other day I decided to upgrade my hosting plan with Bluehost so I could have my own dedicated IP address and get an SSL certificate for my shop. Now I am able to collect credit card information directly on my store page and no longer take shoppers off my website to a third party site like PayPal or Stripe.
What Did I Have to Do to Get the SSL Set Up?
Since my shop was a sub-domain, I was told by support over the phone that I’d need a wildcard SSL certificate. Bluehost is offering FREE SSL certificates but they only cover your root domain and not sub-domains. If you want to cover the sub-domains, you’ll have to pay an additional monthly rate of $12 which comes out to $144/year.
Therefore, I recommend using either Bluehost’s free SSL certificate for your root domain, or if you need a wildcard SSL for the sub-domain, then check out a company like ENOM who sells them for $99 or less.
I ended up having my sub-domain forwarded to the root domain so anytime someone types in Shop.GolfPracticeGuides.com they’ll be rerouted to GolfPracticeGuides.com/shop. Everything still works the same and now my main root domain Golf Practice Guides is secured and so is my shop.
But What If I’m Not Techy & Websites Confuse Me?
Now if you’re not the techy person like me and completely lost right now, no worries. I had no clue what I was doing. All I knew was that I needed an SSL certificate for my store to appear secure to visitors, so I called Bluehost Tech Support and let them do everything for my website on the back end while I sat on the couch watching TV with them on the phone ha!
If you’re not using Bluehost as your website’s hosting service, then I’m sure your hosting company has a support team you can contact and ask questions about the SSL certificate to secure your website and stop Google from showing your website as “not secured.”
So the lesson here today is that if you plan on running your own eCommerce store on your website, make sure it’s on the main domain URL so you can take advantage of Bluehost giving FREE SSL certificates. If you create a separate shop page on its own sub-domain like I had done, then consider searching for a cheap Wildcard SSL certificate that covers both the main domain and subdomain.
Then call the website hosting support center and get the techy guys to help you set it all up so you don’t stress out and give up (like I was close to doing at first).
Thanks for stopping by today’s boring but important article on securing your store page so customers feel safe entering their payment information and buying your online products.
Nick Foy, Founder
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