SSL certificate

Word to the Wise: SSL Certificates


JP Hunt

JP Hunt is one of the founders of Inksoft, a company that offers a comprehensive business suite including an online designer, e-commerce platform and other business tools. He also is the vice president of sales and marketing. Contact Hunt at or visit the Inksoft website at

Selling online requires a high degree of trust from your buyers. Luckily, there are many ways to create this trust, from looking professional to being transparent about your process. A key piece that many shop owners overlook, however, is a secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate.

SSL is a protocol that creates a secure connection between a client and the server over which to send information. This certificate shows users that your website has been reviewed by a third party and deemed safe. SSL certificates are sold at different price points according to the depth of the third-party background check, and they display in different ways.

At the basic level, a secure site’s URL begins with “HTTPS” instead of the usual “HTTP.” With a more thorough check, your URL may have a small lock symbol appear in the browser box or even display in a separate box altogether.

You can usually purchase an SSL certificate from your e-commerce platform provider as an add-on. It doesn’t take much work on your end, and the relatively small investment is worth the trust it builds with customers.