Hosting Tutorial & Guide

Why Is SSL Certificate Important in e-Commerce Hosting?

updated on Aug 01, 2017
Why Is SSL Certificate Important in e-Commerce Hosting? If you are planning to start an e-commerce website, you may have been suggested to get an SSL certificate to your website. Since you are not so familiar with this thing, you may have tons of questions like what it is, how it works, why it is so important, and how to get one for a website.

That is why we work out this article. Here, we have answered all the questions mentioned above with our own knowledge and opinions from experts. Detailed explanations are as following.

What Is SSL?

To make clear of the importance of an SSL certificate to e-commerce websites, it is essential for you to know what this thing is. As the abbreviation of Secure Sockets Layer, SSL is a cryptographic technique that establishes an encrypted connection between a server and a client by exchanging a symmetric key. It protects the sensitive information to be private and confidential as it transfers over the web and keeps data from being stolen by malicious attackers.

Typically, most browsers display a lock symbol or a green address bar to indicate that they are currently protected by SSL. Besides, a website using SSL for encryption usually has its URL beginning with https:// instead of the original http://. If you are interested in online shopping, you may have noticed many of such addresses.

Why Is SSL Important for e-Commerce Websites?

Due to the nature of data protection, SSL is a widely used feature on most e-commerce websites which collect visitors' and consumers' private information. There should be 2 main reasons for this phenomenon – increased information security and the obtainment of consumers' trust and confidence.

Information Security

Increased Information Security The primary reason for using SSL is to keep sensitive information safe by sending them with an encrypted connection. As e-commerce websites require private information like username, password and credit card number, the information collected could easily encounter identity theft during it is sent to or sent back by the server if there are no encryption methods used.

Since you are an online merchant, it should be completely your responsibility to maintain data confidentiality for your consumers. By using an SSL certificate to enable SSL encryption, your website data and visitors' personal information is well encrypted and becomes unreadable to anyone except for the server that the information is destined for.

Consumers' Trust

The security of the Internet has always been a big concern because there are so many hacks and identity thefts happening every day. Therefore, people nowadays are quite careful in making purchases online. If you are unable to convince your visitors that their privacy is under protection, how can you expect that they trust you and buy the products?

On the contrary, with SSL enabled, people will feel a sense of safety, thus they are more likely to trust your website and then buy things they want. SSL provides you with a thing acting like a trust seal to arouse people's trust in your business.

How Does It Work

When company A intends to secure the communication between its web server and a customer’s browser, the first thing it needs to do is to establish a private key as well as a public key. Then company A should go to a reliable third party B to prove its identity, and verify its company domain as well. After that, company A would receive a new public key which contains all the information verified before, and the information is encrypted with B’s private key. Above is the server authentication phase.

Now it comes to the customer’s authentication.
  • Firstly, the user’s browser tries to connect to the SSL-secured website of company A, and it requires the web server to prove its authentication.
  • Secondly, the web server provides the SSL certificate as well as the public key.
  • Thirdly, the browser verifies all the information and decides whether to trust it. If the server is not trusted by the browser, then the communication between them is terminated. Otherwise, the browser creates a symmetric key, namely a password, and encrypts it with the received public key, and then sends it back to the server.
  • Then, the server decrypts the information and successfully gets the password.
  • Thus, the customer starts the communication with company A, and he can feel free to enter his private information.

How to Get an SSL Certificate?

How to Get an SSL Certificate SSL certificates fall into 2 types – private SSL certificates and shared SSL certificates. In most cases, you need to pay extra cost for a private SSL certificate. And to set up it successfully, you should remove domain privacy, and sometimes you may also need to pay the installation fee.

For shared SSL certificates, most leading web hosting companies provide one for free in their shared web hosting packages. A shared SSL certificate uses the web host's domain instead of your own domain name.


To secure consumers and to expand you online business, it is quite necessary to use a SSL certificate. As you may be stuck by the question whether to use a shared SSL certificate or to buy a private one, we suggest you to go with a reliable web host that offers shared SSL and supports the purchase of private SSL certificates at an affordable price.

The leading web hosting provider InMotion should be a good option as the shared web hosting package from this company, which starts from $3.49/mo with this promo link, includes shared SSL for free, and a private 256-bit SSL certificate is available at $99.99/year.