How Secure Is My Site? And what’s an SSL certificate?

People often ask us “how secure will my website be on your servers”? It’s a great question. And a difficult one to answer. The old adage about a chain being only as strong as its weakest link is very true when it comes to answering this. Site security involves many factors. You need a strong admin password. You need to keep WordPress core, plugins and themes up-to-date. An SSL certificate is important. But one thing that’s easy to forget is properly configuring the server itself that the site sits on.

I’m going to talk about SSL certificates and the server part of the chain in this post.

SSL Certificates

You may have heard of SSL Certificates. They’re independently issued certificates which give your browser confidence about your site’s security credentials. When you correctly install an SSL, your browser shows a padlock if your site is secure. It looks something like this:

The padlock signifies a certain level of security about your site, and Google is increasingly using this to increase website search engine rankings.  Soon all reputable sites will need one.  (All our Premium Support Package customers already have this as standard.)

But having an SSL certificate on its own is not enough.  You have to correctly configure the server to use it too.

Setting up a server to correctly display a website using an SSL certificate is a very tricky business. There are many variables involved and it’s vital that you check that everything works correctly, with no vulnerabilities. One customer recently came to us for help with this. They already had a security certificate for their e-commerce website, but it only scored an “F”. We were able to adjust the website and provide them with a new, dedicated server for hosting it. Then we configured the server settings for them to increase the rating to “A”.

We use the independent and highly-regarded Qualy SSL Labs online tester.  Here’s how our own site, https://outerbridge.co.uk, ranks:

Not bad, eh?  A+ is the best you can get in this test.

As you’d expect, all of our customers’ sites get at least an A ranking too.

So how secure is your site?

I ran the SSL test on a couple of major international online sites to see how their servers fared:

Not sure how secure your website is?

If you want to know more about site security, and how we can help you with this, please contact us for a confidential discussion.

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