An SSL certificate is what is required to allow you to use a secure HTTPS address in browsers when someone visits your website. An SSL certificate is a digital encryption key that performs two essential functions for online communications:

  • It ensures that the data being exchanged by the client computer and the server is encrypted so that only the sending and receiving computers can read that information that is exchanged.
  • An SSL certificate ensures that the website that the client is connected to is who they say they are.

An SSL certificate is what allows a normal web address to be used as a secure web address e.g. from this "" to this "HTTPS://"

An HTTPS address only used to be necessary when confidential information was being transferred such as passwords or credit card data. These days, the major browser and search engine providers are pushing an HTTPS-enabled website as a requirement for everyone by down-ranking insecure websites in their listings and marking them as dangerous in browsers, additionally most modern browsers will now warn users when they are visiting a site that does not use an SSL Certificate, or the SSL Certificate is Invalid / Expired and mark the site as "Not Secure" for the user.

SSL Certificates are therefore an essential part of websites, especially where secrecy is necessary e.g. a User Login Form, Online Shops, or generally anything where information is being captured and submitted.