If you have a website and you want other people to be able to reach it, you must necessarily have hosting. And once you’ve done that you also want your site to be safe, so you’ll need to equip yourself with an SSL certificate. But let’s go slowly, step by step.
What is website hosting and what does it involve
Website hosting is an Internet hosting service that companies provide to customers to host their site and make it available online for visitors from all over the world.
The website hosting service provider allocates space on a web server to store a site’s files (code, images, etc.) and it’s content. It also provides the owner with the resources to create and maintain their site in a certain searchable space and provides visitors with the ability to access the site, for example when typing in the domain name.
But what does website hosting include?
• Typically, web hosting has one or more servers that host the site. Servers can be physical or virtual, providing physical space, electricity, and an internet connection.
• Configure the Domain Name System to define site names and direct them to host servers
• A web server running on the host
In addition, for each site hosted by the server:
• Space on servers to store the files that make up the site
• Site-specific configuration
• Often, a database
• Software and credentials that allow customers to log in and allow them to build, organize and modify the site
• E-mail connectivity for the host and the site to send e-mails to the client
What is SSL?
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a standard technology behind creating an encrypted connection between a web server (host) and a web browser (client). This connection between the two ensures that all data passed between them remains private and intrinsic. SSL is an industry-standard and is used by millions of websites to secure online transactions with their customers. If you’ve ever visited a website using https: // in the address bar, you were creating a secure connection using SSL. If you have an e-shop or sell items via your website, SSL helps build trust with your customers.
Understanding how the SSL connection protects your data
Using an SSL certificate creates an encrypted connection between the user’s web browser and the web server. This means that data transmitted between the web server and the web browser cannot be read without first being decrypted. This protects the data from being spied on by someone else on the internet because it will not be able to understand the encrypted data. Without an SSL, anyone who is able to see the transfer of your data would be able to read all data sent or received, including confidential and sensitive information such as credit card numbers.
How the encrypted connection is established
There are some basic steps that occur when trying to establish a secure connection. Here is a summary of the steps:
• Type or select the secure URL (eg “https://abcdefg.com”)
• The web server receives your request and then sends a response that attempts to establish a reliable connection between the web browser and the web server, also called an “SSL handshake”.
• After the SSL certificate is verified using the SSL handshake, the data transferred between the web server and web browser is encrypted to keep it private and secure.
How to know if a site uses an SSL certificate
Although the SSL protocol details are not displayed to the visitor, most browsers will display a padlock or some other form of identification in the address bar. This will indicate if an SSL-encrypted session currently protects you. If you want the SSL certificate details you can just click on the lock.
What does the SSL certificate mean for visitors?
Most SSL certificates contain the domain name, company name, address, city, state, and country. They also contain the expiration date of the certificate and details of the Certificate Authority (the company that issued the SSL). When a browser establishes an SSL connection to a website, it verifies that the certificate has not expired, has been issued by a trusted authority, and is being used for the correct website. If any of these checks fail, your web browser will display a warning informing you that the site is not SSL-secured.