SSL Certificate encrypts the data between your hosting server and the browser. It makes the site secure for all kind of communication and transactions. Recently, WordPress announced that it is going to recommend only those hosting providers who offer free SSL to customers. Yes, you can get free SSL certificate using Let’s Encrypt and it’s very easy to do.
The only problem with free SSL is that currently it’s not available with all hosting providers. For example, Bluehost doesn’t offer Let’s Encrypt for free SSL and HTTPS.
Why Does WordPress Recommends SSL?
Here are few important reasons why WordPress is taking such strong step towards its hosting server recommendations.
#1 Chrome “Not Secure” tag for HTTP Sites
In September, Google announced that from early 2017 (month of January), Chrome browser will start showing ‘Not Secure’ tag to websites using HTTP in the URL. This is to mark and show that this website is not secure and you should be aware of the same.
Chrome is having a browser market share of more than 60% which is huge. So the notification or the tag is going to appear on most of the Internet user’s devices. Such notification changes the thought process of the visitors.
It is important that the visitors should feel safe while browsing your website. WordPress and a blog is all about trust and such notification like “Not Secure” is not going to help. That’s why WordPress is going to recommend only those hosting providers who offers free SSL with the plan.
#2 Google Ranking Factor
HTTPS is now a search ranking factor which means, SSL certificate is going to help in SEO too.
#3 Modern Browsers with Better Capability
Websites with SSL certificates i.e. HTTPS connections used to be a little slow earlier because of the two-way authentication i.e. SSL Handshake. Now the modern browsers are capable of doing these things really fast and one can optimize the sites with HTTPS too to open really fast.
So now SSL certificate is not going to slow down your website by a huge difference. That’s for sure.
#4 PHP 7 Performance Improvements
After PHP 5.6, the latest version i.e. PHP 7 is almost 2.5X faster. It is having certain codes to deliver amazing results with SSL certified websites. Even WordPress is going to recommend only those hosting servers who provides PHP 7 support by default.
#5 Making the Web Better
Automattic, the parent company behind WordPress.com and big player in WordPress Community, is committed about making the web better. The tag line of the company is,
SSL will make the web safer and better. As WordPress is running on more than 27% of web, if everyone upgrades or creates a site with HTTPS, a major part of Internet will become safe.
That’s why the decision to only recommend those hosting providers who provide Let’s Encrypt free SSL to customers.
Websites with SSL i.e. HTTPS looks more secure and safe to the visitors. With all the above factors and also a fact that Automattic is one of the sponsor of Let’s Encrypt, they like to promote a practice to make the web safe.
I think it’s a good step towards this direction. If you like to know more about hosting providers offering free SSL, read this list.
Update – WordPress has now updated the server requirement page with following requirements.