SSL stands for a Secure Socket Layer. Whenever you go on a site that has the lock next to the https://, that means it has been secured with a secured socket layer (SSL). Translation: it is a certificate that a third party has put onto a website that certifies that the data that you enter into that particular website is going to be encrypted for your protection.
Websites nowadays need to have this, but sites where is absolutely necessary would be e-commerce, healthcare, government, and any site the personal identifying information is being requested.
Stripe, pay pal and other online credit card processing organizations require that a site is SSL compliant before being added to the site.
Another added bonus, it that it helps a site’s SEO to a small degree. Google looks for the certificate when ranking sites.
How to get SSL on your website? You can contact your host to help get your certificate on your website. Sites that are closed source, like WIX, Weebly, and Squarespace have it built in automatically. Before investing in an expense SSL certificate, you should do a little research to know your customer and if they would be likely to buy or participate more with different types of certificates. SSL certificates can range from $25-$400 annually depending on the certificate. Definitely, do your homework before investing your money.
Also published on Medium.