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Do I need an SSL Certificate?

A common question asked of new online merchants is whether they have to have an SSL certificate on their website. The answer is, it depends.

If you want a transparent checkout where your customers never leave your website then you will need an SSL certificate to make sure your checkout page is secure. Besides the fact that is a best practice, most processing banks won’t establish a merchant account for a website without one.

If you don’t want/need a transparent checkout, then you do not need an SSL certificate. All of the major gateways offer merchants the ability to send merchants to the gateway’s website where they provide their own secure order page. The downside to this is the limited amount of customization you have with that order page (little to none). It will be obvious to your customers that they have left your website.

One Response to “Do I need an SSL Certificate?”

  1. Jon Lewis

    Great post. I’ve never bought a SSL certificate, but like you say customization is little or none. I am doing very well with out one though. I’m using Paypal.

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