An SSL certificates purpose is to protect the data that a visitor puts into your website, from checkout information like credit card numbers, to their email address in a contact form. They're an essential part of modern websites, especially if you sell products or take users information, and not having one risks many things, including your rankings in search results.
It does this by establishing an encrypted connection between your browser and the server. This prevents man-in-the-middle attacks, in which software hides on the server, watching as users input their data into your website.
What does it look like? To a visitor of your website, a padlock will show in all modern browsers, although this shouldn't be relied upon. So, in addition to the padlock symbol, they'll notice that they are visiting the https:// version of your website, rather than http:// (notice the 's', standing for secure).
There's a lot more to it, and you can learn more about SSL certificates here.
An SSL certificate is included in every Webflow hosting site plan - no extra charges or hidden fees.
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