The Significance of SSL Certificate in Website Speed Optimization

I have been receiving several questions on the subject of web page load speed. How can I achieve the 100% load speed on Google Page Speed Insights? What are some of the things I have to do to improve my load speed? What are some of the consequences of a slow website? Does an SSL certificate impact the website speed? So which one between the standard certificate, Wildcard SSL certificate, and multi-domain SSL certificate is best for improving my website load speed? These are some of the questions I have been receiving. 

We all know the significance of maximizing key metrics such as page views and conversion rates. These metrics are vital in ensuring that your business succeeds. The speed of a website has a direct impact on these metrics. This is why, as a website owner, you should strive to optimize your website’s speed. Several tools and measures have proved to be effective in improving website speeds. The SSL certificate, which is well known for encrypting the communication between website servers and users’ browsers, is one of the key players in website speed optimization. In this article, I explain why having the SSL certificate is significant in web speed optimization. 

Web Page Load Speed

Web page load speed and website speed are two slightly different concepts. It is good that you understand the difference between the two. Web page load speed refers to the time that a website page will take to download or fully display its entire content. Web page load speed’s primary focus is to decrease the time a specific page takes to load. When looking at web page load speed, you pay much attention to optimizing the on-page attributes. 

Different factors will determine the speed of a web page. Such factors include; the reliability of the hosting server, the web page’s design, and the bandwidth size in transit.

Website Speed

Website speed refers to the time it takes a website to load as users go through it fully. It all starts when your website will respond to a click to the time the website users convert into your shopping cart. Your website’s speed is concerned with seamlessly guiding your web visitors through the crucial paths you have defined within the website. There are several ways that you can use to optimize the speed of your website. Today, I want to major in one way that is usually overlooked- the SSL certificate.

SSL Protocol

Most website owners purchase SSL certificates for security purposes. Indeed, SSL certificates have been a commendable companion to website owners who have the security of their websites at heart. The certificate helps to safeguard data and information as they travel between web servers and web browsers. Before we dive deep into the impact of an SSL certificate on a website’s speed, let us understand how SSL encryption works.

SSL Encryption

Websites are facing major security issues and breaches. Cybersecurity experts have sleepless nights trying to figure out long-term solutions to these security threats. Web users are now paranoid about sending their confidential information over the internet unless they are sure that only the intended recipient will receive them. As website visitors and businesses begin to envisage the real threats on the internet, the demand for secure web pages has grown.

Web security experts are constantly coming up with several approaches to ensure that the internet is safe. Although similar in many ways, the methods usually differ in terms of applicability. The leading example is the SSL certificate. As I stated earlier, the Secured Socket Layer is a protocol concerned with encrypting web-based applications. Data encryption ensures safe online communication. If your communication is not encrypted, anyone could read it. SSL encryption works through the use of two cryptographic keys. The private and the public key. The public key is used to encrypt the data, while the private key is used to decrypt it.  Encrypted data is in an indecipherable form. It will be useless for a hacker to try and access it.

HTTP/2 Role as A Speed Enhancer

An SSL certificate safeguards user data from the many hackers and cybercriminals that are flooding the internet. The SSL certificate plays a further crucial role in improving website speeds. Do not misinterpret this. I am not saying that the SSL certificate is some “turbo engine” that, once installed, will make your website operate at excessive speeds. The certificate does not directly impact the speed of a website. The certificate works with HTTP/2, whose primary focus is to improve your website’s performance that enhances your website’s speed.

Multiplexing for Faster Data Transfers

HTTP/2 enables both browsers and servers to request and receive numerous website elements by just using one connection. Multiplexing reduces website latency because the sending or receiving parties would not have to wait for each request and response to happen before they can receive the page they are accessing. A website without the Secure Socket Layer will have to wait for a request and response to be sent back and forth before the next submission can be made. Such websites will experience slow loading speeds.

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Header Compressions

Headers are a significant component of every website. They notify servers of the kind of information that a user will be looking for and describe the type of web resources in transit. HTTP protocols, which do not have the SSL certificate, carry headers up to 500-800 bytes per transfer. In the case of HTTP/2, the header data are significantly compressed, reducing the sizes of the headers transferred, which, in turn, leads to the reduction of website dormancy and improvement in website speeds.

Server Push

This is an HTTP/2 feature that allows the servers to push more resources to the web browsers. The website user might not have requested the resources, but the servers anticipate that they might request them shortly. By enabling the server to push more information in the browsers, the HTTP/2 significantly reduces website latency and increases website speeds.

The SSL certificate plays an indirect yet crucial role in improving website speeds. Despite most website owners knowing the essence of SSL certificates, some are yet to install the protocol. They say the price is their biggest hindrance. A friend recently came to me worried about the costs he would incur to install an SSL certificate on each subdomain of his newly-built website. Website owners still have these fears. As I wind up, let me explain a special kind of SSL certificate that could be a cost-saver when you have multiple subdomains.

Wildcard SSL Certificate

A wildcard SSL certificate is the cheapest solution to securing your main domain and an unlimited number of subdomains. Just a single Wildcard SSL is enough to do the task. This saves you time, money, and all the hassle associated with managing several certificates. All you need to do is acquire the certificate from a trusted Certificate Authority, install the certificate, configure it, and you are good to go. What is even more interesting is that the certificates come at affordable prices.

Cheap Wildcard SSL Certificate

Their prices vary, but you can be sure to find a cheap wildcard SSL certificate from some of the renowned vendors. Below are some of the wildcard SSL certificates prices based on the brands:

  • AlphaSSL Wildcard – $134.00
  • Comodo PositiveSSL wildcard- $ 237.00
  • RapidSSL Wildcard – $224.50
  • DigiCert Wildcard SSL- $653.00
  • GeoTrust QuickSSL Premium wildcard- $625.50

Conclusion

Websites speeds are crucial. Every website owner should strive to optimize his website’s speed. There are so many ways of achieving optimality in website speeds. One perfect way is the installation of an SSL certificate. Apart from just improving your website’s speed, SSL certificates also benefit a website, such as increasing ranks in search engines and data encryption.

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