An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate helps encrypt the traffic between your web browser and a web server. The SSL protocol has been replaced by TLS (Transport Layer Security) which is more secure. The term “SSL” is still generally used today to for a mechanism for securing data that is transferred.
If you purchase an SSL certificate today through your web host or another provider then you may ask for an SSL certificate but you would actually be provided with a TLS certificate which is modern and more secure.
Do I need an SSL certificate?
If you are processing payments on your website, then an SSL certificate is recommended as it helps make the payment process more secure since your registration checkout will load over HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure).
For example, your registration checkout page URL will be able to load via HTTPS and here is an example of the URL (note the https at the beginning):
As an added benefit, your registrants/attendees will be more comfortable sharing their information on your site and Google considers HTTPS to be a ranking signal.
Where can I get an SSL certificate?
Your web host (hosting provider) will be able to provide you with an SSL certificate for a fee. Be sure that you ask for a dedicated SSL certificate.
Here is a sample message that you can share with your web host to start a conversation about getting a dedicated SSL certificate:
Remember that the verbiage SSL certificate is still commonly used today and you’ll actually receive a TLS certificate which offers more security.