If you have been thinking about starting a website one of the things to consider is an SSL Certificate. An SSL Certificate basically makes your website use the https:// and the little padlock indicating it is secure.
Many people start without one with the traditional http:// instead. This is OK, but if you want to get an ssl certificate down the road it makes things much more challenging.
When changing to ssl you would need to update all your links from http:// to https://, which can be extremely time-consuming and difficult to find them all.
You especially need to update images, or images using the img src tag because if you don’t change them to https:// your site will display. However, in or near the address bar you will get a warning about mixed content and you won’t get a true lock on the padlock.
You have to make sure all images and other content are changed to https:// in order to do away with this error.
By the way, it’s not harmful, it just doesn’t look so nice and secure to the average visitor.
If you have many posts, pages, etc. it can be extremely challenging to find them all. Even in a website template/theme, etc. files.
The longer your website has been online the more content you are likely to have making it more difficult to find all of the http’s that would need updating.
If you purchase a ssl certificate and get it all setup from the beginning you won’t have to worry about this later down the road.
Believe me, I just went through this. My site is 15+ years old with tons of content. Not only that it has Boonex Dolphin, OsTicket, and WordPress CMS (Content Managment System). So, I had tons of links, images, template/theme files, pages, you name it.
I am into programming and development more than the average person, and it still took me a very long time to update.
It’s also very possible that I missed some, and I will need to update additional http’s to https’s as I come across them.
So do yourself a huge favor and get an ssl certificate off the bat. It can be a nightmare later, and it may give you one heck of a headache.
SSl certificates are extremely cheap these days, and even totally free with services such as LetsEncrypt.
The paid entry-level ones can be purchased for $8-$20 tops, which is more than adequate for the average website owner.
You almost find more https websites than http ones now. Especially after Google stated you may get a slight bump in search results if your website is using https. Who really knows though. I doubt that it is a very big bump.
Unless you have a very small 3-5 page website that has little to no need of using https. I would definitely get one at the start.