Getting an SSL certificate can be expensive and complicated. Not any more!

All eCatholic websites now have their own SSL certificate. No extra cost for you. No action necessary.

This is the new norm for eCatholic websites. If you’re a current customer, your website has been automatically upgraded with its own SSL certificate.

What is SSL?

Have you ever gone to a website and noticed https or a padlock symbol in your browser? This is SSL in action.

what is SSL


Here’s your technical definition of SSL:

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer): A security protocol that secures data transferred between two machines using encryption.

Still confused? Check out this “SSL certificate explained” video. Ultimately, it’s most important for you to understand how this SSL update improves your website.

☑️ Benefit 1: Extra security and data encryption

SSL encryption

When people now visit your eCatholic website, their browser (i.e., Chrome, Firefox, etc.) communicates with your website (on eCatholic’s servers) using a secure connection (SSL). This means that any browsing activity or data transfer is now secured with encryption.

Encryption scrambles data into an unreadable format. It happens as data transfers from someone’s computer to your website’s server. For example, data becomes encrypted to look like gibberish (e.g., åƒ∂†0˚∑πƒ ˜ ¬ø∆´ßå) as it moves over the internet to a web server.

While encryption is mandatory for processing online payments (see benefit 3), it’s best that all browsing and data transfer occur using a secure connection.

☑️ Benefit 2: Faster load times

SSL load times

Some mistakenly claim that SSL = slower websites. They say the extra layer of security slows load times.

This may have been the case years ago, but new technology flips this myth on its head. In fact, our development team is using the latest HTTP/2 technology. This new protocol gives your website better performance and faster load times.

The details can get complicated. Just know that SSL for your website = better performance.

☑️ Benefit 3: Transactions are secure – directly at your domain

SSL certificate payments

As you may know, you can accept donations and payments directly on your website using eCatholic Payments.

Previously, eCatholic Payments transactions took place via a secure, SSL-protected connection. However, transactions were happening at a secure secondary URL, not your actual domain.

No longer. This SSL upgrade throws secondary URLs out the window. All transactions processed on your website will take place (securely) at your domain.

How did this happen?

What led to this upgrade? Why now? Here’s the answer.

In the past, your organization could get an SSL certificate – and it would set you back at least $100 per year. Simply put, the cost of SSL didn’t jive with our mission. It was impossible to provide SSL to our customers and also keep our website plans affordable.

Then, Let’s Encrypt entered the scene.

Backed by Mozilla, Cisco, and Facebook, the mission of Let’s Encrypt is to “create a more secure and privacy-respecting Web.” In short, the organization aims to help websites get free SSL certificates. Our gears started churning. Our team knew we could use the Let’s Encrypt initiative for the greater good of the Church.

We planned. We studied. We built. And long story short, today you have SSL for FREE.

Have questions? Let us know in the comments below!