SSL FAQ – Why Secure Real Estate Websites? 2018-07-09T17:31:17+00:00

SSL Add-On (Installation & Subscription)

for Better Real Estate Website Performance, Security & Peace of Mind

We offer optional SSL (secures your website on an https:// URL) for our real estate website (new in 2018). While SSL has been an available option in the digital world for quite some time, this is a new offering for our Realtors® and brokers.

 Frequently Asked Questions

Starting July 2018, Google’s Chrome Browser as well as Firefox (more than 50% of internet users in Canada use one of these two browsers) will begin to display a big red warning on all non-secured websites that have any input forms (such as a property inquiry or contact us form, which are critical lead generation tools on any real estate website).

The traditional view was that unless sensitive information such as credit card information was exchanged, SSLs were not required. It adds a significant layer of labour, set up, licensing costs, code-level changes, and server configuration to install an SSL on a website, so it was often avoided on most small business websites without credit card transactions.

Apart from avoiding flashing a discomforting warning label to more than half the web-browsing public, having SSL encryption enabled on a real estate website offers other benefits:

  • Google started giving higher scores & rankings to SSL-secured websites (nothing is a substitute for solid hard content volume and disciplined SEO work, but all these factors do help).
  • More consumers are worried about data hijacking, making them less likely to use a contact/email form on a website without SSL.
  • A green “Secure” badge is much more attractive than a red warning label.
  • All of this adds up to higher lead generation potential on your websites!

A Secure Socket Layer encrypts any data that is submitted by a visitor and sent to the website server. For example, when a website visitor enters their name, email, or credit card information to make a purchase, this data is encrypted so that no middleman can read the information. To learn more technical details, you can refer to Hubspot’s guide on SSLs and websites, and its implications on online performance.

Do not purchase your own SSL Certificate! Brixwork has a supplier & workflow ready to streamline this. Because of the workflow & automation, as well as the specific server environment we are built on, we are NOT able to install SSL Certificates purchased from 3rd parties on our websites.

We currently have SSLs priced at $10/mth per domain. For more information on costs & pricing, please visit our website pricing page.

Do not purchase your own SSL! Our team will handle the purchase & licensing. Unlike domains, SSLs do not have the implications of ownership and privacy, so the Brixwork team can handle the purchasing, renewals and maintenance so you only have one bill to pay.

  • We handle the installation labour to validate the certificate, connect it to your domain, and upgrade your website and WordPress blog (if you have one) to work with the SSL.
  • We manage the renewal fees of the SSLs with our wholesale supplier to keep overall costs & operation overhead low.
  • We offer tech support for cases where the SSL does not work, or embedded items are not properly secured and trigger a browser warning that can turn away customers.
  • All you have to do is submit an order to add the SSL to your website, and agree to the added monthly subscription cost with.

When we first started building real estate websites back in 2007, the benefits of an SSL were far outstripped by the cost of administration, management, and licensing fees, so it was not deemed to be worthwhile. However, industry giants such as Google leading the change towards an SSL-preferred web world means we have reached a tipping point.

Because there is an added cost for having an SSL, we deemed it more ethical to give our clients the option to opt in or out. We are not forcing all existing clients to upgrade. For all new activations, however, we will actively encourage installation of an SSL on their websites.

Not all SSL are created equal, and lower level or non-compliant SSLs can be blocked. The recent fallout of Symantec’s SSL products and its implication on Amazon’s CloudFront validation is a prime example of how quickly things can get derailed. To avoid the potential of having to re-install SSLs on hundreds of websites, we only work with a highly respected industry leader for SSL certificates, and it’s not the cheapest in the market.

Also, these SSL price tags you see online presume that you are a web developer capable of installing it, or you will be paying your developer to install it, adding to the costs. Our costs include the installation and maintenance/administration/renewal.

The highest price SSLs are for much higher level validation for e-commerce websites with sensitive data (such as credit card, shipping addresses etc.) and carry large sums of insurance and warranties, which would be an overkill for real estate websites without financial transactions. You don’t need to bring a tank to a gunfight!