SSL Certificates - why should I have one for my website/booking engine?
Before we get into the details, we can assure you that all Elina sites, including your booking engine, your guest, owner and corporate lounges and other functions are all subject to using SSL certificates and encrypted connections. As such, by default, all Elina clients are supplied with an SSL certificate from the market's leading provider (DigiCert) to ensure that visitors' data is kept secure while communicating with your hospitality services.
The purpose of this article is to introduce you to the difference of using the Elina provided SSL certificate and incurring the cost of purchasing your own.
What is it and why do I need SSL?
- Encrypt Sensitive Information
Keeps your customer's sensitive information sent across the Internet encrypted so that only the intended recipient can understand it
A proper SSL certificate also offers authentication ensuring that you are sending information to the right server and not to a "rogue" one!
- Customers' Trust
Your customers will be more likely to trust your website making them in turn more likely to be comfortable with providing you with crucial contact, billing and marketing information. This is achieved through the lock icon in the browser, the trust seal and the option for you to show a logo from the SSL cert provider on the page.
- Protection from phishing
Criminals who try to impersonate you / your website send phishing emails to your customers and having an SSL certificate means that they are unable to perfectly do so. Your customers are therefore less likely to fall for such phishing scams.
Why might I want my own SSL certificate?
The default certificate that comes with all Elina system installations is based on the elinapms.com domain. Since all SSL certificates are bound to a specific URL, this means that the URL for your public booking engine that is run by Elina must include "...elinapms.com".
If your website URL is "www.myweburl.com", when your visitors go through the booking process, the URL in their browser will change from www.myweburl.com to myweburl-bookinge.elinapms.com. This is what allows you to use the default Elina SSL certificate to secure the booking process.
There is technically nothing wrong with the URL changing in a visitor's browser. The visual integration of the Elina booking engine to your website is not affected at all by which URL is used.
There are two main reasons to have an SSL certificate for your domain instead of using the Elina default:
- If the URL does not change throughout the booking process as the visitor moves from your website through into the booking engine, it is easier to track their movements through Google Analytics and connect Google eCommerce tracking, as opposed to tracking them across your site URL and then to the ....elinapms.com address you are given by default.
- The identification icon and URL shown in the browser will carry your name as opposed to "Elina Hospitality Management Suite". While there is no trust nor security difference, this might be a branding preference.
How do I purchase an SSL certificate and how do I install it?
An SSL certificate purchased for your domain must be installed on BOTH your web hosting server as well as on the Elina server where your booking engine is hosted. Therefore, please make sure that you have someone who fully understands SSL and its installation requirements before attempting to purchase one.
If you wish to proceed with purchasing an SSL certificate for your domain, we would recommend that you start by the Elina Concierge. We offer help with the purchase if you want us to do this, or we can help you to understand what you need to do.