SSL Certificate

How to Speed up your SSL Enabled Websites?

July 26, 2017 | By Comodo SSL

Understanding Self-Signed Certificates

The importance of SSL technology for websites can never be overemphasised. Because websites or enterprises cannot afford the risk of losing the sensitive data trusted to them by the internet users. And to ensure this does not happen, websites need SSL certificates duly approved by reputed Certificate Authorities like Comodo. But SSL technology can be a “double-edged sword” because it is also known to slow down website performance.

Added Security Comes at a Cost

Unfortunately, SSL connections have also become synonymous with slowing down website performance as well. And considering how impatient internet users are these days, a slow performing website which any doubt translates as a website which does little to no business at all. But for websites which require encrypted connections, there’s no way around other than deploying SSL certificates. Because the benefits they offer are just too significant to be ignored.

But here’s the good news: SSL technology does not necessarily have to mean slow website performance as there are ways using which you can optimize an SSL-backed website’s performance. But first, let’s understand what makes these websites slow.

What Makes SSL Slow?

Have you ever had the misfortune of boarding an airplane after a terrorist attack? It would’ve at least taken “a few annoying minutes (or even hours) than usual” for you to board the plane because of the “additional website security deployed”  owing to the recent attacks. Similarly, websites secured with SSL technology too, if proper measures are not taken, can take “a few seconds more than usual” to load because of the “additional security they offer”. “Precious few seconds” which can affect your business badly. So what makes these SSL enabled websites slow?

When browsers (that is, online customers) interact with web sites (or web servers to be more precise), first an “SSL session needs to be established or negotiated” between them for the communication or data exchange to take place between the two. This usually takes time some time because the web server and browser have to trust each other which usually involves the exchange of public keys, server handing over the cipher needed by the browser for decoding the message sent, and finally data exchange will take place.

Normally this takes some time. And if your web page by chance contains multiple resources which are spread over different domains, then your web browser will have to negotiate an SSL session for each of those domains. This means additional exchanges than normally executed in an SSL session. Problems similar to these can slow your website’s performance.

The Solution: Content Delivery Network (CDN)

In the simplest terms, what Content Delivery Network (CDN) does is it reduces the distance the data has to travel to and fro between your server and the browser by “strategically placing a network of proxy cache servers” which store your website’s cacheable (that is, most searched or viewed content and therefore needs storing or caching) content in order to deliver it to browsers “as quickly and efficiently as possible”. So whenever a browser pings a web server, the CDN chooses the proxy cache server located geographically nearest to the browser for a quick response, thus increasing your website’s performance dramatically.

A website deploying both SSL for secure and encrypted connection and CDN for impressive website speed and performance will definitely be popular among online users. Therefore using CDN technology can enhance your SSL-enabled website’s performance greatly.

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