Why You Should or Should Not SSL Your Blog

After I switched to Octopress, I knew that I wanted to write about performance and SSL. Those are the main reasons why I switched.

Last year, Google announced that they will include Https as a single in their ranking. So, if you want to be the cool kid, go and SSL your site now. But what does SSL really do to your site? Have you seen that in action? I only know that from reading all the blog posts about this. In this blog, I’ll show you what SSL does to your site.

Thanks to my friend Suksant who helped me conducting the test.

What will you need?

  1. Wireshare is a network protocal analysis.

Simple website.

I’ve created a simple site that you can fake login form. So, you can go ahead and deploy that to your heroku. I chose Heroku as the platform of choice because you can try the site with and without SSL.

Setup your wireshark

There’s a couple things you need to do before you can capture the password.

  1. Open your wireshark and go to Capture -> Interfaces and click en0 that should be your Wifi connection.

Then click ‘Start’ to capture the packets

  1. In the Filter section, put this frame contains topsecret (That’s going to be your password)

Capture the password

  1. I deployed the application here. Go ahead and enter “username” in username and “topsecretpassword” in password It could be anything. Try to check if the URL is not SSL.

  1. Once you’ve submitted your password, you should see that Wireshark has captured something already.

without even trying to do anything hard. You can clearly see the password.

Now with SSL.

  1. Change your URL to be https:
  2. You will not find anything with your password on Wireshark

What gives?

In conclusion, what have we learned here? SSL encrypts everything being sent to the server will be encrypted. It’s safer and make the site more trustworthy. However, if you’re just running a blog you probably won’t need SSL. If you have a website that capture anything from the user then big ‘YES’ you need SSL. For me, I just want to be a cool kid so I SSLed my site.

Reference

  1. Wireshark tutorial
Oct 9th, 2015

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