Houdyk Becomes Google Partner in 14 Months

Now that came as a surprise! I assumed it was on a 18-month track.

14 months ago (To be more precise on 8 of February 2018) I created my first ever Google Adwords ad. Today Google’s advertising platform is called Google Ads, and I am creating and improving ads on a daily basis.

I guess I have found a thing here.

So well, to get to the point. Today I opened my email and saw this:

Say What! I am a Google Partner… Something to celebrate.

That is a whole lot faster than I thought it would be. So, from now on you will see a shiny little Google Partner Badge on my website. When you hover over the 3 dots you will see Houdyk’s specializations.

None. That’s funny.

It seems that my Search Certificate has expired. Something to get up-to-date before my Badge becomes invalid again. That would be a bummer.

Always something to improve.

Google Partner Bolivia
Ha! That’s cool. Houdyk is Google Partner. I guess there are not that much in Bolivia.

The BIG Question is. Will this actually get me more clients? Does anybody care about a badge today?

Time will tell!

Jeroen Houdijk

Houdyk – Google Partner
Santa Cruz, Bolivia

PS. I wonder how many Google Partners are based in Bolivia. The reason why is that I got connected to a Google call center in Peru, or was it Chile, the other day. Google is not that present here. So perhaps that is something I might change.

Why your website is losing 28% of potential visitors if HTTPS is not enabled

There is a quick and simple automated solution and you can even get it for free

But wait. Discover nine reasons why you are better off paying for an SSL certificate. You will be glad to pay and get an even bigger smile on your face.

Website encryption is for banks and villains. That is what I thought. Either you have something to hide, or you must protect your clients’ funds. Why would a simple blog, website or small online store need such a complicated protection shell if all is going just fine so far?

There is only one reason why you might want to enable a secure encrypted website. When Google first announced it, in 2017, nobody cared. But SSL Encryption became the new web standard in 2018 and websites are now penalized by the No. 1 search engine rankings if they are not encrypted.

My website visitors started to drop, because my pages showed up below all the https pages. That hurts.

SSL certificate
Let’s Encrypt is the free solution to enable HTTPS. A legal method to automatically generate and renew virtual SSL certificates. Many webmasters still prefer a paid SSL certificate emitted by a Certification Authority. In this article you will learn why.

I asked my host about the possibilities to get an SSL certificate. I was shocked to learn that the cost of such certificate was ten times higher than the actual hosting fees! Worse even, they are valid for just one year. That is blackmail. Almost criminal. Website owners with no commercial intentions can never afford that. It directly affects the freedom of speech and is against the nature of the internet where everyone can self-publish whatever they want.

I was angry.

After little research I learned that one of the hosting companies I work with offers a hosting package for web shops that includes an SSL certificate. It was expensive, but I wanted to sell a digital product and thought this was a smart move.

Periodically check Costs and Performance of your Hosting Plans

It was. My product is still a hit, but the web host failed on me causing downtime and email problems. At the same time, I realized I needed SSL certificates for my other websites too.

Then I found the quick and simple, free solution. It is called Let’s Encrypt. A select group of rebel hosts make use of this loophole. The sophisticated code is a legal method to automatically generate and renew virtual SSL certificates.

It works awesome.

increase in visitors with https
Figure: Compare December 2017 with December 2018 to eliminate seasonal effects. It shows an 28 percent increase of website visitors for a domain were I enabled https first. This kind of growth would not have been possible without a SSL certificate.

I had to move all my hosted domains to a new provider, but it was well worth the effort. All set and done. For free.

I am a happy dude, with all my sites ranking better. Plus the hosting upgrade made my sites faster, and that was an unexpected side effect.

After enabling https for one of my sites, it was not that straightforward to observe changes in visitor numbers, because of the seasonal fluctuations in traffic for the specific niche as you can see in the figure above.

Compare December 2017 with December 2018. December is typically a good month. Just after enabling https I reached 29,625 views. One year later, an increase of over 28 percent was made towards 38,669 views.

Perhaps this growth can not entirely be explained by enabling encryption, but I am confident that it would never ever have been possible without the little lock in the browser.

Why would anyone ever want to pay for a SSL Certificate if there is a free solution?

Buy SSL certificates
The SSL Store has the single most complete overview of SSL Certificates that are available on the market right now. At the lowest prices.

When I heard about the booming business in SSL certificates I went like: “Huh, are these guys not bankrupt yet? How come?”.

Here is what Adam Thomson, Director of Digital Marketing of The SSL Store told me: “It depends on the situation and the needs of the particular webmaster. My experience has been that some hosts offer Let’s Encrypt, some don’t. Many of the web hosts that don’t offer Let’s Encrypt and are thriving, too. Even if the web host offers Let’s Encrypt, many webmasters still choose paid SSL certificates. ”

Ok. So when does a webmaster opt for a paid certificate? Adam gave me these nine reasons that I will summarize for you:

Nine reasons why to choose a paid SSL certificate

  • Show your company name in green browser bar
  • Have your organisation named in the certificate
  • Get yourself a warranty
  • Display the site seal and brand to increase customer trust
  • Stop manage and troubleshoot Let’s Encrypt or avoid a server migration
  • Get the support that comes with a paid certificate
  • Your client requires it
  • It is part of organizational Risk Management
  • Distrust in Let’s Encrypt because they issue certificates to everyone

The question is not if you need to have https enabled or not, but what type of certificate suits your business best. The free solution is with Let’s Encrypt, or one of the many paid options? Let’s have a look to see what types of SSL certificates there are…

Types of SSL certificates

Table: Types of SSL (Secured Sockets Layer) certificates by validation level and number of Secured Domains

Type Validation Level Verification Method How to Recognize
DV Domain Validation Domain owner verified by email (automated) https (padlock)
OV Organization Validation Manual review and verification https + name in certificate
EV Extended Validation Proof of registered company required https + name in certificate + green browser
Number of Domains Secured Domain Examples
Single Domain example.com
Wildcard (Subdomains) shop.example.com or *.example.com
Multi-domain example.com and example-2.com and example-3.com

When you browse through all the possible SSL certificates it may be overwhelming, but let’s keep things simple. As you can see in the table above there are three certification types: DV, OV and EV.


DV SSL certificate with let's encrypt
This website houdyk.com is secured with a simple (virtual) DV certificate using Let’s Encrypt on the server. As you can see, it has only https enabled and the padlock showing in your browser.
EV SSL certificate The SSL Store
On The SSL Store you will see the full company name displayed and country of registry. Rapid Web Services, LLC [US] is the legal entity behind the website. This is how to recognize an EV certificate.
  • DV stands for Domain Validation and does nothing more than confirm the owner’s email address end enabling a secured connection via https
  • OV is for Organization Validation and involves manually checking the company details by the Certification Authority (CA) and displaying these in the certificate for more trust
  • EV stands for Extended Validation where you need to prove with documentation that you actually have a registered company

That is is the most important. The rest is to spice things up a bit. Enabling sub domains, or multi domain package deals for large corporations are examples of adding value.

Choose a SSL Certification Authority

At The SSL Store you will find the single most complete overview of SSL Certificates that are available on the market right now. Because they buy in bulk, you will get your SSL certificate at a discounted rate, plus they are the most specialized one stop shop to go to.

I do not know much of the differences in quality between the brands. They all have a reputation to keep up and can count on the highest levels of consumer trust connected with their brand identities. I am talking about RapidSSL, GeoTrust, Thawte, Symantec and Comodo. The most trusted brands in website encryption. A site seal from one of these will without a doubt have a good effect on your website conversions.

Table: The most trusted SSL Certification Brands RapidSSL, GeoTrust, Thawte, Symantec and Comodo

SSL Certification Authority Products and Services Warranty (USD)
RapidSSL Simple and fast solution for a single domain or sub-domains $10K
GeoTrust All types of Certificates. Multi domain and wildcard available $500K ~ $1.5MM
Thawte All types of Certificates. Offers Code Signing Certificates too for software downloads $500K ~ $1.5MM
Symantec All types of Certificates. The most trusted brand according to The SSL Store $1.5MM ~ $1.75MM
Comodo All types of Certificates. The Largest Certification Authority. $10K ~ $1.75MM

How to order

Click on one of the links in the tables above to see the SSL certificates organised by Type, Number of Domains or Certification Authority or visit The SSL Store to save 40-70% on your SSL certificate. If you have some doubts on the technical implications, read on to find out how to get your certificate installed and HTTPS enabled.

How to Install

Now I am not too shy to edit a line of code, but I am no hard-core programmer either, more an implementer. In my experience, together with a hosting helpdesk, it is surprising how much things you can implement yourself or with a little help. Google is my friend here, and with a YouTube tutorial or two, anyone can get their SSL certificates to work.

If you have any doubts on the technical know how required to activate or set up your SSL certificate, know that you can count on the outstanding service of the people behind The SSL Store.

These people think in Website Security Solutions All Day Long. That is what they do. Adding the SSL installation service for 25 dollars to your shopping basket when you order your certificate is a no-brainer to me. Compare it with trying it yourself, or hiring a programmer at 40 USD per hour. I leave that up to you.

You can call 24/7. There is always someone to pick up the phone and not just any student, but the rare kind of tech people -the ones with people skills- who will help you out if you have any kind of questions whatsoever.

Full 30 day money back guarantee
And of course, yhey have a 30-day money back guarantee too. If for any reason, a technical issue or anything else, you are not satisfied in the first month, you will get a full return of your money. Stuff goes wrong in IT. Most of the time it can be solved in a matter of hours or days and in fact this is (for me, at least) part of the normal installation process. If it does not work out, you can try your SSL certificate at no risk at all with the 100% satisfaction guarantee of The SSL Store.

Considering all this. For me as a blogger and small site owner, Let’s Encrypt is still the best solution. For the time being that is. Did you do the math?

P.S. With The SSL Store you get the Cheapest SSL Certificate. Guaranteed! In case you spot a cheaper offer, just send the url of the lower-priced certificate and they will not only match it, but they will beat the offer.

Forget. Fiver is Fast. Fiverr PRO is Better

Stop wasting time. Consider it done with The Best Freelancers at Fiverr PRO. Get the Peace of Mind and Quality Time You Deserve.

Specific tasks are easy to delegate. So why keep doing it yourself? The first time I ordered a gig on Fiverr I remember my next cup of coffee tasted a whole lot better. Knowing that someone else – way better in Photoshop – was doing her best to get me that logo I was after for a new business idea.

fiverr freelance platform
The first time I ordered a gig at Fiverr my next cup of coffee tasted a whole lot better. Now there is Fiverr PRO. That’s coffee with cream!
Often this is how it starts. You have an idea for a business, a new product or service. When you should be talking to your peers to pitch the idea, you waste your time designing a logo that you will end up changing or discarding anyway.

Outsourcing is a great when you want to focus on things that really matter. Get more quality time for yourself. Attend high level strategic matters in your business. Or take a nap.

There are downsides of outsourcing too. It can be frustrating when a freelancer does not deliver or needs hand holding. Also, honestly, quality may vary. In case that you end up re-doing or completing the work, you are almost back to where we started. Let’s see how to find the best freelancers on Fiverr.

Hiring a Freelancer at Fiverr

Your can either browse by category, or search by keyword to find freelancers at fiverr. As a result you will see freelancer profiles and their rating: New Seller, Level Two, Level One, Top Rated, and PRO verified. View their offerings careful and compare the basic, standard and premium packages to be sure of what to expect. In many cases it is possible to order a gig and send the instructions right away. When a freelancer is very busy, it can be good to communicate first about availability to avoid discussion about the delivery date.

Too many Freelancers too choose from?

Everyone, from everywhere, can join Fiverr to offer their services. The Marketplace to pick Freelancers is huge, millions of gigs are offered by an army of freelancers. To help find the right freelancer quick, these six categories are defined.

Six categories are defined to make choosing the right freelancer easy:

I have been using Fiverr for a while for simple tasks, when it comes to less straight forward services other marketplaces such as UpWork or Freelancer are more suitable. Until now. The gig economy is maturing and now also Fiverr is competing with professional services.

Fiverr PRO Services

Fiverr has matured as a Freelancer Platform and now offers Fiverr PRO Services. These are the top 1% performers who are hand picked for the PRO program.

Table below: Meet the Pros and browse the Fiverr Pro Categories to hire world class Freelancers directly.

Graphics & Design Digital Marketing Writing & Translation
Logo Design
Business Cards
Flyers & Brochures
Web & Mobile Design
Photoshop Editing
Infographic Design
Social Media Marketing
Email Marketing
Search & Display Ads
Marketing Strategy
Web Analytics
Product Descriptions
Website Content
Research & Summaries
Articles & Blog Posts
Sales Copy
Press Releases
Video & Animation Music & Audio Programming & Tech
Whiteboard & Explainers
Logo Animation
Video Editing
Short Video Ads
Product Photography
Mixing & Mastering
Producers & Composers
Musicians & Singers
Web Programming
Mobile Apps & Web
Data Analysis & Reports

Payment process

There is a wide range of payment options. Paypal being the most popular for ordering gigs, but you can pay by Creditcard as well. After you order a gig, you fill in additional details about the job, and answer some specific questions to make sure the work gets done as required. You pay upfront, and fiverr keeps the funds in escrow until you are satisfied with the work. When the work is completed, you receive a review and approval request. Sometimes revisions are part of the creations process and thus part of the deal. This all becomes clear reading the packages freelancers offer. All packages are in the same format, that makes comparing freelancers easy.

Quality assurance

The feedback freelancers receive is one of the strongest motivators to deliver high quality work. Future income depends on it. New freelancers are eager to get started, but have little too loose. Once their account is up to Seller Two, or Seller One level they have something to foster. Needless to say that the Fiverr PRO freelancers are PROFESSIONALS that have a reputation to keep up. That is the best guarantee you can get to make sure you receive great value for money. Meet the Pros today and select a Fiverr PRO verified freelancer for your next pending task. You may thank me after. Or tell me what went wrong, because I also have a reputation to keep up.