It is a fact: your Website needs the extra protection of an SSL Security Certificates. SSL encrypts data transmitted to and from your website. Including login data and when checking your email. Making your site safer for you and your users.
But with literary thousands of providers and overwhelming levels to choose from, finding the right Security Certificate for your website might feel like a daunting task.
Let us look at the different SSL Security Certificates. What SSL can do for you.
And how to select the right one for your website.
This is an HTTPS security feature that you install to your Website. SSL certificates change the beginning of a URL or website address from “HTTP” to “HTTPS” and most times will add a padlock icon or green bar to your address in a browser.
Having a Security Certificate is the best way to protect your website visitors and make sure all of their valuable data is protected. SSL Certificates encrypt all data transmitted to and from a website, preventing attacks where someone could hijack the data before it reaches its destination. Such data may include credit card information, emails and addresses, passwords, private messages, or other sensitive data.
A Security Certificate shows that you are taking the proper steps to protect their transactions and privacy. And in turn, that trust can lead to higher sales and sign-ups.
The major search engines encourage SSL certificates by giving protected sites a bit of a boost in search ranking.
Which may include HTML form element such as login, contact forms or even a search box. Google has started flagging them as “Not Secure”. You do not want to frighten potential customers away.
With so many Hosting Companies offering free SSL Certificates as a promotional feature, there is no reason not to have one.
There are several types of SSL certificates.
The most common SSL certificate is a DV certificate. You can often find these for free on hosting platforms, as well as from cPanel and other providers.
For small businesses, organizations, and educational institutions, with or without E-commerce.
For large businesses, agencies, and any sites with e-commerce or high-risk data.
While the level of encryption on an OV or EV certificate is the same as a DV certificate, they differ in how they validate the certificate holder’s identity. For OV and EV SSL, the certificate authorities that issue them, verify that the person requesting the certificate is associated with the business in question, helping to cut down on fraud and phishing. EVs require the highest level of validation.
If you need more information, as well as the difference between Single Domain Certificates, Wildcard Certificates, Multiple Domain Certificates, Green Bar EV SSL Certificates. See our article that explains What Is SSL or HTTPS, SSL Certificates General Knowledge Base, and our SSL F.A.Q's.
All SSL certs encrypts website data in the same way, but that doesn’t mean they’re completely interchangeable. Free SSL can be great for a website that just wants an HTTPS URL. But they could cause trouble down the road. Here are some of the pitfalls of free SSL:
Many are short-term (e.g., 30, 60, 90 days) you might need to renew them frequently or purchase a pricey option at the end of the “trial period”.
Some do not come with a warranty that protects customers against a validation breach.
They can be very hard to install, requiring advanced knowledge and Server skills. Some require shell or SSH access (Telnet) and cannot be installed via cPanel or similar user-friendly control panels.
Most will not have support to help you with the installation and authentication process. Most only provide the Domain Validation (DV) option. Some use shared certificates. With these, one certificate is used by multiple websites and none of the users actually owns the certificate and thus cannot be completely confident in its security.
Something else you need to watch out for with free SSL is a "Self-Signed Certificate" that are not issued by a Certificate Authority. Self-signed SSL certificates provide no validation and are signed by the issuer’s own private key rather than an independent authority.
When choosing your SSL provider, there are several things to look for:
• Who is the Certificate Authority that they use for their certificates?
• What kind of support and documentation does the company provide?
• Does the provider make SSL management easy and straightforward?
• Does the company provide information about each certificate to help you make the right decision for your website?
• Will the company help if you encounter SSL Warnings?.
And for all our hosting customers, Free SSL Certificates.
Thank you for writing a clear article. Extremely helpful for new users.
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