Do you decide to buy an SSL certificate? Before you buy an SSL certificate, you should know some important things, otherwise, you may be a failure. So, as a buyer, you should know the following things. I think you may have thought why do some websites begin with http:// and others with https://? Here the word “s” represents for “secure”, and it indicates that the site you are browsing is totally encrypted and protected connection. This measure of security has become growingly important for all sites on the web – both to secure users’ information and to develop SEO.
What Is SSL?
The full form of SSL is Secure Sockets Layer. It protects not only the sensitive data between a server and a user but also improve SEO. In a sentence, the transmitted information between you and a server is encrypted and remains safe. SSL Certificates are typically installed on pages that need end-users to submit sensitive information over the internet like credit card passwords or details. Example pages include online forms, login pages, and payment pages.
Why Do You Need An SSL Certificate?
Data transferred in non-encrypted format or in plain-text form can be easily intercepted, stolen and compromised. When you perform any online transactions, it may involve submitting some personal information such as social security numbers, usernames, and passwords, credit card information etc. Having gained this information, cybercriminals will utilize full access to this data and can use it for fraudulent activities and purchases. To give personal and sensitive information, people try to find trust and security. SSL Certificates make people certain that particular websites are trusted. Various organizations or institutions should use an SSL certificate to secure their site if they make a wish to take online payments or expect their visitors to deposit personal and confidential information. Apart from the facility of building necessary trust and security into your website, SSL certificates also assist with SEO efforts.
Useful SSL Related Terms To Know:
- SSL: Secured Sockets Layer
- OV: Organization Validation
- CSR: Certificates Signing Request
- CA; Certificate Authority
- EV: Extended Validation
- DV: Domain Validation.
Now, it’s the time to have a look at things you need to consider before you are going to buy an SSL certificate.
Dedicated SSL vs Shared SSL;
• Dedicated SSL is totally owned by one user and of course, they cost money.
• Shared SSL is generally free but must have security concerns and are exclusively not recommended for e-commerce sites.
The support services are another major difference between dedicated SSL and shared SSLs. While Dedicated SSLs have support, Shared SSL don’t have support. If you wish you may search on Google or on your hosting technical support system which can help you with any issues you have.
Level Of Encryption:
There are different levels of encryption available in the market. If you want to accept any credit or debit cards, you should have an SSL certificate with a minimum of 128-BIT.
The Brand Name:
If you look for various options to purchase an SSL certificate, you will find that a variety of companies are selling SSL certificates. This is something confusing. If you wish, you can buy an SSL from anywhere, you may consider using a brand when you are selling costly items such as jewelry, jet planes, cars, or anything where trust factor plays a vital role in a purchasing decision. For high-end e-commerce sites, you can buy an SSL from various companies like Comodo, Verisign or Geotrust.
Do You Need A Dedicated I.P.?
It is very much important to have a dedicated I.P. when you are using an SSL certificate. In this way, your SSL certificate will be linked to your I.P. address. For installing an SSL certificate, a dedicated I.P. is no longer a prerequisite. On shared hosting, various companies are using Server Name Indication (SNI) to provide SSL certificates on shared I.P. addresses. SNI indicates what hostname the client is trying to connect to and it permits the server to present multiple certificates on the same I.P. and port number. In brief, you can use an SSL Certificate on shared hosting.
But, when using a shared I.P. there are various trade-offs:
• It’s usual to see a certificate mismatch error.
• SNI is not compatible with various old browser versions. Some examples of it are Safari on Windows XP, Blackberry browsers, any version of Internet Explorer (6, 7, 8, 9).
• If you wish, you can read about SNI in detail over here.
In this regard, I recommend you to start using a dedicated I.P. address. Generally, it values around $3/month, or you can get free with high-end shared hosting packages.
Can You Pay For SSL bi-Monthly?
You can’t do that. The minimum tenure to buy an SSL certificate is at least 1 year. There is an option where you can choose to buy an SSL certificate for 2-3 years at a time.
There are various types of SSL certificates based on the validation level.
1. Domain Validation: Generally, for this type of SSL certificate, domain validation is done using an email or adding a DNS record. In simple words, you require to validate your ownership of the domain name. this type of certificate can be obtained in a few minutes. But, occasionally, it may take a few hours. Actually, this is ideal for those who don’t have an institution and no extra security is required. This is the cheapest type of SSL certificate and is recommended where security is not the major factor. The features of Domain Validation are
• It is obtained in a maximum of a few hours.
• Even it is quite cheap also.
• This is the best for blogs and other non-sensitive websites.
2. Organization Validation: It is the minimum certificate recommended for e-commerce portals. The Certificate Authority (CA) validates domain authority and other information through the use of public databases. The main difference between Domain Validation and Organization Validation is the company validation is done by the Certificate Authority. It is not as wide as Extended Validation, but potentially better than Domain Validation. Some features of Organization Validation are
• There is no clear advantage over Domain Validation certificates.
• It requires 2-3 business days to activate.
• Organization Validation is minimum for e-commerce portals.
3. Extended Validation: This kind of certificate is mostly recommended for any website where a transaction is going on. Though obtaining the Domain Validation and Organization Validation certificates are quite easy, yet Extended Validation certificates need a strict authentication method. This kind of certificate shows the Organization the certificate was issued to it in the browser’s page. Most of the finance, e-commerce and banking site generally use Extended Validation certificates as it provides the most popular green HTTPS address bar. In short, some features of Extended Validation are
• It is recommended for Organizations looking to have the popular green HTTPS address bar.
• It takes only about 7-10 days to activate.
Types Of SSL Certificates Based On Secured Domains:
This is going to be a key decision for those people who are planning to purchase an SSL certificate. Except for the above three types, you also require to pick the certificate kind based on domains and subdomains you have. So, it’s high time to have a quick look of SSL certificates based on supported host names.
1. Wildcard SSL Certificate: This certificate secures infinitive subdomains for a single domain. For example, buying a Wildcard SSL certificate for firstpagebulletin.com will also permit me to secure the following:
• And many more…
But, it will not secure abc.pro.firstpagebulletin.com.
2. Single Name SSL Certificate: With this SSL type, only a single hostname is secured. For example, if you wish to purchase a certificate for domain.com, it will not secure docs.domain.com or shop.domain.com. In this regard, A Single Name SSL Certificate can also be used to save only a sub-domain. For example, you can easily secure shop.domain.com but not domain.com.
3. Multi-domain SSL Certificate: A multi-domain SSL certificate supports all the varieties of domains and subdomains. This is highly recommended for those people who are the owner of multiple domains and sub-domains.
4. Unified Communications Certificate: This type of SSL certificates permit customers to secure up to 100 domains using the same certificate. UCCs are specifically drafted to protect Microsoft Exchange and Office Communications environments. In this regard, you should remember one thing that using one certificate for multiple domains doesn’t at all affect you in any way.
There are some popular websites to purchase an SSL certificate. Some of them are
• Geotrust: Certificate Authority
• Cheap SSL Security
• Let’s encrypt: Certificate Authority (Free domain-validated certificates)
Why Every Site Should Be SSL-Encrypted?
Still, you don’t convince that you need an SSL certificate for your website? Here are some reasons for your choosing an SSL certificate.
• SSL is not only valuable to security but also it is going to be helpful when it comes to SEO, visual notifications about the security of a page in Google Chrome and e-commerce.
• Gradually growing trust with customers.
• SSL is needed for Payment Card Industry compliance.
• Safe and secure data transfer between servers.
Conclusion: I hope, all these information will clarify all your SSL related questions before making a buy. In the upcoming days, we will learn together more unknown things about SSL certificates. So, don’t stay away from us and put your valuable comments in the comment box.