Of late, SSL certificates have been growing in popularity and more and more users are shifting towards SSL usage. There are various types of SSL certificates out there, and how can you pick the one that suits your needs the best? This article will answer the question.
However, before going any further, let us first discuss why do we need SSL certificates in the first place!
Why Should You Use SSL Certificates?
SSL certificates have many advantages of their own.
First, an SSL certificate can build trust. Your users will know that your site is secure and it is safe to transact and conduct business using it. This can create a good impression on your visitors and cast your online presence in a positive light.
Second, SSL certificates nowadays carry a very minor yet noticeable SEO boost. For the past few years, Google has been pushing for HTTPS over non-secure protocols. This has made HTTPS one of the numerous signals that Google takes into consideration when deciding the page rank of a given website. Of course, your content and other relevant details are still very crucial, but SSL is a factor worth considering too.
Third, your website appears more professional and reliable with an SSL certificate than without one.
Now, what types of SSL certificates should you consider using? It depends on your requirements, and you can choose from a free solution to a higher-end one.
Free SSL Certificates
If you just need to use HTTPS on your website and do not really have a requirement for a higher-end SSL solution, a free SSL certificate will suffice for your needs. Provided by Let’s Encrypt, such SSL certificates are free for the life of your site and there are no charges whatsoever.
You can easily activate these SSL certificates from cPanel itself. The validity is generally for a few months only, but all such certificates come with automated renewal so you do not have to worry about renewing your SSL certificates in time.
We've now issued more than 100,000,000 certificates! https://t.co/AGIht1z5K9
— Let's Encrypt (@letsencrypt) June 29, 2017
All of VeeroTech’s shared and reseller hosting plans come with unlimited Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates.
Premium SSL Certificates
Premium SSL certificates, as the name suggests, are paid SSL certificates that you can use to boost the security of your site.
Generally, these SSL certificates come with longer validity, such as one year. Furthermore, they offer greater compatibility with even older browsers and operating systems.
You can choose from either RapidSSL or COMODO PositiveSSL certificates. Both are equally popular options and are trusted by millions of users worldwide. Depending on your needs, you might opt for a single domain SSL certificate that will secure only one domain — say mysite.com or www.mysite.com
Alternatively, you can also opt for a wildcard SSL certificate that can be used to secure sub-domains on the concerned domain name. In other words, a wildcard SSL certificate can be applied on mysite.com as well as sd1.mysite.com and sd2.mysite.com
Looking for an SSL certificate? Learn more here.
Higher-End SSL Certificates
If you are looking for something that is beyond a premium SSL certificate, a higher end SSL certificate might do the trick for you. Ever seen the “green bar” showcasing the business name in the browser address bar? Such green bar SSL certificates are costlier and at times require more details to be issued.
However, these higher end SSL certificates evoke the highest level of trust. Your users will know for certain that you are a legitimate entity with verified credentials. For big eCommerce sites and other merchant outlets, a green bar SSL certificate is often the best solution to pick.
Now that we know about some of the most popular options when it comes to SSL certificates, which ones should we opt for? More importantly, when is an SSL certificate really required?
Well, the answer is simple. You should, ALWAYS, use an SSL certificate if:
- You are processing payments on your own website (as compared to using a third party payment gateway).
- You are accepting and storing sensitive user data.
- You are running a large eCommerce website be it for physical or digital goods.
On the other hand, an SSL is a good thing to have but not always mandatory if:
- Your website is not processing any payments.
- You do not need to conduct financial transactions, etc.
- You are running a simple blog or portfolio site.
With that said, your choice of SSL certificate depends heavily on your usage:
- You can rely on a free Let’s Encrypt SSL for most use cases. These SSL certificates are reliable and widely recognized.
- Opting for a paid RapidSSL or PositiveSSL makes sense if you need greater compliance and better peace of mind, including support for lesser known browsers and operating systems.
- A green bar or higher end SSL certificate might be needed if you wish to conduct large transactions on your site, or intend to showcase your brand’s name in the address bar to cast a better impression on your clients.
So there you have it, this is all you needed to know about the importance of SSL certificates and how you can pick the best one!