In today’s times, installing an SSL certificate on your website is not an option. Regardless of the size of the website or the domain, an SSL certificate is essential to ensure that people trust your brand, and you don’t lose crucial SEO points. There are many certificate authorities offering SSL certificates with the most famous ones being Symantec and Comodo SSL Certificates. Today, we are going to talk about SSL certificates and discuss five things that you must know before purchasing one for your site.
Like you need a good web hosting service to ensure optimum site performance, you also need an SSL certificate to secure the communication between the server and the user’s terminal using encryption. They offer a range of benefits, including the protection of sensitive personal and financial information. You can prevent MITM (Man in the Middle attacks) and other data breaches with security.
Here are five things that you need to know about an SSL certificate before buying it.
1. Types of SSL certificates
There are three types of SSL certificates:
- Domain Validation (DV) – These are the simplest types of SSL certificates that prove your ownership over a domain. These certificates are the easiest to get and are a perfect choice for small business websites and blogs that are looking for basic encryption.
- Organizational Validation (OV) – To get this certificate, your business needs to go through business verification, and the certification includes all the verified details in the certificate.
- Extended Validation (EV) – This is the highest level of authentication, and your business needs to go through extensive validation to get the certificate. While this is the costliest certificate, it is the best form of verification and boosts traffic to your site.
2. Where do you buy it?
When you buy an SSL certificate, ensure that you approach trusted certificate authorities like Comodo, Symantec, RapidSSL and GeoTrust. Before buying, you must remember that an SSL certificate plays a dual role – encrypting communication and authenticating the website. If a reputed authority validates your site, it is bound to make an impact on the visitor.
3. Opt for the free trial
Since there are many certificate authorities, you might be confused about picking the right brand. The good news is that some issuing authorities offer a free trial period. Opt for it and see if it works for you.
4. Encryption strength
The encryption strength of an SSL certificate is a measure of how many bits it uses in the key to encrypt the data. A higher number of bits implies higher security since it would take longer to decrypt it. Usually, the recommended encryption strength is 128 or 256 bits.
5. Two-year option
While most site owners buy an SSL certificate with a one-year validity, many certificate authorities have started offering a certificate with a two-year validity too. It makes certification cost-efficient since there is usually a sizable discount offered on the two-year option. For example, you can get the EV SSL Certificate issued by Comodo at $10.83 per month for a one-year validity and $8.33 per month for a two-year validity.
Every website needs an SSL certificate. Some certificate authorities bundle the SSL certificate with other security features to make it more attractive to site owners. While these tools can be helpful, it is essential to remember that the primary features you need are encryption and authentication of your site. Many web hosting companies also offer SSL Certificates with their hosting plans. Ensure that you research thoroughly and pick the right one. Good Luck!