- Apr 15, 2020
- by Alex Ali
Security is an important consideration for every website. Hackers may try to steal your data, especially if you handle credit card payments or other sensitive information. The good news is that it’s easy to protect your website by using a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate.
There are three primary ways to get hold of an SSL certificate. You can purchase one from your web host, get one from a dedicated provider, or even pick one up for free. If you understand the pros and cons of each approach, you’ll be better placed to choose the perfect one for your website.
In this post, we’ll discuss the benefits of having an SSL certificate for your website. After that, we’ll talk about the different ways you can buy one, and recommend some options. Let’s get started!
The Benefits of Having an SSL Certificate for Your Website
An SSL certificate is a security feature that helps to keep your website’s data safe. It works by encrypting information as it passes between the web server and the browser. You can check to see if a website has one by examining its URL:
In this example, there are two different indicators showing that we have an SSL certificate in place. One is the padlock symbol next to our domain name. The other is the green highlighting in the address bar, which is a sign that a more advanced certificate is being used (more on that later).
In addition, if you view the entire web address, you can see that it starts with “https” rather than “http”. That extra “s” means that an SSL certificate is enabled, meaning that data is transmitted over a secure connection:
The main reason to get an SSL certificate for your website is to safeguard sensitive information from hackers. This is especially important if you handle personal details, such as credit card numbers.
For this reason, having an SSL certificate has become the industry standard for e-commerce stores. It adds an extra layer of protection, so that even if someone manages to intercept your data, it will be encrypted and unreadable. On top of that, visitors and potential customers will be more likely to trust your site and business.
Where to Buy the Right SSL Certificate for Your Needs
There are several ways you can get an SSL certificate for your website. Below, we’ll discuss two of the main options, as well as how much you can expect to pay for each one. Let’s jump right in!
1. Purchase a Certificate from Your Web Host
Your web host may offer SSL certificates, which makes getting one extremely simple. For example, here at A2 Hosting we have a number of options you can pick from:
There are plenty of reasons you may wish to get an SSL certificate this way. For one, it’s convenient. You’ll also know you’re working with a company you can trust, because it’s already hosting your site. In addition, you’ll have support directly from your hosting provider.
However, depending on the host, your options may be limited. This won’t matter if your host offers the certificate you need, but if it doesn’t, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
For instance, we provide four primary types of SSL certificates. They are:
- Single Site SSL: A certificate that provides security for one domain.
- Premium SSL: A certificate with some enhanced features, such as full business verification.
- Wildcard SSL: A solution for those looking for a single certificate to protect their domain and all of their subdomains as well.
- Advanced SSL: Our premium option designed for e-commerce sites, which gives you advanced protection as well as the green address bar users trust.
Furthermore, these are only some of the SSL certificates we can offer. We also have a free option, which we’ll discuss in more detail later on.
2. Pick Up a Free SSL Certificate
Of course, if you’re running a simple website or are just getting started, you may want to consider getting an SSL certificate for free.
Free SSL certificates offer a way to secure as many sites as possible across the web. It offers basic encryption that you can set up almost instantly, albeit with limited support.
One potential downside of this option is that most free certificates are issued for 30 to 90 days, while paid ones can last one or two years. This means you’ll need to frequently renew your free certificate. In addition, you won’t be able to get the same level of protection on offer from higher-level premium certificates.
Despite all of this, a free SSL certificate is certainly an option worth checking out.
SSL Certificate Conclusion
Installing an SSL certificate is a simple way to improve security on your website. It enables you to protect personal information and payment data from hackers and other malicious attacks. Not only that, but it’s also the industry standard for e-commerce websites.
Choosing an SSL certificate that’s right for you is simply a matter of weighing your options. Let’s recap your three main choices:
- Purchase an SSL certificate from your web host.
- Get one from a dedicated provider.
- Pick up a free certificate.
Image credit: skylarvision.