What SSL certificate do I need?
We get this question a lot.
And that is why we have dedicated this article to answer it for you. It is true, every website needs an SSL certificate.
Because one, insecure websites (those using HTTP) protocol are now being demoted from ranking on search engines.
Yes, Google recently announced that they will only be prioritizing HTTPS websites on their search results.
And to do that, you need an SSL certificate.
Another reason is that now that almost all search engines are looking to move away from HTTP protocol, all non-compliant websites will be showing NOT SECURE sign.
If that is your website showing that, it is a huge turn off to your readers. And you lose a lot of money, especially if you are selling something on the site.
You are about to go shopping at an online store. But then the broswer warns you that the site is not secure, would you still go on?
And that is why you need an SSL certificate.
The question is, what SSL certificate should you choose?
What SSL Certificate Do I Need?
When it comes to securing a website, there are different types of SSL certificates you can choose.
All it comes down to what type of website are you trying to secure?
Because a blog, e-commerce site, and a non-profit website will need different SSL, for example.
SSL Type 1; By Validation level
These types of SSL comes about by how the Certificate Authority (CA) verifies the identity of the website or company looking for an SSL certificate.
This means that before you get an SSL, the CA first have to confirm you are who you claim to be and you are the true owner of the domain you’d wish to secure.
And that is where the validation certificates come in.
Based on these, there are three types of SSL to choose from depending on the level and type of website you want to secure.
Domain Validated SSL certificates
In answering what SSL certificate do I need, we first make a simple definition.
DV as commonly known is a type of SSL issued by CA after verifying that the domain is registered and run by the administrator.
To do that, CA requires details from DNS records, admin email, or HTTP.
The domain administrator will receive an email with a link where they can click to verify identity.
- DNS verification include obtaining records from the system
- HTTP – here, you have to upload a file to the root directory of your domain
Once all is done, the CA signs the certificate, and your website will now show as SECURE on different browsers.
When should you use a DV SSL certificate?
Well, since the DV certificate is all about encryption certificates only, it offers the most basic level of security.
As such, it is recommended for ordinary blogs with no much data transfer required.
You can use a DV certificate to secure your weightloss blog and such.
If you have websites other than an ordinary blog, and wondering what SSL certificate do I need, see the next type.
Organization Validated SSL Certificate
What is it?
This type of SSL certificate shows that you not only own the domain but also verifies that your organization is hosted in a particular country, state, and city.
Getting such a certificate is the same as getting a DV SSL. Only that there are some extra steps to verify your company’s identity.
And that is why it may take longer to get it signed.
Who needs it?
If you are running a company website that you need to build trust with your users, using organization validated SSL certificate is a good idea.
Because this certificate provides extra information other than domain details.
Things about the company.
Extended Validated SSL certificates
This certificate uses all the two previous validations plus one extra level.
And this is where you have to provide extra documents to verify the ownership of the company.
In short, an EV SSL certificate not only verifies that you own the domain and location, it goes one step extra to verify that you actually own the company.
To do that, you have to provide documents showing that you are running a legal business.
For this reason, the issuance of an EV certificate might take anything from a few days to a couple of weeks depending on what the CA needs to verify everything.
And the certificate is only issued once the company had been verified.
This is why an EV SSL is the most secure.
SSL Type 2; By Number of domains
The scope of an SSL certificate is limited.
This means that it cannot cover all domains and subdomains you own.
And that is why when installing an SSL on a particular domain, you have to provide all the subdomains to be included.
Anything not on the list won’t be secured.
So, what SSL certificate do I need to secure multiple domains or subdomains?
Single-domain and wildcard SSL certificates
Single domain SSL covers only one domain.
It will cover www.askssl.com and not buy.askssl.com or any other variation of that domain.
Who needs it?
Single domain certificates are perfect for blogs or online stores that conduct transactions on a single domain.
Wildcard SSL means they secure multiple subdomains.
Get it if you have more subdomains to secure.
Wildcard SSL can secure www.askssl.com and askssl.com as well including mail.askssl.com
Multi-domain SSL certificate
As its name suggests, SAN as commonly known is a type of SSL that can secure more than one domain.
So if you own more than websites, this is the certificate to buy.