Types of SSL Certificates: Choose Which Is Best for Your Website

DateJun 10, 2024

Website security has become a need of an hour. As in 2023, there were around 2364 cyberattacks (Source: Forbes.com ) Therefore, to ensure your website security, one of the most vital things you can do is to buy SSL certificate. This will encrypt the data that passes between your website and your visitor’s web browsers, keeping their information safe from hackers.

But, Selecting SSL certificates for your website can be daunting, when there are different types of SSL certificates. So, let’s understand the types of SSL certificates and which will be the best suit for your business.

What is an SSL Certificate   

SSL stands for Secure Socket Layers and is a protocol that offers communication security over the Internet. SSL certificates are website security provided by a certificate authority (CA) like GoDaddy and other. These websites verify the website’s identity and grant digital certificates.   

Therefore, whenever you install an SSL Certificate on your web server, it allows the encryption of sensitive information like login credentials, credit card numbers, and other contact information. This creates a secure connection, offers protection to your website from data breaches, and keeps your visitors’ information safe.    

Moreover, SSL is also stated as TLS (Transport security layers). SSL/TLS uses two keys to encrypt data: a public key and a private key. The public key encrypts data, and the private key decrypts it.    

Types of SSL Certificates  

When speaking about SSL certificates, there are mainly three types available: Organization Validation (OV), Extended Validation (EV), and Domain Validation (DV).   

1. Domain Validated (DV)

A Domain-Validated (DV) SSL certificate is the most famous and common type of certificate. It’s also the easiest and quickest method to opt for, as the validation process only needs the CA to verify that you own the domain.  

Therefore, to opt for a domain validation certificate, you need verification of CA; it will verify whether you own a domain name or not. This is done through email verification, registration in the WHOIS record, or uploading a file on your web serverThe features of a DV SSL certificate include domain ownership, being issued quickly, and low Cost.    

Ideal For:

As they are familiar, these are suitable for websites that don’t have more sensitive data or information. They offer basic validation and don’t provide additional security features. Therefore, if you run a small business or an eCommerce website, we suggest you purchase an OV or EV SSL certificate

2. Organization Validation (OV) SSL Certificate   

An organization-validated (OV) SSL certificate is costlier and takes more time to get than a DV certificate. But it is considered the most secure as the CA verifies your domain owner along with your business. It will check whether your business is authentic or not.    

It incorporates features like Domain and business ownership validation and security and has a medium Cost

Ideal For:    

OV SSL certificates are ideal for non-e-commerce organizations, businesses, government agencies, or educational institutions. They provide extended security features that DV SSL certificates do not. However, if you have an eCommerce store, we suggest that you get an EV SSL certificate.   

3. Extended Validation SSL Certificate   

An extended validation (EV) SSL certificate is costly and time-consuming. Also, it’s the most secure. In this SSL  type, CA checks your domain name and business identity and verifies whether your business is credible.    

Also, the CA will verify your company name, credibility, and location to get an EV SSL certificate. This process takes one week or more. An Extended Validation SSL certificate is comparatively cheaper.   

Ideal For:    

Extended Validation SSL certificates are good for eCommerce and online stores. They provide a high level of security features that help users make secure transactions.    

Other SSL Certificates Depend on Web Environments:

The SSL, as mentioned earlier, is the main SSL certificate. However, various SSL certificates depend on the web environments and the number of domains you need to secure. Let’s check out other types on the web environments and how many domains you want to secure.    

1. Multi-Domain SSL Certificates    

A multi-Domain SSL certificate is also known as a Subject Alternative Name ( SAN) certificate. It secures multiple websites using different domain names. For example, you can utilize a multi-domain SSL certificate on test.com, mysite.com, and example.com. This is ideal for any business or individual with multiple websites.    

Also, the benefits of getting a multi-domain or SAN certificate are about saving time and money. With one certificate, you can secure all your websites instead of purchasing a separate certificate for every website. You can easily handle your website security as you can manage  almost up to 100 certificates under one roof.   

2. Unified Communication Certificate (UCC)  

A Unified Communications Certificate (UCC) is the same as a multi-domain or SAN certificate because it is utilized to secure different websites. UCCS is mainly designed for Live communication and Microsoft Exchange servers.    

A UCC certificate lets you use a single IP address for all domains the certificate secures.     

You can purchase an SSL certificate. UCCs are the most cost-effective, as they secure multiple websites. Also, they are easy to handle. With more available slots in your UCC certificate, you can easily add domains as required without needing to generate a new certificate. 

3. Wildcard SSL Certificates 

A wildcard SSL certificate is also particular to a multi-domain or SAN certificate. This SSL certificate is utilized to secure infinite subdomains within the main domain.   

For example, if you have a wildcard SSL, let’s say you have the domain abc.com. It can be utilized to secure the website abc.com, blog.abc.com, and any other subdomain you create in the future. 

Opting for a wildcard SSL certificate can futureproof your website security. Also, you don’t need to generate a new certificate every time. Therefore, a it is especially useful for running a large website with many subdomains.    

Things To Look at Before Opting for an SSL Certificate   

1. Identify the Type of SSL Certificate You Need    

As mentioned above, identify the types of certificates you need. To get an SSL certificate, you need to research, evaluate your website, and consider which type suits you best.    

2. Research Certificate Authorities (CAs)   

Select a CA known for reliability and trustworthiness. A reputable CA ensures better trust and recognition across most browsers. Also, you can evaluate the CA’s client support. Therefore, check if they provide 24/7 support through multiple chat, phone, and email channels. This is especially crucial during troubleshooting and installation.

3. Evaluate Encryption Strength    

Ensure the certificate provides strong encryption, typically at least 2048 bits. This level of encryption is considered secure against modern threats. Opt for certificates supporting TLS 1.2 or TLS 1.3, as these versions offer enhanced security and better performance compared to older protocols. They provide more robust encryption methods and faster handshake processes, improving overall security.   

4. Verify Browser Compatibility    

This is another vital step in getting an SSL certificate. Therefore, make sure that your certificate is recognized by all major browsers, including Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Edge, and Opera. Compatibility issues can lead to security warnings for users, negatively impacting their trust in your website.

Also, you can check compatibility with mobile browsers and older versions of desktop browsers. This ensures that all users, regardless of their browsing environment, can easily access your website securely without encountering certificate errors.  

5. Review Renewal Policies    

Understand the renewal process for your chosen certificate. Some certificates require manual renewal, while others offer automatic renewal options. Knowing the process helps avoid lapses in SSL coverage. Review the costs associated with renewing the certificate. Renewal fees can vary, and it’s essential to budget for these expenses ahead of time.    

6. Consider Cost    

Free options like Let’s Encrypt are suitable for basic needs, offering essential encryption without Cost. However, they may need more extended validation, warranty, and support. Paid certificates generally provide additional features like warranties, dynamic site seals, and extensive customer support.   

Summing Up 

SSL certificates are adopted by almost every website to guarantee a secure internet connection. With the increase in cyber threats, it’s no wonder that famous search engines enforce them strictly. Therefore, before selecting the certificates, consider the reputation and services of the Certificate Authority, the strength of encryption, browser compatibility, renewal policies, and overall Cost. Also, you can check for the best SSL service providers that can help you to select SSL certificates depending on your requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q 1: Which type of SSL Certificate is best?

Ans: The best type depends on your needs: 

– DV for basic security on personal sites. 

– OV for business sites needing moderate trust. 

– EV for e-commerce sites requiring the highest trust. 

Q 2: What type of SSL Certificate do I need for my website?

Ans: Personal or Blog: DV for basic encryption. 

Business: OV for validating the organization. 

E-Commerce: EV for maximum trust. 

Multiple Subdomains: Wildcard 

Multiple Domains: Multi-Domain (SAN) 

Q 3: How to choose an SSL Certificate?

Ans: 1. Identify the security level you need (DV, OV, EV).

2. Determine if you need to secure single or multiple domains.

3. Choose a reputable CA.

4. Ensure strong encryption (2048-bit, TLS 1.2 or 1.3).

5. Verify browser compatibility.

6. Balance cost and features.

Q 4:  What are the three types of SSL Certificates?

Ans: DV: Basic domain ownership validation. 

OV: Validates organization and domain ownership. 

EV: Extensive validation, highest trust level. 

Q 5: Which SSL is best for SEO?

Ans: Any SSL that (DV, OV, EV) supports HTTPS, which improves SEO. 

Q 6: How many SSL Certificates does a website need?

Ans: Single Domain: One certificate. 

Multiple Subdomains: One Wildcard certificate. 

Multiple Domains: One Multi-Domain (SAN) certificate. 

The post Types of SSL Certificates: Choose Which Is Best for Your Website appeared first on Hostingseekers.

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