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Does Your Website Need an SSL Certificate, and Which One Do You Get?

It’s estimated that by the year 2019, over $2 trillion will be spent to fight cybercrime on a global basis. Compared to 2015, when only $500 billion was spent, it really is a large amount. When former president Barack Obama was in office at the time, he told citizens they should use a 2-factor authentication as a safeguard. That’s why there are now SSL certificates. We break down what exactly the website security SSL certificate does, why you need one, and which one to get installed.

SSL Certificate

A Look at SSL Certificates and why we should care about them

An SSL certificate has 2 different keys: one public and one private. The public key locks a connection by encrypting it and the private key unlocks it or decrypts it. You can think of it as adding an extra layer of privacy between your sensitive data and everyone else in the world. When you send messages through this type of system, a hacker would need both of those keys, which are randomly generated.

There are a number of ways to keep your data securely online, but SSL certificates are at the top of the list. Here’s why it should be important for you, even if you don’t use secure information, such as a credit card on a website.

SSL Certificates

When visitors come to your website, they will see a green stripe in the browser, indicating your website is safe. If your website isn’t, they’ll see a red warning in the form of a red bar or lock. It’s an indication that people should not be visiting your website, and certainly not including credit card information.

If you don’t have a website security certificate, website visitors will be wary about visiting. They’ll be hesitant to provide their email address or request a quote. If you don’t have that notification that you are secure, it can prevent visitors from buying anything from your website. The warning is a sign from Google indicating it’s not safe to exchange information on your website without an SSL certificate.

Gaining qualified, targeted visitors to your website is difficult, and if Google is scaring them away, it will be more difficult to convert visitors. That’s why it’s so important to consider getting a website security certificate.

The type of certificate you get will depend on your website. Consider the following options:

Single Domain

You can get a single domain, or single name, SSL certificate. It’s useful if you only have one domain name. In other words, you can set it up on www.mysite.com, but if you have any other websites or subdomains, they are not going to be covered under that certificate.

Single Domain

If you have a relatively simple and straightforward website that is primarily content based, a single domain SSL certificate is the optimum choice. Most B2B websites fall into that category or an eCommerce website that uses a single domain.

To authenticate ownership of the domain, click on an email like or update the DNS record; these certificates are known as domain-validated.

Multi-Domain (SAN)

As the name would suggest, a multi-domain SSL certificate, also known as a SAN certificate, covers multiple domains. SAN stands for subject alternative names. It covers your primary domain and similar domains that may be created under the same niche.

If you have a multi-domain SSL certificate, you can cover a vast multitude of websites. It allows for a certain degree of flexibility; if you have a custom website developer who will work on new websites that don’t exist yet, you can apply the SSL certificate to future websites. The limit on how many websites are included on this type of certificate is dictated by the registrar but typically, you will be allowed anywhere between 100 and 200 websites.

Wildcard Certificates

A wildcard SSL certificate is a type that will cover everything on a root domain or hostname and would include all subdomains. For example, you may use www.mysite.com, login.mysite.com, and shopping.mysite.com, all of which are going to be covered under a wildcard SSL certificate.

Wildcard Certificates

This is especially beneficial for a content-driven marketing website that is unsecured on the primary domain. Anything that is purchased through the domain will be covered by this SSL certificate.

If you run into this type of difficulty, purchasing 1 wildcard SSL certificate will solve your problem. As long as your registrar allows it, you will have a single payment and unlimited subdomains.

Organization Certificates

These SSL certificates are used to authenticate the identity and information of a company. This could include the primary address and other contact information. It is similar to a single domain certificate, but it is beneficial for content-based websites that don’t need a security certificate for taking payments.

It’s also necessary to authenticate and confirm domain ownership along with providing any details to the organization. This type of certificate requires more red tape, but it may be necessary under certain circumstances.

Extended Certificates

These are considered to be among the most secure certificates in existence.

They verify the domain, add extra organizational validation and double check the corporation for extra security purposes. When somebody visits your website, they will see a green address bar so they will know it’s a safe website to be on.

Extended Certificates

Credibility is really what you are paying for with this type of certificate. It may require some extra work on your part, but the fact that your website will be secure adds great benefit.

What to Choose & Where to Get an SSL Certificate

Most domain registrars or hosting providers can sell you a certificate. In fact, they typically have affiliations with those companies so they have the right to sell it to you.

You can buy an SSL certificate from Certificate Authority or its authorized reseller like SSL2BUY. As well most domain registrars or hosting providers can sell you a certificate. In fact, they typically have affiliations with those companies so they have the right to sell it to you.

When you look at the different options available for an SSL certificate, you will likely see the one that is right for your needs. Most people will find that the single domain is the option they choose, especially if the activity is taking place in one domain.

The multi-domain option is also a good one to consider. The single website security certificate it provides is purchased but can be used for multiple websites. If you want all of the subdomains covered under a single website, the wildcard option is one to consider, while an organization certificate covers all of the websites owned by the company. Choosing the extended option is the best way to get the highest security with the most amounts of options.

Each of the different website security certificates may vary, but one thing they all have in common is letting your website visitors know your website is safe. In other words, they can feel good and secure while they are visiting your website.

James Bohanon
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