Not sure how to purchase an SSL certificate for your domain? We’ve got you covered
Buying an SSL certificate is as easy as buying a product from your favorite ecommerce site. All you have to do is:
- find the right seller,
- choose the right certificate,
- complete the basic form,
- enter the financial details, and
- click on Buy
Well, No! It’s not as easy as it sounds! Choosing the right seller and the best suitable SSL certificate are the daunting processes.
That’s because there are more than 50 certificate authorities, hundreds of sub-brands, and thousands of vendors who sell SSL certificates with multiple types, warranties, price ranges, verification types, site seals, and validity periods!
Fortunately, you’ve found the right article. In it, we cover everything you need to know about purchasing an SSL cert.
So, without further delay, let’s understand how to purchase an SSL certificate — what to look for and where to get one for the best price.
How to Purchase an SSL Certificate: What to Look for in Terms of Features
When you purchase an SSL certificate, there are many things you need to keep in mind to ensure you’re making the best choice. Here are six key considerations you need to make when purchasing an SSL certificate.
Considering that there are dozens of CAs to choose from for your SSL certificate, it’s important to note that only a handful of them are renowned for their reliability, value, support, and trust by most browsers. Only a handful of them are famous on the global level, have high brand value, give an excellent support, and are trusted by most of the browsers. One of the world’s leading CAs is DigiCert. It is also the parent organization of brands like Symantec, Thawte, RapidSSL, and GeoTrust.
SSL certificate’s price varies as per the its brand value, utility, verification type,warranty, design of site seals (TrustLogo), and customer support. The certificates from top brands like RapidSSL starts from approximately $13 per year and can goes up to $5,000 per year.
SSL/TLS certificates can be categorized by functionality and validation classes.
- Utility classifications: Single domain, multi-domain, wildcard, and multi-domain wildcard SSL certificates.
- Validation classifications: Domain validation (DV), organization validation (OV), extended validation (EV) SSL certificates.
Note: We cover all of these types of SSL certificates in greater detail in the next section of this article to help you choose the right certificate.
All the SSL certificates (except free SSL certs) come with a warranty. It’s like insurance: If data theft takes place due to the SSL certificate’s encryption failure, the CA must pay the reimbursement (up to the warranty amount) to the victim. Warranty starts from $10,000 to $1.75 million. Such warranties help to shift the liability from the website owner or business to the certificate’s CA when cybercrime lawsuits occur.
Site seals, also known as trust logos,are small images that work as visual indicators of trust. They contain details of your SSL certificate and the certificate authority. Site seals come in two varieties: static and dynamic. Static site seals are static image files, whereas dynamic trust logos are image files that users can click on and engage with to view important security details and site information.
These seals are included for free by commercial CAs when you buy their SSL/TLS certificates. trust logos are placed in footers, checkout pages, login pages, and nearby online forms (if any). They are essential to boost customers’ trust. Here are a few examples of the site seals you get when you purchase SSL/TLS certificates from RapidSSLonline.com:
Where to Buy
You can buy your SSL certificates directly from the certificate authority’s website or the hosting provider or a reseller/vendor. Resellers buy certificates in bulk and pass that discount to their customers. That’s why you can get the same certificate with the same features at highly discounted rates on one site and not on another.
For example,the retail price for a RapidSSL single-domain SSL certificate at the CA’s official site starts at $59 per year, while the same certificate on our website — as one of their vendor and platinum partners — is available for as little as $12.42 per year!
How Do You Choose Which Type to Get When You Purchase an SSL Certificate?
As we mentioned earlier, SSL certificates are classified by their functionality and validation types. So, the first thing you’ll need to do is select the type of certificate you want by what it’s able to do for your website:
Single domain SSL certificate: This type of certificate covers both the WWW- and non-WWW versions of one domain name.
Wildcard SSL certificate: This type of certificate covers one domain name and all its accompanying first-level subdomains. For example, if you’re getting a wildcard certificate for mysite.com, you can cover all of its subdomains such as mail.mysite.com, test.mysite.com, products.mysite.com, blog.mysite.com, etc.
Multi-domain SSL certificate: If you want to secure multiple websites under the same SSL certificate, you should select multi-domain SSL certificate. It also covers the domains with different top-level domains (TLDs) like .org, .net, .in, .ca, .co.uk, etc.
Now, once you select the type of SSL certificate you need, you should choose the verification type:
Domain validation (DV): This is the most basic type of validation. Here, the certificate authority will send you an email with the verification link on email address like [email protected] or [email protected] or something similar. Or the CA will send you some files, which you are supposed to upload on a specific folder on the server to prove that you do, in fact, have access to do so.
A DV certificate is suitable for small businesses, startups, blogs, personal websites, informative websites. Essentially, it’s best suited for any other websites that either don’t qualify for (or need) organization validated (OV) and extended validated SSL certificates.
Organization validation (OV): This is a higher-level validation for business organizations. After completing your domain validation, the CA will vet the applicant organization’s physical address, legal registration, its existence in the online government databases, and other details to make sure the website is backed by a legitimate business. Check out the validation process in detail to learn more about it.
OV is recommended as a minimum validation level for ecommerce businesses, educational institutes, and medium-sized businesses.
Extended validation (EV): This is the toughest, most in-depth validation process CAs offer. When getting an EV certificate, your organization has to go through the entire domain validation plus organization validation process. Plus, only companies with a minimum of three years of existence and are in good standing are eligible to get this certificate. Otherwise, you’ll have to provide additional documentation to prove you’re a legitimate entity.
An EV certificate is recommended as a minimum for:
- medium and large organizations,
- government websites,
- healthcare institutes, and
- any businesses that deal with customers’ financial, health, or other sorts of sensitive information.
Note: Single domain and multi-domain SSL certificates are available in all three validation types i.e., DV, OV, and EV, while wildcard is available only with domain and organization validation.
Where to Get the Best Prices on SSL Certificates
Here are a few examples of some of our best-selling SSL/TLS certificates from RapidSSLonline.com:
|Certificate Name||RapidSSL Certificate||Thawte SSL Web Server Certificate||GeoTrust True BusinessID with EV||GeoTrust True BusinessID with Multi-Domain||RapidSSL Wildcard Certificate|
|Type||DV SSL Certificate||OV SSL Certificate||EV SSL Certificate||Multi-domain SSL certificate||Wildcard Certificate|
|Encryption Strength||256 bits||256 bits||256 bits||256 bits||256 bits|
|RSA Signature Key||2048 bits||2048 bits||2048 bits||2048 bits||2048 bits|
|Functionality||Single Domain||Single Domain||Single Domain||Multi-Domain||Wildcard|
|Validation Level||Domain Validation||Organization Validation||Extended Validation||Organization Validation||Domain Validation|
|Validation Time||Within Minutes||1-3 Days||1-5 Days||1-3 Days||Within Minutes|
|Usage||Personal websites, blogs, and informative websites||Medium to large business organizations and non-profits that accept donations/charity online||Large Business organizations, financial institutions, healthcare institutions||For securing more than one domain names under the same certificate||For securing one domain and it’s all accompanying subdomains|
|Available in Multidomain SSL Certificate Type||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Buy Now||Buy Now||Buy Now||Buy Now||Buy Now|
That’s all, folks! Consider all of these points before purchasing an SSL certificate for your domain. By the way, if you purchase an SSL certificate from RapidSSLonline, you can save up to 80% on the retail price.