Which SSL Certificate for My eCommerce Site Should I Buy?

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A comparison of the best SSL certificates for eCommerce sites

When running an eCommerce business, the last thing you want to have to worry about is whether it’s secure. This is where an SSL certificate for an eCommerce site can come in handy for many business owners.

What is an SSL Certificate for an eCommerce Site?

Simply put, when people talk about SSL for eCommerce websites, they’re usually referring to a certificate that facilitates an encrypted connection between the client (your site users’ browsers) and your server (the website they’re connecting to). Essentially, SSL certificates allow your website to use a secure internet protocol (HTTPS) instead of an insecure one (HTTP) to protect your data in transit. This is what makes that little padlock icon appear in your browser address bar.

This is extremely important for eCommerce websites. Without an encrypted communication channel, users’ data and information would travel between their browsers and your web server in plaintext where eavesdroppers can see it. However, with HTTPS enabled, it means that the same plaintext data would be transmitted through an encrypted, secure channel.

In a nutshell, SSL helps to prevent malicious actors from accessing that sensitive data and information.

But what type of SSL certificate should you choose? Certificates, like ice cream, come in multiple flavors. You have single domain, multi domain, wildcard, and multi domain wildcard varieties. Depending on whether you have one site or multiple — and if you have a lot of subdomains on one or multiple websites — are factors that will help to determine which certificate you’ll want to get. However, it doesn’t end there. There’s one other key factor to consider, and that factor is known as certificate validation.

Let’s look at the three validation options that are available for commercial SSL certificates.  

SSL Certificate Validation for eCommerce Sites

Most SSL certificates are offered with three types of validation: domain validation (DV), organization validation (OV), and extended validation (EV). Not sure what we mean by validation? Let’s back up a moment and explain how SSL certificates are issued. A trusted third party, known as a certificate authority (CA), issues SSL certificates for domains and organizations. Before they can do so, though, they need to perform some type of verification of the site and/or organization requesting the certificate.

Domain Validation

DV is the most basic of the three; it’s best suited for blogs and informational websites that don’t collect or use user data. Much like its name would suggest, a CA only needs to verify that the requester of the certificate is, in fact, responsible for the domain that they’re trying to secure. This typically involves sending an email to the requester’s registered email address.

Yeah, that’s it. Pretty basic, right? This level of validation isn’t very helpful for businesses that handle sensitive information for their customers. This is why there are two types of business validation for SSL certificates — OV and EV. 

Organization Validation

Organization validation, which is the next level, offers basic business validation. This means that not only is the CA validating the domain, but they’re also taking some extra steps to verify specific types of information relating to the company or organization that requests the certificate. But what does this level of validation do for your website?

Although OV SSL certificates are more expensive than DV, they’re also more advantageous than their basic counterparts. This is because, in part, OV certificates help to assert some limited identity on your site by including your company name on the certificates themselves. They also come with larger warranties as well — ranging upwards of $1.5 million, depending on the issuing CA — and site seals.

The warranties help to protect you in the (unlikely) event that a CA revokes a certificate, or the encryption somehow fails. It’s the same idea of keeping a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. Although you’re most likely not going to ever need it, it’s a great to have just in case a rare situation happens in which you do need one. The site seals add visual confirmation that your site is, in fact, legit.

Recommended OV SSL Certificates for Ecommerce Sites

The best SSL certificate for ecommerce site are listed below:

Save Up to 61% on OV SSL Certificates from RapidSSLonline!

Protect your website with an SSL Certificate from brands like GeoTrust, Trust, and Symantec.

Shop All OV SSL Certificates

Extended Validation

Extended validation is the most in-depth type of verification that CAs perform before issuing an SSL certificate to an organization. This type of certificate was created to help assure users that they’re on a legitimate website instead of a malicious copycat site.

Of the three validation levels, EV SSL certificates assert the most identity in the browser. Of course, different browsers handle visual security indicators in different ways, though. Some show a green bar and others will display the information in the certificate drop-down menu.  

EV certificates, although the most expensive, also come with the largest CA-backed warranties. For example, some have warranties range upwards of $1.75 million. They also come with site seals from the issuing CA.

Recommended EV SSL Certificates for Ecommerce Sites

Save Up to 54% on EV SSL Certificates from RapidSSLonline!

Protect your website with an EV SSL Certificate from brands like GeoTrust, Thawte, and Symantec.

Shop All EV SSL Certificates

As you can see, there are many advantages to each type of certificate. But when it comes to choosing an SSL certificate for your eCommerce site, it’s best to stick with one that offers at least basic business validation.

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