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Security is of paramount importance today at all places, be it your home, your belongings and the most recent your online data — both personal and professional! 

Your website needs equal security attention as anything else in your life. Almost everything about you can be accessed and deciphered through your system and/or website. It is thus pertinent to have an SSL certificate for your website. 

But the question is how to choose an SSL certificate that perfectly fits your website?

Before we move forward with that decision let us first understand what an SSL certificate is, and the different types of SSL certificates available. 

SSL Certificate – In Depth

An SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate is a certificate that is used to offer protection and security to your website against non-secure and malicious hackers. 

Primarily, what the SSL certificate does is, it encrypts the connection or the path between the visiting user’s web browser and the server.  This way the communication between the two parties is secure and safe from being intercepted. Furthermore, an SSL certificate helps prevent domain spoofing, and other similar attacks by authenticating the server’s identity and digital signature. 

One easy way to figure out if a website is secure and protected by an SSL certificate is to check if the URL is HTTP or HTTPS, where ‘S’ stands for secure. If the URL is HTTPS then it is an indication that the website is SSL secured and also has a lock icon on the left-hand side of the URL in the address bar. 

An Interesting Fact: Since the release of the Chrome 68 update in 2018, Google has made it necessary for websites to be secure ‘https’ otherwise it would flag the websites and this may even affect search engine rankings. As of September 2020, Chrome 85 is the latest version update.

Types of SSL Certificates:

Having understood what an SSL certificate is, it is now time to delve deeper and understand the different types of SSL certificates available. 

Different SSL certificates cater to specific requirements of the website they encrypt. However, irrespective of the one you choose your website will be encrypted and security won’t be compromised. 

  1. Domain Validation

Domain Validation is one of the simplest SSL certificates and can be obtained easily within minutes. All a website needs is to prove they are the owner of the domain they want to obtain the certificate for. 

This SSL certificate is the cheapest of all the certificates available. Nevertheless, it is important to note that since these certificates are the easiest to obtain they offer a low level of customer trust, however, this does not mean that they are not encrypted enough. As a word of caution, if you do payment or transactions via your website this certificate may not be the best choice. 

The Domain Validation SSL certificate is ideal for new websites, portfolio websites and blogs. 

  1. Business Validation

Remember the BIS hallmark for gold and silver which certifies its purity? Customers tend to have a higher level of contentment with a product if it carries a certain certified affiliation.

A Business Validation SSL certificate or Organization Validation certificate verifies the existence of businesses. Along with this, if your business adheres to the PCI (Payment Card Industry) guidelines, it also helps comply with that. In simple terms, if your business website deals with monetary transactions. especially credit card payments, then you should invest in a Business Validation SSL certificate.

So how do you get this certificate? Well, Business Validation SSL certificates can generally be procured in a couple of days, given all the documents submitted  to the Certificate Authority are correct. Unlike a Domain Validation certificate, the Business Validation certificate contacts the website’s name and address thereby making it more credible than the former SSL certificate. 

If you run an e-commerce business, small and medium-sized firm, or a startup, Business Validation SSL certificates are ideal. 

  1. Extended Validation

While SSL certificates, in general, offer a degree of trust, Extended Validation certificates offer a considerably higher level of trust, warranty, and protection against attacks.

To obtain an Extended Validation the Certificate Authority conducts a background check of the organization. This entails making sure that the company exists, is legally registered as a business, and that they are located at the address they have submitted. Although this verification takes the longest time and is expensive, Extended Validation SSL certificates are more trustworthy than other types of SSL certificates. 

Extended Validation SSL can be a preferred choice for e-commerce websites, financial organisations, IT firms, large established businesses and so on. Basically, any enterprise that is dealing with a lot of money which, in turn, requires immense customer trust. 

  1. Wildcard

A Wildcard SSL certificate is a single-domain SSL certificate but it covers all the subdomains created under the ‘single’ insured domain. For the uninitiated, a subdomain is nothing but a division of the main domain.

Take, for example, www.resellerclub.com is the main domain, furthermore, there are country-specific websites (a subdomain) under this i.e. india.resellerclub.com, tr.resellerclub.com, blog.resellerclub.com etc. 

Unlike other SSL certificates, if you go with a Wildcard SSL certificate you only need one certificate to secure all the subdomains listed under it. Typically, this SSL certificate is perfect for all websites that already have subdomains or plan to have one. 

Wildcard SSL certificates are suitable for all websites with subdomains, right from a simple podcast website to an e-commerce store, or a business website.  

So is it absolutely necessary to possess an SSL certificate? Ideally, yes. With an increase in hacking and frauds, it is crucial for a business or a website to present itself as genuine and trustworthy. Moreover, it is especially crucial if your website deals with sensitive customer data, such as passwords, credit card numbers, or names and addresses, and so on. However, the choice of the type solely depends on the type of website you’re running. 

We at ResellerClub, offer four variants of SSL certificates with free reissuance and 30-day money-back guarantee. Depending on your website/business type you can choose the SSL certificate you think will best suit your website’s needs. 

We hope this article helps you decide how to choose an SSL certificate best suited for your website. If you already have a website and are wondering how to install an SSL certificate then this guide might be of help. If you have any questions, feel free to ask us in the comments section below. Check out more articles that can help you secure, test and offer incredible Tech tips!

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H. FatimaH. FatimaH. Fatima used to be an Engineer by profession and Writer by passion until she started pursuing full-time writing. She is presently a Content Marketeer at Newfold Digital (APAC). She mostly writes what she deeply perceives and analyses, it is her way of unwinding. Her interests include writing, reading (an avid reader), watching foreign-language movies and public speaking.View all posts by H. Fatima