Choosing the right SSL certificates for your website

Written on 27 September, 2013 by Karen Lim-Sam
Categories Web Design & ContentWeb HostingTags ssl

Any website with a login or e-commerce facilities needs to be secure, but what do you really know about SSL certificates? Your site’s SSL certificate gives you security and user trust, but not every SSL is created equal – so how do you know which is right for you?

SSL Certificates

SSL stands for secure sockets layer, and a certificate is a unique file that is linked specifically to your domain. The certificate is used by your web server to make sure that traffic over HTTPS is encrypted and can’t be easily ‘sniffed’ to steal credit card or login information.

In addition, the company that issues the certificate works as a third-party authority who guarantees to your users that your website is genuine and belongs to your company. It’s this that controls the display of the padlock in your browser URL bar, which lets your customers know that your site is genuine and can be trusted with their secure information.

Here’s what you need to consider when choosing your SSL provider and certificate type.

Speed of issuance

How quickly you are issued your certificate depends on the level of verification offered by your provider. Cheaper, less verified options will be issued very quickly, allowing you to get up and running and start making sales immediately, but the more trusted certificates take longer as the SSL authority has more to do to verify that your business owns your domain and will possibly even review your business credentials and credit score.

The stronger the verification, the better your user trust. But if you need to start right away you can always install a basic SSL certificate until the heavier validation is complete and then replace it.

Certificate warranties and assurances

Different companies and certificate types will come with different levels of assurance from the provider. The more expensive SSL certificates offer user protection anywhere from $1000 to $1 million, meaning the SSL provider will reimburse a customer for that amount should they lose money by the certificate being compromised. The better the warranty, the higher the trust.

Security Seals

As well as the padlock in the browser bar, some SSL certificates will come with images of security seals you can place on your site. They can be a key part of generating the trust you need for your users, so it’s worth checking whether your chosen certificate supports this.

Customer Support

Customer support levels can vary wildly, from none at all to technical help to advice on building trust and placement of seals on your website. Some providers will only have an online knowledge base while others will offer 24/7 phone support – take this into account when making your choice.

Take some time to examine the options when purchasing your next SSL certificate and choose based on the features and benefits that are most applicable to your project – it could make all the difference. Netregistry has done the hard work for you and recommends this SSL Certificate.