What is an SSL Certificate? Your Guide to SSL Certificates

The number of internet users has been increasing by the day. More and more people rely on the internet for shopping, studying, and even dating. Unfortunately, the number of cybercriminal cases has been increasing as well. If you are a website owner, you should look for ways to protect your website. These protocols allow you to do just that. But before you get started, it is vital to understand what it is and why it is essential.

In this guide, we will be discussing everything about SSL, its different types, why it is crucial, and how to get one.

SSL Definition

If you have been using the internet for quite some time now, you have probably noticed that some websites have extra “s” on their URL. The extra “s” indicates that the website is safe and encrypted. This means that all your data is secure. Websites that have the additional “s” use a technology to protect your data.

SSL is short for Secure Sockets Layer, and it refers to small data files that enable secure communication between your browser and the website server. This protocol uses various security checks on the browser, data center, and server to determine if the page you visit is safe. After these extensive security checks, the protocol then encrypts your information to make it impossible for cybercriminals to intercept and decode.

Secure Sockets Layer security can protect against the most severe cybercrime attacks like “man in the middle.” Although this technology was first developed in 1995, it has become one of the most popular and trusted website security technology.

It is compatible with all web browsers and servers. Moreover, they are now used to protect Voice-over-IP-calls, instant messages, and emails.

What are the Types of Certificates?

Certificate Authorities create these protocols. Although all of them encrypt data and validate websites, they are classified into various types. Each type offers a different level of security. Let’s discuss these types below.

An Organization-Validated

As the name suggests, an Organization Validated protocol is used to determine the authenticity of an organization and domain. These protocols provide a medium level of protection. The CA must determine if your organization is legal and whether you own the domain to award you these certifications.

Once you install an OV protocol, users will see a green padlock before your company’s name. This protocol might be perfect for you if you don’t have enough funds for the other protocols.

Extended Validation

These certifications are more expensive than other protocols. This is because they offer maximum security. This certification will display your URL with the additional “s”, padlock, business name, and country to prove that your website is legit.

To obtain an Extended Validation Protocol, you have to prove that you are the legitimate domain owner. These protocols are perfect for businesses that rely on identity assurance.

Domain Validation

Domain Validation protocols are popularly called low assurance certifications. These protocols offer the lowest level of encryption. They are usually displayed as a padlock next to the URL.

DV protocols are popular because website owners don’t need a lot of documentation to apply. To obtain a Domain Validation, you will have to add your DNS to the CA. If you don’t have the money to get an expensive protocol, then Domain Validation will work just fine.


A Wildcard protects both your subdomain and domain. When you buy it for one domain, your wildcard protocol is compatible with the subdomains. This option can be cheaper than other protocols since you don’t have to obtain multiple protocols for all your domains.

Single Domain

As the name suggests, Single Domain protects only one domain. As a result, you should only consider it when you only have one domain.


Multi-Domain offers protection to several domains and sub-domains. The good thing with MDC is that it can be used for completely different domains and sub-domains. However, these protocols do not support the same sub-domains.

Why Do We Need an SSL Certificate?

Every website owner needs the protocol to keep user data private and secure. These protocols also help internet users to verify domain ownership. Read on to discover why you should have the protocol for your website.

1. Improve Website Security

The first reason why you need this protocol is to protect sensitive data. These can be login details, personal information, payment information, and addresses. These protocols keep such information safe by encrypting your visitors’ information to keep it safe from malicious cybercriminals.

2. Creates Credibility and Trust

The protocol can help you earn your visitors’ trust and confidence. This is because they will see that your website is protected, keeping their personal information private. Besides, some browsers are likely to label your site as unsafe if you are not certified.

3. Improves SEO

Installing secure socket layers will improve your SEO rankings. Search engines prioritize encrypted websites and rank them higher than unprotected websites. This will give you an edge over the competition.

How to Get an SSL

CA is responsible for offering these protocols. CA issues millions of programs every year. Before anything, you should determine the protocol type you need. Of course, your website needs will determine the perfect protocol for you. Keep in mind that costs vary depending on the level of security and vendor.

Another factor you should have in mind when getting the protocol is the validity period. Most last for about one or two years. Those who need extended protection can settle for advanced certifications.

If you are working with a reliable third-party provider, you will have to prove your business identity. This could be licenses, articles of incorporation, or any other valid documentation. The CA can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days to generate your protocol. The advanced ones might take longer

After receiving the application from CA, you should install it on your webserver immediately. This process does not have to be daunting when you work with a reliable CA.

Wrapping Up

SSL will help you show your visitors that you care about their safety. However, not all are the same. That is why you should choose a credible provider to help build your brand’s identity and confidence. Contact us today to discover our range of credible and affordable certificates for your specific website needs.

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