What is SSL certificate?
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. SSL is a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of the website and encrypts the information sent from client browser to server so it can not be interpreted on the way. You would find below the complete SSL certificate wiki which would helps you to select what SSL certificate you need to have for your website.
SSL encrypts the information sent by the browser so the only intended recipient can understand it.
SSL enabled website URL start with HTTPS and the address bar would have green lock icon in start.
LetsEncrypt SSL certificate provider is the most popular free SSL service provider.
SSL create the trust
SSL also create the trust in website users as browsers shows a kind of seal in address bar. You must notice a green lock in address bar when you use the HTTPS in URL.
SSL helps in SEO
Google ranks well if a website is secure and fast. And thus they gives a priority to HTTPS based website over to non secure HTTP. Here is the the google official blog post “HTTPS as a ranking signal” on this topic.
Type of SSL certificates
We can divide type of SSL further in 2 parts
1. Trust level
2. The quantity you need
There are mainly 3 types of certificates for TRUST level
1. EV – Extended validation certificate
2. OV – Organization validated certificate
3. DV – Domain validated certificate
#1 EV – Extended validation certificate
It includes the meaningful information of business with the certificate which anybody can see by click on the business name in address bar.
The most important factor is that it displays the business name in the address bar with the https seal which brings the trust for your website visitors.
#2 OV – Organization validated certificate
That is the second level of certificate, it also takes all meaningful information about an organization before issuing the certificate. A website visitor can see this by click on green lock icon visible in the address bar before URL. But it does not show the business name in the address bar in front. That can be seen only with the other detail after click on https lock icon.
#3 DV – Domain validated certificate
That is the basic type of SSL certificate because it requires very minimal information to get a certificate. It just needs a domain and validates that you have administrative control over the domain. That does not include company information. Its mostly used in blogs and personal websites.
The above image show DV SSL information, see it just show the domain name, no other information about company. Lets click on the more information link in the above image and see what information is there.
Did you notice owner name in below website identity “This website does not supply ownership information”
If you look amazon.in SSL certificate, that also does have DV certificate. See image below:
Ok, I think its enough about DV.
Let’s conclude it.
The conclusion is DV certificate would not show your business information.
Certificates based on how many domains you need to protect.
#1 For one domain – Standard certificate
If you need to protect only one domain lets say example.com then standard certificate needed.
Trust level EV, OV or DV can be chosen based on your need.
It does not even work for the sub domain. So if you got the certificate for primary domain example.com then it will not work for www.example.com.
You would have to get 2 certificates for both.
#2 For multiple domain – Subject Alternative Names (SAN certificate)
If you have multiple domains where the name is same but TLD is different like example.com, example.in example.co.uk, example.fr. This kind of domain names is called SAN – Subject Alternative Names.
#3 For multiple subdomain – Wildcard certificate
Wildcard certificate allows to use it on multiple subdomains, so the same certificate can be applied on www.example.com, blog.example.com, shop.example.com and all other subdomains.
How do I select what SSL certificate I need
Well, if you reach here then I assume you have an idea what is trust level for SSL certificate and what are different SSL based on quantity needed.
Trust level would be decided based on the type of business you have.
Although choosing the SSL type is completely person but here are my recommendations:
DV certificate is recommended for blogs, portfolio, personal website or any other small websites. I have DV certificate for this blog.
EV is recommended if you want to show the high level of trust to your website visitors.
Infographic is taken from CACS
There are multiple SSL certificate providers who provide the commerical SSL on different rates. Some of popular certificate providers are GoDaddy, Comodo, GeoTrust and Verisign.
I am using LetsEncrypt free SSL certificate on my WordPress blog successfuler.com
Let me know if you have any question.