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SSL Certificate

If you are looking to protect your site quickly and at the lowest cost, domain level website certification is the choice for you. It’s inexpensive, easy to set up, fast to process, and provides the web certificate that your customers have been looking for.

Why SSL?

If you’re new to the world of internet business, it might be intimidating to understand why SSL is so important. You’ve probably heard your customers mention the need for a “secure website.” This means a site where they can feel confident that their information is protected. A typical website without any kind of protection makes user data completely open to the internet. In theory, anyone who cared to and had basic technology comprehension could steal that data, intercepting it as it traveled between the visitor’s computer and your server. This doesn’t hurt for some data, but when the transmission includes anything sensitive — credit card data during an online purchase is the classic example – it is downright dangerous to transmit.

A web SSL certificate takes care of this problem by encrypting the transferred information. An SSL domain establishes a secure connection with every user who wants to send information. In order to access anything transmitted this way, a malicious hacker would have to first decrypt it. With the technology available in today’s SSL subdomain encryption, this is a difficult task. The majority of today’s web users are aware of the need for an SSL certificate. Domain registration without one is viewed as suspect and untrustworthy. If you don’t have domain certificates for your main site and coverage for all your subdomains, don’t expect users to upload any information to your server. Contact forms and especially any kind of shopping just won’t be used because your visitors don’t feel safe. To put it simply, a web server SSL certificate is a necessary part of doing business on the internet.

How SSL Certificate works

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology protects your website and makes it easy for your users to trust you.

SSL Domain Level Verification

Any kind of SSL certificate domain validation will involve securing the connection between your server and the user’s computer. This is the defining feature of SSL; it’s impossible to have SSL security without it. What can change, however, is how much additional fact checking the certificate authority does to verify your organization. The certificate authority is the company that actually issues your website certificate. They are the ones responsible for providing the security, and as such they’re the ones responsible for making sure that you are eligible to support that kind of protection.

Domain level SSL web server certificates involve the least amount of background checking. In effect, the company that issues your certificate will check that you have the right to request one for your particular domain name, nothing more. This is a contrast to extended validation, which includes a background check designed to put your visitors completely at ease. Extended validation will involve verification of your organization’s existence and role within the real market. It’s essentially a promise to your customers that you are who you claim to be and that you do what you say you do. This is an extremely valuable assurance to skittish computer users who are very aware that the web can sometimes be ephemeral at best.

But all of that extra fact checking comes with a price, and the cost difference between the basic subdomain SSL packages listed here and their more expensive, extended validation cousins can be sharp. If you’re just getting started and want the basic level of protection, this kind of certificate is just right for you. Your customers are mostly concerned with keeping their information safe – they aren’t worrying about vetting your company in so much detail.

Subdomain SSL Certificate

Depending on the structure of your site, you may have subdomains involved. Subdomains are, for example, They’re a portion of your bigger website, which is within it but which exist somewhat separately. There are two ways to secure these. First, you can buy each one an SSL certificate. Subdomains are not covered by default simply because their parent sites are. Alternatively, you can buy a specialized SSL certificate.

Subdomain design has given rise to an innovation called a wildcard SSL. This is an SSL certificate for subdomain security, designed to secure your main site and any or all subdomains you might have. The cost for a single wildcard certificate is greater than for a single domain-level certificate, but the overall cost is lower: instead of buying a certificate for every subdomain, you get one and then you’re good to cover all of them.

Organization Validation SSL certificates

Without SSL, your customers won’t trust your website. But basic SSL is just the first layer of protection, and is purely technical; extended and organization SSL takes it a step beyond that.

The company that issues the certificate will take steps to verify your existence, providing a vital level of customer confidence. But extended validation, which provides the most in-depth analysis of your business or organization, can be expensive even when you get a great deal from CheapSSL. If you want strong customer trust but don’t want to invest in extended validation, organization validation is the choice for you.

  • Your organization is checked before a certificate is issued. This check is absolutely vital for your customers. It tells them that you are who you say you are – something that few things on the internet can confirm. This level of verification makes organization validation stand out from other options.
  • Your visitors know their data is safe. In addition to verifying your company, this kind of validation provides the same level of security that users have come to expect from SSL. Encryption levels and complete security will depend on the exact company and organization SSL certificate you select, but you can count on it being strong.
  • Fast approval for a verified site. Because the vetting process is slightly less in- depth than the extended SSL certificate, organization SSL may be available in just one business day. Of course, that will also depend on what company you select, as some will process faster than others.
  • Clickable security seal with information for visitors. When your visitors come to your website, they’ll see the security seal that confirms the validation. When they click on it, they’ll instantly be able to see information that confirms your company. This is a reliable way to increase your level of customer trust.

Extended Validation SSL certificates

Extended validation SSL, also known as EV SSL, is considered the most secure and most confidence-inspiring type of SSL certificate on the market. It does more than just protect the data that your users send to your server; in order to obtain an EV SSL cert, your company will need to be verified by the issuer. When users see that you’ve undergone such intense scrutiny, they’re much more likely to trust you with their most important data.

How Are Extended Validation SSL Certificates Different?

Every SSL certificate offers some degree of protection from data interception by hackers. The defining feature of extended SSL is that it goes beyond that to actually establish trust and legitimacy of the organization that requests the EV cert. There is actually a mandated standard for verifying an extended validation SSL certificate, established by an industry conference in 2007. This ensures that any EVSSL certificate will have the same level of verification, making it a truly uniform – and thus very powerful – indicator of trust for visitors. The process has four steps:

  • Verification of the company’s existence. This starts with confirming that the company does, in fact, exist as it claims and offer what it says it offers. This might seem obvious, but an astonishing number of “businesses” online aren’t legitimate, and customers are becoming increasingly suspicious of anything new. EV SSL certificates automatically confirm that you’re completely legit.
  • Cross-referencing official records. The issuing company will check that your business matches records from the government, domain registries, and other important organizations. This is another element of an EV certificate that adds trust.
  • Confirmation of exclusive domain rights. In order to get an EV SSL certificate, you’ll need to prove that you have exclusive rights to the domain you’re trying to secure. This further reassures your visitors because they know who they’re dealing with. Simply put, EV certs mean no backdoor hackers inserting code here.
  • Validation of the request to issue an EV certificate. Your company is the only one that can request an SSL extended validation for your domain. As part of the EV SSL certificates vetting process, the issuing company will make sure that you properly authorized the certificate.

Because of all these requirements, EV SSL certificates are never issued immediately. They can’t be; it just isn’t possible to compile the required information and complete the necessary checks in less than a few days at minimum. These aren’t quick solutions for companies looking to take the easy way to security. They’re an investment that shows your visitors that you are truly committed to security in every way.

Once completed, the extended validation SSL certificate will be renewed at the end of its term after an evaluation. This renewal process ensures that companies continue to meet the exacting requirements for holding this kind of certification.

Wildcard SSL certificates

With a single wildcard SSL certificate, multiple subdomains can all be secured and verified quickly and easily.

A typical SSL certificate is good for just one domain. In most cases, you verify and have verified under the same certificate, but and along wouldn’t be verified. That’s because and are both considered subdomains of, and most certificates only cover that original domain.

Wildcard SSL changes all of that. This kind of setup is ideal for server administrators, who can offer protection to everything they host with a single certificate. Wildcard SSL provides the flexibility and widespread coverage that your website or server needs.

  • Cover all your subdomains. Wildcard SSL certs get everything verified in just one step. There is no need to purchase multiple certifications for your different subdomains; just one wildcard cert will take care of everything. That’s why so many administrators of large websites choose to buy wildcard SSL: it’s an inexpensive and effective option that ensures their entire site is adequately protected. In addition, it can grow with you: you’ll be able to add more subdomains on as your site becomes larger in the future.
  • Can work for multiple servers. When you buy a wildcard certificate, multiple servers can be protected by the same SSL. Whether this is permitted or not will depend on the terms you select from the final purchase you make.
  • Less expensive than buying multiple SSLs. A single wildcard server certificate is much less costly than buying the multiples necessary to secure every subdomain. Even the cheapest wildcard SSL will get the job done, protecting your site and providing all your visitors with the security they need to use your site with confidence.
  • Provides a security badge for your site. Your site is secure with a certificate. Wildcard is no different than any other type of SSL: you want your visitors to see that you’re protecting the connection. Your wildcard certificate SSL provider will give you a banner that can be displayed to indicate that your site is secure and give your visitors peace of mind.

SSL Is The New Standard

Several years ago, SSL was considered a luxury rather than a necessity. But as people have come to understand just how insecure the internet can be, visitors have begun to demand it. And not just on pages that obviously transmit sensitive data! That’s part of why wildcard SSL certs have such a widespread appeal: they allow you to provide the security your users demand on every subdomain you own, not just your main one. This is especially crucial if you do have a subdomain which transmits sensitive information, such as a which has users logging in. Protect it with a wildcard certificate and your users are safe.

Wildcard Certs Vs. Other SSL

The main differences between wildcard SSL certificates and non-wildcard are subdomain coverage and in-depth verification of your business. For the more expensive and high level SSL certs, the issuer will actually confirm some of the facts about your organization. This doesn’t change the impact of the security on your end, but it does provide an extra level of safety that many of today’s customers crave. A wildcard SSL cert won’t necessarily come with that kind of protection. Cheap wildcard SSL is a great choice for securing multiple subdomains, but if you’re looking to secure just one domain, you’re better off with something other than SSL wildcard certificates.

A lot of people are confused about whether it’s better to choose traditional SSL or wildcard SSL. Multiple servers will always want wildcard simply because it’s much more practical and cost effective. A single inexpensive wildcard SSL certificate can cover all of your domains with no hassle. In addition, you can always add on additional subdomains as you need to. Because you will need to periodically renew your certification, spending less per cert is a gain in the short and long term.

One potential drawback of an SSL wildcard certificate is that it may not be possible to install on older servers. It’s a technology that requires some newer adaptations in order to be useful. Like any type of SSL certificate, wildcard must be set up by your server administrator. If you’re the administrator, this won’t be an issue; but if you’re just renting your domain you’ll want to get in touch first to make sure that they can handle a wildcard certificate subdomain certification.

Selecting Your Company

A wide variety of different issuers provide wildcard certificates. Comodo and Geotrust are both reliable providers. For all the different seals we offer, you’ll find the same range of encryption: 40-bit to 256-bit. An SSL wildcard certificate will always attempt to connect at that higher range, but its ability to do so depends on your server and the computer that is trying to connect. Even at the low range, a wildcard SSL certificate is still effective.

eXTReMe Tracker Website Security Test

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