Here are nine great tips for saving money while you encrypt your website.

We’ve now reached a point in time where you just cannot afford not to encrypt your website. If you run an e-commerce business you need encryption to protect your customers’ personal information and financial data—not to mention to protect yourself from man-in-the-middle attacks and third-party content injection.

But even if you aren’t running a business – maybe you’re just blogging or running a personal website – you still need to be encrypted. The browser community is beginning to warn web users when they reach unprotected sites. HTTP/2, which is becoming more widely adopted, requires encryption. And sites served over HTTPS both perform better and receive a Google search ranking boost.

The era of encryption is here, it’s time to get an SSL Certificate.

HTTPS - SSL Certificate

Types of SSL Certificate

In order to make the right choice you’ll need to know more about the various kinds of SSL Certificate. For starters, there are three different validation levels. SSL Certificates accomplish two things. First, they facilitate encryption. This part is the same for all certificates, regardless of validation level. They all facilitate the same type of industry-standard encryption.

The second thing SSL certificates accomplish, and this is where they begin to differentiate themselves from one another, is authentication. Depending on the validation level you choose, the certificate offers varying levels of authentication.

Domain Validated SSL

The lowest, most basic level of SSL Certificate is called Domain Validation (DV). DV SSL Certificates simply require you to prove ownership over the registered domain. This can be done via email or with file-based validation. This is a great route to go for non-e-commerce websites that aren’t collecting personal information but it’s not the ideal security solution if you’re running a business.

Organization & Extended Validated SSL

If you’re running a business, you’ll probably want to go with either an Organization Validation (OV) or Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificate. These both offer business validation, wherein your company must provide certain documentation to the Certification Authority that’s issuing the certificate in order to prove that you’re a legitimate legal entity operating in good faith in your local municipality. This might sound daunting, but it’s really a breeze if you’ve got your business’ registration information up to date.

  • OV SSL Certificates have similar visual indicators as DV certificates, the address bar will display a padlock icon and a green “https.” The difference is when the padlock is clicked it will display organization information that helps offer assurance to customers about the identity of the company they’re doing business with.
  • EV SSL Certificates offer the greatest degree of assurance by turning the entire address bar green and prominently displaying the organization’s name in it. This is an immediate, unimpugnable indicator that the company that runs this website has been vetted by a trusted third party and is completely legitimate.


SSL Certificate Extended Features

Beyond DV, OV and EV SSL Certificates, there are also extended features that further differentiate SSL Certificates from one another. These features affect how a certificate may secure multiple domains or Sub-Domains, or how well it interacts with certain servers.

Let’s take a quick look:

Wildcard SSL Certificate

Wildcard Certificates are capable of securing one main domain and an unlimited number of Sub-Domains. This helps companies to secure their entire site, Sub-Domains and all, without having to purchase multiple certificates. The one drawback is that they’re not available at the EV level, so you can only purchase them as DV or OV Certificates.

Multi-Domain SSL

Say you’re trying to secure multiple websites, you may think that would require multiple certificates—but you’d be wrong. Multi-Domain SSL secures your main domain and up to 100 other domains. These other domains are called SANs or Subject Alternative Names. When you create your Certificate Signing Request (CSR), you just list all the domains you’d like to secure as SANs and voila! You can secure them all on a single certificate.

UCC SSL – Unified Communication

Unified Communication Certificates are Multi-Domain SSL certificates that were originally designed to work specifically on Microsoft Exchange and IIS Servers. Since the CA/B forum has begun to regulate certificates more uniformly, the SSL industry has evolved to where other, non-UCC Certificates will work on those Microsoft servers as well, and UCC Certificates will run on non-Microsoft servers too. But UCC is still a highly popular security solution for sites running on Microsoft servers.

Multi-Domain Wildcard SSL

Multi-Domain Wildcard Certificates are jacks of all trades, capable of securing up to 100 domains and an unlimited number of Sub-Domains. This makes Multi-Domain Wildcard certificates a phenomenal security solution for larger companies with multiple sites and Sub-Domains across them.


9 Effortless Money-Saving Tips

Now that you’ve got a basic understanding of the types and extended features of various SSL Certificates, we can start to discuss some tips for getting the best deals on them. Encryption is soon going to be required across the internet. But paying an arm and a leg for that encryption is not a requirement.

Here are nine ways to avoid overpaying for SSL.

1) Get the Right SSL Certificate for Your Security Needs

Before you buy, make sure you know what is going to be the best fit for your site(s). Are you running a single site with no Sub-Domains? Do you have multiple sites? What level of validation do you need? That’s why we spent the first part of this article going over the different types and features of various certificates. It’s important to know what the right SSL Certificate for your situation is, and then to shop exclusively for that. The right security solution can fit all your needs at a very reasonable price. The wrong one can stick you with multiple certificates, installations, renewal dates, and price points. Take the time to do the research and come to the proper conclusion about what will fit your needs.


2) Make Sure to Compare Prices

The SSL Industry is unique in that buying direct is not always the most cost-effective option. The CA’s oftentimes charge more for their own certificates than a value-added reseller who buys in bulk and passes the savings along to you. There are plenty of value-added resellers and CA’s to consider, so take the time to shop around a little and find the best value and compare SSL price before you purchase it.


3) Read Certificate Authority Customer Reviews First

There are dozens of Certificate Authorities out there selling similar products at different price points. Some tend to run a little more expensive but it could be because they add value in the form of better customer service or other bundled security products. Others may keep the cost low but are difficult to work with or have slow issuances processes. The only way you can find out is by doing a little research, reading the reviews of the various CA’s and deciding for yourself which of them offers the best combination of customer service, value and premium features.


4) Read Vendor’s Refund Policy and Guidelines

Depending on where you get your SSL Certificate from you to have a set amount of time to cancel the transaction and get your money back. There are oftentimes a lot of misnomers about this. The money-back guarantee (15 days on our site) is good from the date the certificate is a purchase, NOT from the date it’s issued. This is a fairly common standard, but given the complex nature of the issuance policy—it often gets confusing. Just remember: the clock starts as soon as you make your payment.


5) Invest in a 2 or 3-year SSL Certificate

You get a price break on SSL Certificates when you buy them with longer lifespans. A one-year certificate may seem like all you need, but buying a two or three-year certificate will give you longer-term savings given that the price per year goes down. It also saves you the trouble of having to renew and re-install your SSL Certificate on a yearly basis.


6) Get SAN Certificates for Multi-Domain Security

This one should be a no-brainer and it ties back into knowing what the best security solution for your needs is. If you’re attempting to secure multiple domains, you may end up paying a fortune for individual certificates to secure them all when you could be paying a much lower price by investing in a Multi-Domain (SAN) Certificate.


7) Get a Wildcard Certificate to Secure Multiple Sub-Domains

Once again, this goes back to knowing what the best security solution for your needs is. A Wildcard SSL Certificate is capable of securing an unlimited number of Sub-Domains, so if you run a site with one Fully Qualified Domain Name and a number of Sub-Domains, invest in a Wildcard Certificate. The alternative would be buying an individual SSL Certificate for every single Sub-Domain, which would also include installing them, tracking their renewal dates, etc… Simplify your life by going with a Wildcard Certificate and securing all of your Sub-Domains on a single cert.


8) Buy SSL with Multiple Server Licenses

Some Certificate Authorities make you purchase individual server licenses for every server you want to install your SSL Certificate on. This can be an extremely expensive proposition, especially when there are other CAs that sell their certs with unlimited licenses. Why pay extra money if you have to install across more than one server when it’s not a necessity. Make sure to check on the Server License policy before purchasing a certificate.


9) Always Find the Cheapest SSL Certificate

Always make sure that you’re paying the best price for the SSL Certificate you’ve selected. This means comparing prices across vendors and resellers and doing a good degree of research before finally making the purchase. It’s worth it—trust us. In the case of some high-end certificates, the difference can be upwards of a thousand dollars. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place for the best prices. But you don’t have to take our word for it. Go forth, look around. You’ll be back once you realize that has the lowest SSL prices on the internet.

Important SSL Resources to Read


Save Maximum on SSL

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