How to choose an SSL Certificate?

Learn how to choose the best SSL Certificate

With the existing diversity of SSL Certificates, it may seem difficult to choose the one that best satisfies your needs. Since there is no difference between them on the security side, you should find out more about SSL Certificates’ peculiarities before deciding which one you shall install on your server.

How to choose an SSL Certificate?

First of all, you should know that SSL Certificates are differentiated based on their:

  • Validation type:
  1. Domain Validation SSL Certificates— the easiest to get, issued within a few minutes — perfect for small blogs or small websites.
  2. Business Validation SSL Certificates— ideal for small, medium, and large companies. These certificates require the companies who buy them to be legally registered.
  3. Extended Validation (Green Bar) SSL Certificates — the most favored ones because they inspire a higher level of trust to your customers by displaying the famous green bar. An EV SSL certificate serves as a guarantee that your website and business is legitimate and trustworthy.
  • Number of domains:
  1. One Domain SSL Certificates— the least expensive because they secure only one domain.
  2. Wildcard SSL Certificates— the right solution for securing one main domain name and all / unlimited sub-domains for it.
  3. Multi-domain SSL Certificates — perfect option when you own several domains and subdomains which you need to secure with one single SSL Certificate.
  4. Code Signing SSL Certificates— are made for developers and companies who build software. Designed to prevent infecting digital goods with malware of harmful code, due to which they are usually slightly more expensive.

Choose your SSL Certificate based on the needed validation type and number of domains, and then proceed to analyzing the main peculiarities of the existing SSL Certificate options.

The main peculiarities of an SSL Certificate

The main three “C” key elements of an SSL Certificate are:

  • Cost. Estimate your budget first before investing in an SSL certificate. The more complex your website is, the more you’ll have to pay for a certificate.
  • Convenience. There are SSL certificates which are issued fast, but there are also certificates which are offered only after a thorough examination of your company’s legal registration that may take up to a week. The issuance speed is directly related to the validation level.
  • Confidence. If you need a higher level of security assurance, you will also have to pay more, so keep that in mind when budgeting your SSL investments.

Besides these elements, there are also additional features when it comes to purchasing SSL Certificates:

  • Warranty. The bigger the warranty amount is, the higher is the certificate’s level of security and encryption, and the better are the additional services which the Certificate Authority provides for them.
  • Expiration policy. Check the expiration and renewal policy of your SSL Certificate before making your purchase. An SSL Certificate with a longer lifetime will cost you more but will be easier for you to maintain.
  • Customer support. A dedicated customer support will be available 24/7 to help you quickly fix any issues.
  • Additional services. Some SSL Certificates are more expensive because they offer additional services, like malware or vulnerability detection.

Once you’ve determined your needs based on the above characteristics, you are ready to purchase your SSL Certificate. However, if you’re still in doubt, remember that there are special tools that will guide you and help you make the best choice.

Tools that will help you choose the best SSL Certificate

There are online tools that will suggest you the perfect SSL Certificates for your website and company:

  • The SSL Certificate Wizard — answer a few questions and the tool will give you recommendations on the best SSL Certificates based on your needs
  • The SSL Certificate Filtering Tool— will show you all the SSL Certificates that match a certain criteria, or combination of several criteria to easily identify your desired SSL Certificate.

Typically, results include different price ranges and certificate brands, so you have the flexibility to pick the one that you like the most.

Final thoughts

Choosing the best SSL Certificate isn’t as hard as it seems.

There are several online tools ready to help you select the perfect choice for you. But you can also choose an SSL Certificate by yourself once you’ve determined its validation type, number of domains, and additional features.

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