There are various ways of getting an SSL certificate on your website. We shall explore the various options available and leave the final decision on you on which one to choose. There is no doubt you need an SSL certificate so that you can instill trust on web traffic on your site. How does it feel when you encounter a warning from a browser that hackers might be trying to steal your data when you try accessing a website. It doesn’t feel good at all.
To avoid such cases and scenarios, we are going to give you the various options through which you can get an SSL certificate including even the free one. If you are just starting, we know you want to maintain the costs down but also consider the kind of traffic you are dealing with on your site. For example, if you do collect sensitive data on your site, then your SSL certificate requirements might be different from a personal website that collects no data or confidential information.
SSL certificate options available:
We are going to discuss this in the most straightforward way so that even if it’s your first time to look for an SSL certificate or to host a website, it becomes easy for you to understand. As long as you want to stay safe on the internet, you must get an SSL certificate.
Buy a hosting plan that gives an SSL certificate:
We are assuming that you want a certificate for an already registered domain. Immediately after registering a domain, the next big task is to look for a host. There are many web hosting companies like Godaddy, Namecheap, Hostgator, Bluehost and many others. Due to that large number of web hosting companies, competition has driven some companies to offer SSL certificates for free; in fact to all those who host with them and sell to those hosting their sites somewhere else.
All browsers have a list of all the trusted SSL providers. This makes it easy for them to verify the authenticity of a site’s cert. Some of the major CAs in the market include but not limited to Comodo, GlobalSign, and Godaddy. The price of the certificate varies from one provider to the other. The class of the SSL certificate also determines its cost. For example, extended SSL are more expensive than the domain validated SSL.
Get the SSL certificate on trial basis:
Another wise way of getting an SSL certificate on your site is through taking advantage of the trial period offered by a majority of the certificate authority. For example, Comodo has a 90 days trial period for their SSL certificates. After the expiration of this period, you can decide to buy the plan, or if you still feel the package is not the best, you can also check for another provider with a trial period.
Get the free SSL certificates:
There are still people who live in denial that there are trusted free SSL certificates in the market. The list might be endless, but we shall only look at a limited number. To get us started, we shall discuss the Cloudflare plan since we can also help you to set up on your site at a fair cost and save you all the hassles involved. The free SSL from Cloudflare gives a site the green padlock as well as the HTTPS on the address bar. Another source of free SSL is lets encrypt.
Self-signed SSL certificate:
Some people make their SSL certificates, and after using them on their site, they achieve the same results as those who used the trusted CAs. We are not advocating for privately signed SSL certificates, but if there are genuine reasons to do so, it’s always good. Otherwise, get your SSL certificate from trusted CAs in the market. However, Cloudflare accepts self-signed SSL certificates when issuing a full implemented certificate.
Advantages of having an SSL certificate on a site:
Having an SSL puts your website at a better position compared to the rest of the websites that do not have an SSL certificate. An SSL can compare to a guarantor for anyone who is looking for finance.
- Data encryption: Without an SSL information is transferred as plain text. For example, if you type 23456, it’s transferred to the other end as 23456. However, with an SSL the letters 23456 can be encrypted to something like gh%^/#1. When data is encrypted, even if a sniffer or a hacker intercepts the information he/she cannot make any sense out of it.
- Increased ranking as well as user’s trust: Google announced that it would give sites with an HTTPS a special boost compared to those without an SSL certificate. The users also gain confidence while transacting or entering any other information on an SSL secured site. The increased traffic to a website is also an important aspect of SEO.
- It’s a legal requirement: All sites which collect sensitive information like passwords and credit card are required by the authority to have an extended SSL certificate to protect the user’s information.
- Authentification: when sending data with a computer over the internet, there is no other way you can be sure that you are dealing with the intended parties unless they have an SSL certificate. Without an SSL certificate, imposters can pretend to be the computers that you intended to transact with. An SSL certificate is like one long password.
Does the SSL certificate slow down a site?
Due to the presence of a handshake between the web servers and the browsers, we can think that the process will slow down the servers. Contrary to this notion, an SSL certificate has been proved to speed up a site. For example, since Cloudflare has data centers all over the globe, it sends the data received to the nearest center, and this basically speeds and improves the performance of a website.