Which SSL Certificate to use for website Security (Detailed Explanation)

Which SSL Certificate to use for Website Security
Which SSL Certificate to use for Website Security

While using a website, you must have seen that padlock sign beside the URL, right? Well, it signifies that the website can be trusted and has encrypted your entire data during communication. Such padlock-enabled websites are called “SSL enabled websites.” The communication happening between the server and the client is encrypted with the help of secured keys called “cryptographic keys.” Although, what if you have just started your online business or blogging website, and want to ensure the full safety of your user database? You will say, “I will get an SSL certificate”, right? Well, you are correct, but do you know which SSL certificate to use? 

Got no clue, right?

Well, don’t worry, I am here to save your day with this article, where I am gonna discuss the types of certificates available in the market so that you can pick the appropriate one, without any kind of trial and error.

So, let’s dive in!

Which SSL Certificate to use for Website Security?

So, if you want to clear the air of confusion while choosing an SSL certificate for your online business, you should first have a clear picture of what your online business is all about. Is it purely informational like blogging, or based on financial transactions?

After that, question yourself, are you willing to host a single domain or multiple domains? 

Done? Alrighty! Now, just go through these two main categories; the Validation level and Secured Domain, which are mentioned below, and then choose accordingly.

SSL certificates according to the validation level:

Now, this category refers to how a certain Certificate Authority (CA) confirms the identity of the organization and the owner, applying for the SSL certificates.

This category is again divided into 3 types of Validation certificates, and they are:

  • Domain Validation:

So, this is the easiest and simple certificate validation type, because here you just need to apply for an SSL certificate on your CA’s portal, which will get approved in a few minutes or hours.

The certificate authority can typically validate the certificate by sending a confirmation email to the owner’s registered email address. 

But, if you don’t want to use this method, you can also use DNS verification or HTTP verification. 

In DNS verification, the owner validates the ownership of the site through a DNS record which is attached to the website domain.

Whereas, in HTTP verification, an owner can verify his/her authority by creating and saving the public root of their domain.

The main advantage of this type of validation is that it easily gets approved, doesn’t need extra documents, is very cheap, and gets approved in a few minutes.

Although, there are some disadvantages like;

  • They are not secure at all, and a hacker can breach it easily.
  • Secondly, because of its vulnerability, visitors might not feel safe to visit your site, resulting in fall of traffic.
  • And lastly, if you are selling goods through such websites and require the users’ financial data, no one will feed it.
  • Organisation validation SSL certificate:

In this type of validation, an SSL certificate shows your ownership by verifying the location (State, City, Country) of your organization.

The process is as simple as Domain Validation but needs a few extra steps to verify your organization’s detail. Moreover, it takes a few hours to a few days for approval. 

The main advantage of this type of validation is that the users lean over to such websites more due to the availability of verification certificates in the URL. Also, users won’t hesitate to feed their sensitive information, thus, generating more sales.

  • Extended Validation SSL certificate:

This is the most secure type of certificate, as it requires the business owner to provide more information in order to prove their ownership. It also proves that you have legally registered your company.

Apart from this, it also shows that the company can be trusted with SSL certification. Although, it usually takes long enough for the certificate approval, compared to OV and DV.

The certificate authority provides this type of certificate to only those individuals who can prove the consistency between the location, and existence of the company.

And for this reason, it is the most secured and trustable type of SSL certificate, when it comes to the level of Validation.

SSL Certificate by Secured Domains:

What if you want to host multiple domains or multiple sub-domains on a single certificate? What type of certificate to choose? Well, this is the common question asked by many website owners, and therefore, to understand this process it is divided into three sub-categories:

  • Single Name SSL certificates:

As the name suggests, Single Name SSL certificates are used to protect a single domain. Therefore, it is the best choice, if you want to add a certificate to just one domain that was added later or forgotten.

  • Multiple domain SSL certificates:

What if you want to add 2 to 3 domains under one certificate? The answer is simple, use multiple domain SSL certificates, as it allows a domain holder to secure multiple domains using one certificate. 

These domains are usually listed as Subject Alternative Names (SANs) within the certificate, and that is why people refer to these certificates as SAN certificates.

  • Wildcard certificate or multiple sub-domain:

If you wish to secure more than one domain with the certificate, then you can use Wildcard or multiple sub-domain. 

A wildcard certificate can be used when you have, or want to add an unlimited number of sub-domains under the main domain. Generally, DV and OV products are supported by Wildcard certificates.

Although, if you only have a few sub-domains or if your site contains a different number of nodes in the domain name, then you should consider using multidomain, as it is very cost-efficient compared to Wildcard certificates.

Who issues an SSL Certificate?

SSL certificates are issued by Certificate Authority (CA) organizations that are trusted to verify the legitimacy and identity of any organization, requesting a certificate.

Which SSL Certificate is best?

There is no precise answer to this question, as to the choice of the SSL certificate solely depends on the type of domain you are hosting. For instance, if you are running a blogging site and don’t wish to fall for the lengthy legal process, then you can choose a Domain Validation certificate.

Whereas, if you want to run an eCommerce business or any kind of business which requires users to fill up their sensitive information, then you should always choose the EV or OV type of SSL certificate.

Also, if you are aiming to increase trust and SEO ranking on your website, I recommend using an EV SSL certificate, as they are the highest-ranking yet an expensive type of certificate.

Which SSL Certificate do I need?

Again, as mentioned earlier, the decision is solely up to you because different SSL certificates like; EV, OV, and DV are meant for different purposes and are equipped with different security protocols.

Although, EV is the most recommended type of certificate as it provides much more security compared to OV and DV.

Which SSL Certificate is best for an eCommerce Website?

Extended Validation (EV) is the best type of SSL certificate for an eCommerce website, as these websites ask for financial information like credit or debit card information from the customers to make payments. 

Also, users trust it more, as it has a comprehensive verification process and has a green padlock, as well as HTTPS protocol besides the URL. 

Which SSL Certificate is best for Exchange?

UCC SSL certificates are the best and recommended type of SSL certificate for Microsoft Exchange, as these certificates were designed for them.

Final Remarks:

SSL certificates are a crucial part of the website economy system, as they help in encrypting the data traveling between the server and the client. And therefore, it is very essential to choose the right type of SSL certificate according to your website niche, to ensure zero security risk for both parties.