If you see a padlock in front of the website domain or the “https” in the URL of the domain, then you should know that it has an active SSL Certificate and the website is safe for you as all communications are encrypted.
SSL Certificate is more of a necessity now and you do not have a choice on it anymore. If you have a website and you do not have an SSL Certificate on it then more likely you will not be ranking high on search engines and whenever a someone visits your website, a “NOT SECURE” message will be displayed.
This is something which you do not want as it raises safety concerns in the minds of the visitors. So an important question is, Why do you need an ssl certificate and what does it really do?
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. A Secure Socket Layer Certificate helps establish an encrypted connection between the web browser and the website. This provides security for online communications.
It is a type of digital certificate, a data file hosted in the website’s server. It contains a website’s public and private key along with related information.
SSL Certificate normally includes these details:
- Domain name for which the certificate is issued
- Person, organisation and device it is issues to
- Issuing Certificate Authority and its digital signature
- Date of Issue of Certificate
- Expiry Date of Certificate
- Associated Domains
- Public Key (Private Key is kept secret)
SSL Certification ensures that all the data passed between the website and visitor remains private and secure. SSL encryption prevents hackers from accessing and stealing private information such as name, address, credit card numbers, bank information, mobile number etc.
With an age of increasing e-commerce, ssl certificate is a must and therefore it is not surprising that it has a massive impact on SEO.
Why do you need an SSL Certificate ?
The growing concerns of data privacy are not hidden from you. In recent times, we see a massive increase in ecommerce. The on set of Amazon, Flipkart, Etsy etc are a classic example of how online shopping has become a daily thing.
People today share personal and financial information on the websites and this is exactly what the hackers want. In such a scenario an ssl certificate comes handy. It ensures a secured and private connection between the website and the visitor. This keeps hackers away from stealing and accessing your personal information.
Search engines rank those websites higher which has an ssl certificate. Just search anything and see if the results on the first page or on the first ranks have an active ssl certificate. 90% of the times, you will find websites with active ssl rank higher.
An ssl certificate acts as a mark of trust and safety. It keeps your connection secure and data private. SSL Certificates are of multiple types and we will discuss them below.
Types of SSL Certificates
SSL Certificates are of three types,
- Extended Validation
- Organisation Validation
- Domain Validation
1. Extended Validation
This type of certificate is a must have for websites handling extremely sensitive information. It offers the highest level security and is very easy to identify. This certificate shows up with a padlock, https, business name and country in green in the address bar. It is to distinguish the website from all other spammers and counterfeits.
Extended Validation SSL are extremely expensive. In order to issue an EV SSL, the Certificate Authority (CA) needs to perform an enhanced review. The review includes examination of corporate documents, identity and that you are legally collecting data.
You may find these certificate usually used by banks and online payment gateways.
2. Organisation Validation
This certificate offers a medium level security. Here, the CA verifies the owner of the domain and if the organisation is operating legally.
It is easy to identify OV ssl certificate. The padlock and domain name or company name will appear in green. These are less expensive than EV ssl certificates.
3. Domain Validation
This domain validation (DV) ssl certificate only verifies who owns the website. It is almost inexpensive compared to the other two and is mostly offered free.
The CA verifies who owns the website via email or by the DNS. No further documents or company verification as such is required. You can easily identify the website with DV ssl by the padlock in the url bar.
A majority of websites use this ssl certificate. It is nearly inexpensive and some web hosts offer it free for lifetime with their hosting plans.
A DV ssl is not extended to subdomains.
How to get SSL Certificate for Free ?
As you just saw that SSL Certificate is getting more and more important as the time goes by, it is important that you get one for yourself too.
There are basically two ways, by which you can get your ssl certificate for free.
- Third party provider
- Your web hosting provider
Third Party Providers
These third party providers are websites or companies that provide you an ssl certificate free of charge. There are a number of such providers,
The steps you need to follow to avail the free ssl on your domain name.
- Sign up on Cloudflare or Lets encrypt
- Enter your domain name
- Select the free plan or 90 days free certificate option
- Go to your DNS settings and edit the nameservers
- Click on activate SSL and you should be able to see the green padlock
Using this method you can get free ssl certificate which you will need to renew every 90 days. This is the biggest drawback.
If you do not wish to continue renewing your ssl certificate every 90 days, then you can get one easily on Namecheap for less than $9 per year. Check out the prices of ssl certificates on namecheap.
Your Web Hosting Provider
When you buy a hosting plan, your web hosting provider offers Free SSL Certificate. This is the option which you should consider and go for. In most cases, the web hosting provider, provides free ssl for lifetime. This means, as long as you host your website with them, you do not have to renew your SSL Certificate.
Web hosting providers, such as
Offers free ssl certificate with their plans. I, strongly recommend this option.
Hostinger, offers a free ssl certificate for lifetime with its basic plan also. You can check out the same here. We have a detailed review on hostinger, you can check out that too.
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