In today’s digital age, website security is of utmost importance. As online users continue to grow more concerned about the safety of their personal data, businesses must take proactive steps to secure their website and protect their customers. One way to do this is by purchasing an SSL certificate for your website. In this blog, we’ll take you through the process of buying an SSL certificate, step by step.
What is an SSL Certificate?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that encrypts data transmitted between a website and its visitors. This encryption ensures that sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, and other personal data remain secure. SSL certificates are issued by Certificate Authorities (CA) who verify the identity of the website owner and the authenticity of the SSL certificate.
Why Do You Need an SSL Certificate?
SSL Certificate is a fundamental step to form Digital Trust with your website users. There are several reasons why you need an SSL certificate for your website:
1. Protects Your Website from Cyber Attacks
An SSL certificate protects your website from cyber-attacks such as man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks and phishing. These attacks occur when a hacker intercepts the data being transmitted between your website and your visitors. SSL encryption makes it impossible for hackers to read this data.
2. Builds Trust with Your Customers
When you have an SSL certificate, your website URL will begin with “https” instead of “http”. The “s” stands for “secure” and indicates to your visitors that your website is safe to use. This builds trust with your customers and may help to increase conversions. Read more about the importance of SSL Cert here.
Google has made it clear that website security is a ranking factor. This means that websites with SSL certificates are more likely to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) than those without. Now we know why you need an SSL certificate, let’s take a look at how to buy one.
How to purchase SSL Certificates
Step 1: Determine the types of SSL Certificate You Needs
The first step in buying an SSL certificate is to determine your SSL certificate needs. There are several types of SSL certificates available, and the one you choose will depend on your website’s needs.
Domain Validated (DV) SSL Certificate – This type of SSL certificate verifies only that you own the domain name. It is the most basic type of SSL certificate and is suitable for small websites and blogs. DV is also the most basic and affordable option. They only verify that you own the domain name you want to secure
Organization Validated (OV) SSL Certificate verifies that your business is a legal entity and that you own the domain name. It is suitable for small to medium-sized businesses. Organization Validated (OV) SSL Certificate require additional documentation to verify that your organization is legitimate and registered. These certificates include your company’s name in the certificate, giving website visitors more information about who you are
Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificate provides the highest level of validation. It verifies that your business is a legal entity, that you own the domain name, and that your business is registered with the relevant government authority. It is suitable for large businesses and e-commerce websites.
EV are slightly expensive and rigorous type of SSL certificate. They require extensive documentation to verify your organization’s identity, and the certificate turns the address bar green in modern web browsers, providing a high level of visual trust to website visitors.
Wildcard SSL Certificate allows you to secure multiple subdomains with a single certificate. It is suitable for large websites with multiple subdomains.
Multi-Domain SSL Certificate – This type of SSL certificate allows you to secure multiple domains with a single certificate. It is suitable for businesses with multiple websites.
Step 2: Choose Your SSL Certificate Provider
Once you have determined your SSL certificate needs, the next step is to choose your SSL certificate provider. There are several SSL certificate providers available, each with its own set of features and pricing. Some popular SSL certificate providers that are partnering with WebNIC include: Digicert; Sectigo or formerly known as COMODO; and GlobalSign. When choosing your SSL certificate provider, make sure to compare features and pricing to find the best fit for your website’s needs.
You’ll want to choose a Certificate Authority, CA that is recognized and trusted by major web browsers, as this ensures that your SSL certificate will be recognized as valid and your website visitors won’t see any warning messages.
Step 3: Generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR)
To purchase an SSL certificate, you’ll need to generate a certificate signing request (CSR) from your web hosting control panel or server. The CSR is a file that contains information about your website and organization that the CA will use to verify your identity and create your SSL certificate. When generating your CSR, you’ll need to provide the following information:
- Common name (your domain name)
- Organization name (for OV and EV certificates)
- Organizational unit (for OV and EV certificates)
Once you’ve generated your CSR, you’ll need to submit it to the CA along with your payment to purchase your SSL certificate.
Step 4: Install Your SSL Certificate
Once your SSL certificate is issued by the CA, you’ll need to install it on your web server. The exact process for installing an SSL certificate varies depending on your web hosting provider and server software, but typically involves uploading the certificate file and updating your website’s configuration files to use HTTPS instead of HTTP.
Extra Tips: If you’re not so sure on installing the SSL certificate yourself, you can usually request assistance from your web hosting provider or a professional web developer.
Buy SSL certificate at wholesale prices
WebNIC, a platinum partner with a Certificate Authority (CA)* and offers SSL certificates at wholesale prices to WebNIC Resellers. Resellers could benefit from these wholesale prices and offer SSL certificates to your clients at a competitive rate. Additionally, WebNIC offers excellent customer support, making the SSL certificate buying process hassle-free. When purchasing an SSL certificate, it is important to ensure that the certificate is issued by a trusted Certificate Authority and that it is compatible with your website hosting platform. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the SSL certificate provides the necessary level of security for your website, such as the appropriate level of encryption and validation.
SSL Certificate in a nutshell
An SSL certificate is an essential component of any website that collects sensitive information from users, such as login credentials, payment information, and personal data. By encrypting data in transit and verifying your website’s identity, an SSL certificate helps to protect your website visitors from malicious attacks and builds trust in your brand. By taking the time to properly secure your website with an SSL certificate, you’ll be providing a safer and more trustworthy experience for your website visitors.