Choosing the Right SSL Certificate

Choosing the Right SSL Certificates

The combined threat of website attacks along with Google’s stance of giving secure sites a boost in search engine rankings has generated a lot of interest in obtaining an SSL certificate and converting to https. In the past, SSL has primarily been used for ecommerce and for websites containing sensitive information. However, many website owners are now considering SSL for all types of sites. As we reported recently, web host WP Engine feels so strongly about secure sites that they are now including an SSL option with all of their hosting plans.

Even if your web hosting plan doesn’t include SSL, you can either purchase an SSL certificate through your web hosting company or directly on your own. If you’re not familiar with SSL, you should note that there are many different types of SSL certificates that you can use to convert your site to the https protocol. To help you determine which type of SSL certificate you need, here’s a look at the various types.

Scope of Security

First, consider the scope of security you need. Determine whether you need SSL for only one website domain, a bunch of subdomains, or multiple websites. You can choose from these types:

A single domain SSL certificate will secure one fully qualified domain name.

With a wildcard SSL, all same level subdomains of your domain are also secured.

You can get a multi-domain SSL certificate to secure multiple domains.

Type of Validation

Additionally, there are different levels of validation for SSL certificates. They can validate not only your domain but also your actual business or organization that owns the domain.

Domain Validation
These types of SSL certificates are the least expensive. You get basic encryption and verification of domain ownership.

Organization Validation
With organization validation not only is the domain validated, but also the business/organization behind the domain is authenticated.

Extended Validation
Extended validation certificates give you the greatest degree of security. A thorough examination is conducted before this type of certificate is issued, which provides the most user trust.

Specific Examples from Comodo

Comodo is one of the most recognized providers of SSL Certificates. To give you a more specific idea of what kinds of certificates are available, here is a sample of what you can get:

Comodo PositiveSSL
An inexpensive way to secure low volume sites that don’t need organization verifications.

Comodo EssentialSSL
For small or medium size business, this inexpensive certificate provides domain validation and mobile browser support with a Comodo site seal.

Comodo InstantSSL
Professional Level Certificate. Verifies not only the domain but also the company behind it. Comes with higher warranty amount of $50,000. You also get a Corner of TrustLogo.

Comodo PremiumSSL
This certificate is best suited for ecommerce sites with higher volume and higher value transactions. Both the domain and the company behind the website are validated. It also comes with an even higher warranty of $250,000.

Comodo EV SSL
With this certificate, you get the green URL address bar on the browser for greater security visibility. It also provides business validation and a large $1,750,000 warranty.

Provides the highest level of trust with an extended validation SGC certificate. With SGC, older browsers are upgraded to connect using 128 bit and 256 bit encryption levels.

One more thing to keep in mind. Whether you go with Comodo or another brand of SSL certificate, if you’re looking to install SSL for the search engine boost from Google, be sure to get a certificate with 2048 bit digital signatures.

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