Which SSL Certificate Do I Need?

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing an SSL for your Organization's Website

All SSL certificates use the same encryption technology, so one isn’t more “secure” than another. That said, different validation levels and features, combined with the needs of your own website - such as number of domains and subdomains in play can still make choosing the right SSL certificate confusing. A little guidance beforehand can go a long way in helping you to get the best SSL certificate for your business reputation and goals.

Here are the most important considerations to take into account when shopping for an SSL Certificate.

How many domains and sub-domains do you need to protect?
Single SSL Certificates secure one domain name or URL. When you have multiple domains and sub-domains to protect, things can get over-complicated and difficult to manage if you’re using numerous single-domain certificates. That’s where Wildcard and Multi-domain certificates come in. Depending on the certificate you choose, it can cover an unlimited number of subdomains, or multiple primary domains and subdomains combined. Thesy can save you both money and substantial time in management, moreover, they can expand to accommodate a growing web presence.

What are your goals?
If your online reputation is a key factor in your success and your goal is to maximize conversions, evoking trust in visitors will be important. Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates display instantly recognizable visual indicators like the universally recognized green address bar and are proven to subtly boost conversion rates. If you’re a blogger, run a personal website, or a small organization that wants to comply with browser HTTPS requirements and follow best practices, an inexpensive Domain Validation certificate might be all you need.

How important is identity validation?
Creating and conveying trust online is critically important today - no matter what type of business or website you have. All SSL Certificates include the same encryption technology that protects data in transit - things like usernames, passwords, credit card information, forms, etc. Where SSL certificates differ considerably is in the level of identity validation or authentication that they provide. With higher validation levels come more in-depth its validation processes and greater visual trust indicators - things that give online visitors confidence in the legitimacy of an organization.

What type of business are you running?
As mentioned above, if you’re running personal non-e-commerce website, a Domain Validation (DV) SSL Certificate is probably sufficient. They’re fast, no frills and provide basic encryption with domain-only validation.

If verifying the legitimacy of your organization is a priority, but EV is outside your budget, an Organization Validation (OV) SSL Certificate might be a good fit. It bestows more thorough authentication and comes with a clickable, dynamic website seal that visitors can check to feel more confident you are who you say you are.

If you’re an ecommerce site or a national or global brand, EV is the best choice for your business. The authentication process is the most extensive, so EV certificates take longer to issue, but they come with the green address bar - a universally trusted symbol on the web. EV certificates are the most authoritative and generate confidence that helps to boost conversions by displaying a commitment to security front-and-centre.

For even more in-depth information, visit our Levels of SSL Validation Explained page.

Don’t get caught up on the warranty
SSL Certificates typically come with a warranty so that in the event of a hack or data breach resulting from a flaw in your certificate, or some other CA-caused issue, your compromised visitor(s) will be compensated. Warranty levels vary, with entry-level DV certificates covering up to $10,000 in damages and higher-end EV certificates offering up to $1,750,000 in coverage. That said, it’s important to state that the type of scenario that would result in a warranty being claimed, very rarely occurs, so don’t make it your deciding factor.

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