Do I Need an SSL Certificate to Protect my Website?

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Do I Need an SSL Certificate?

Let’s Understand Why SSL Certificate is Mandatory?

Are you searching for an answer to this query- whether you require an SSL certificate for your website? Look no further! The answer you’ve been seeking is affirmative – you do indeed need an SSL certificate.

There are “n” reasons why you need an SSL certificate. Along with clarifying why, we will also answer some of your engaging questions, such as – Do I need SSL for my website? What type of SSL certificate do I need? and many more.

Why do we need an SSL certificate?

You need this certificate to keep your information in transmission – protected and confidential. In order to understand the answer to this query, let’s first go through the SSL certificate as in what it is. 

An SSL certificate can be regarded just like a security protocol or, to be more specific – a digital certificate. The certificate encrypts transmission between a web browser and a server. When a website visitor inputs an HTTPS URL, the browser establishes a secure connection with the server, guaranteeing that any data shared between the two is encrypted and fended from prying eyes.

Moreover, an SSL certificate goes beyond providing security. It can also foster trust and confidence with website visitors. Seeing the padlock icon or “https” prefix in the browser assures users that they are interacting with a legitimate and trustworthy website.

It’s easy to view the details of an SSL certificate by simply clicking on the padlock symbol located within the browser bar. The details contained within an SSL certificate include various pieces of information, such as:

  • The name of the main domain for which the certificate was issued
  • The person, organization, or device it was given to
  • The Certificate Authority that issued it
  • The list of associated subdomains (if any)
  • The certificate’s issue and expiry dates
  • The public key details
Digitally Sign & Encrypt Emails and Documents with Trusted S/MIME Certificates

Do I need SSL for My website?

You can successfully protect the information stored on your system using an antivirus. But answer this – will you be able to ensure the online intake that is transmitted will be safe using an antivirus? The answer will be “No.” You may reply that I would use a firewall to prevent my system using predetermined security policies. Let me inform you – a firewall and an SSL certificate are two entirely different security mechanisms. A firewall protects and monitors data packets going in and out, but it can’t encrypt the information or data you enter on a website and send it to a server. For that purpose, you would need an SSL certificate.

Moreover, one of the most prevalent search engines – Google, has made it obligatory for websites to have an SSL certificate since 2014. Websites without SSL certificates are labeled as insecure, and because of this, websites can significantly lose traffic and prestige. Browsers like Chrome and Firefox have also initiated enforcing similar guidelines.

Why do we need SSL certificate? One of the other reasons is the Warning messages. Suppose your certificate has expired or the website in the first place needs one. In that case, the user will witness a forewarning stating that the site the user is trying to communicate with is not safe and may pose various risks. Once such a message comes in front of a user, they may leave the website instantly. No one will be foolish enough to share confidential information on a site that’s not secure. This scenario will lead to a loss of business or a decline in website traffic.

All that counts is that the website should have an active digital certificate. Without it, the data will be in plain text format, which hackers can easily access using man-in-the-middle or packet sniffing attacks. Hence, having a digital cert and keeping it up-to-date becomes crucial in ensuring website accessibility and user safety and staying competitive in the online marketplace.

In short, you do need an SSL as it:

  • Protects sensitive data sent between a user’s browser and a website’s server (Encryption)
  • Guards against cyber threats like hacking, phishing, and identity theft
  • Confirms a website’s originality and genuineness through the use of digital signatures (Authentication)
  • Builds trust with website visitors by showing a padlock icon or “https” prefix in the browser (Building Trust)
  • Helps websites comply with Google regulations and evade being labeled as insecure on popular browsers (Compliance regulation)

What type of SSL certificate do I need?

Which security certificate you should prefer depends upon your organization’s needs. Before understanding which certificate is best for which sort of organization, first understand the different types of SSL certificates available out there. SSL certificates are available with three types of validations:

Validation typeDomain Validation (DV)Organization Validation (OV)Extended Validation (EV)
Information verifiedDomain OwnershipDomain Ownership + Organization DetailsDomain Ownership + Organization Details + Legal Existence
Issuance Time10-15 minutes1 to 3 Days1 to 5 Days
Trust LevelLowMediumHigh
PriceLowMediumHigh
Recommended usePersonal websites, blogs, small businesses.Small to medium businesses, e-commerce websites.Large corporations, financial institutions, government agencies.
Browser CertificatesDV SSL CertificatesOV SSL CertificatesEV SSL Certificates

For simplicity, we have divided the SSL certificates based on the funtionalities into four types:

Single Domain SSL Certificates

As the same suggests, a single domain certificate is able to secure a single FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name) like www.domain.com and domain.com. It can secure domains with and without www. prefix. With this, you won’t be able to secure subdomains of the main domain, but they are available with DV, EV, and OV validation.

Key Technical Features of Single Domain SSL

  • Best for: Websites with one domain only
  • Offers encryption for: One main domain and one subdomain only (in some cases, as it depends upon the respective CA.)
  • Cheapest SSL certificate option
  • Ideal for: Personal blogs, small businesses, and basic e-commerce websites

Wildcard SSL Certificates

It can secure a single FQDN with all its subdomains. The user buys the certificate for the main domain, and it automatically covers all the subdomains within the main domain. So, you don’t have to buy a separate cert for securing each domain, thus saving you a lot of money. This certificate is only available with DV and OV validation. It can secure domains and subdomains, such as *.example.com, www.example.com, blog.example.com, etc. (CSR should be for common name *.example.com)

Note: The asterisk(*) symbol can be replaced with any subdomain name.

Key Technical Features of Wildcard SSL Certificate

  • Best for: Websites with multiple subdomains
  • Provides encryption for:  One main domain and unlimited subdomains
  • Cost-effective option for: Organizations with a large number of subdomains
  • Ideal for: Universities, corporations, and e-commerce websites with multiple subdomains

Multi-Domain SAN or UCC SSL Certificates

It can secure up to 250 multiple domains under a single certificate while also securing subdomains that are added in the SAN (Subject Alternative Name field). The certificate will secure the common name in the CSR and all the SAN defined in the order. It can secure domain.com, domain.net, domain.co, 123.domain.com, etc. This certificate is available with DV, OV, and EV validation.

Key Technical Features of Multi-Domain SAN / UCC Certificates

  • Best for: Websites with multiple domains
  • Allows encryption for: Up to 250 main domain names in one certificate
  • An additional SAN certificate is required for securing subdomains.
  • Ideal for: Large enterprises and multinational corporations

Multi-Domain Wildcard SSL Certificates

It can be stated as a combination of multi-domain and wildcard certificates. This certificate permits a single certificate to shield multiple domain names and their subdomains using a wildcard character (*). It can secure domains and subdomains, such as blog.example.com, shop.example.com, and mail.example.com, as well as other domains like example.net and example.org. This certificate is available with DV and OV validation.

Note: Common Name (CN) should be non-wildcard.

Key Technical Features of Multi-Domain Wildcard SSL Certificate

  • Best for: Websites with multiple domains and subdomains
  • Offers encryption for: One domain and unlimited subdomains across various domains
  • Provides utmost flexibility in addressing SSL certificates for websites with numerous subdomains across multiple domains
  • Ideal for: Large e-commerce websites, universities, and multinational corporations

Here’s summarized information about the certifications with their validation level:

SSL By FunctionalityCan SecureValidation
Single Domain SSL1 Main domainDV, OV, and EV
Wildcard SSL1 Main domain + unlimited SubdomainsDV and OV
Multi Domain SSLUp to 250 main domains + additional SAN certificate is required for subdomainsDV, OV, and EV
Multi Domain Wildcard SSLUp to 250 multiple domain + multiple SubdomainsDV and OV

With this information, you can pick the most suitable certificate that suits your necessities and conditions.

Where Should I Buy an SSL Certificate for My Website?

There are many CA and sub-CAs that provide SSL certificates. I strongly suggest purchase your certificate from a trusted CA or a sub-CA. One of the top websites you can explore if you plan to buy one is Cheapsslweb.com. It is a sub-CA of the Sectigo Certificate Authority.

One of the benefits of using cheapsslweb.com is the affordable pricing. SSL certificates are available at a lower cost in comparison to any other CA in the market, making it the most prominent place for small businesses or website owners who are operating on a limited budget.

Pocket-friendly pricing is not the only USP of this site. Cheapsslweb.com has user-friendly certificate management console for buying and handling multiple SSL certificates. It offers 24/7 technical support via chat and email to resolve your query or issue within minutes.

CheapSSLWeb.com delivers all the types of SSL certificates that you require for a single domain or a multi-domain wildcard domain. This makes it a one-stop shop for all your SSL needs, as you don’t have to search the entire web for the same.

Few of the most notable SSL certificates obtainable on this site with their pricing:

Few of the most notable SSL certificates obtainable on this site with their pricing:

SSL Certificate NameValidation Type Issuance TimePricing ($/yr)
Certera SSL CertificateDomain ValidationIssuance in 10 Minutes3.99/yr.
Comodo PositiveSSL CertificateDomain ValidationIssuance in 10 Minutes4.99/yr.
Certera SSL Wildcard CertificateDomain ValidationIssuance in 10 Minutes39.99/yr.
Comodo PositiveSSL Wildcard CertificateDomain ValidationIssuance in 10 Minutes49.99/yr.
Certera Multi Domain SSL CertificateDomain ValidationIssuance in 10 Minutes13.99/yr.
Comodo Positive Multi-Domain SSLDomain ValidationIssuance in 10 Minutes14.99/yr.
Certera Multi Domain Wildcard SSL CertificateDomain ValidationIssuance in 10 Minutes59.99/yr.
SECTIGO Multi-Domain Wildcard SSLOrganization Validation1 to 3 Business Days179.99/yr.

Conclusion

It is advised to have an SSL cert to guarantee the safety and privacy of your website’s visitors. The type of certificate you require mostly depends on your requirements and the level of protection you desire to deliver to your visitors.

There are some specific or universal characteristics that you must consider while selecting a certificate, such as:

  • Type of website you have.
  • The number of domains and subdomains you ought to protect.
  • Trust level that you want to establish with your users.
  • The amount you are ready to spend.
Low Cost Wildcard SSL Certificates
Janki Mehta

Janki Mehta

Janki Mehta is a Cyber-Security Enthusiast who constantly updates herself with new advancements in the Web/Cyber Security niche. Along with theoretical knowledge, she also implements her practical expertise in day-to-day tasks and helps others to protect themselves from threats.

Cheap Wildcard SSL