How To Get A Trusted SSL Certificate? – What safeguards do you have in place to keep your users, prospects, and customers safe while they browse? (And, along the way, your company?) A Secure Sockets Layer is the answer.
Your website is more than a digital billboard; it’s a data highway connecting your company to its customers. When a visitor accesses your website, information such as their IP address is moved from one server to another before reaching its final destination. Visitors expect your business to keep their personal information safe. Without a secure connection, the information they give you risks slipping into the wrong hands, compromising their privacy, and having serious ramifications for your company.
What Is an SSL?
SSL is a security protocol that establishes an encrypted connection between a web server and a web browser. It ensures that every data transferred is kept private. In your address bar, you may have noticed a lock icon next to the URL. This indicates that the site is SSL-protected.
SSL should be installed on your site, especially if you accept financial transactions. This extra layer of protection will keep you safe from data breaches, and it will give visitors a reason to trust you with their personal information. Not to mention, SSL helps your search engine ranking.
You’re more of a visual learner, right? Take a look at this little video to learn more about SSL and why you need it:
How do SSL Certificates work?
With all of the technical language and acronyms, SSL Certificates might be difficult to comprehend. Let’s pretend our buddy Michelle is visiting her favorite website, hubspot.com, to give you a quick but accurate description of how SSL Certificates function.
Michelle first opens her laptop and inputs “hubspot.com” into her Google Chrome web browser. Michelle’s computer receives HubSpot’s SSL certificate through a public key and confirms it with the certificate authority while Google Chrome is loading the site.
Michelle’s computer and HubSpot’s server agree that everything appears to be in order, and the two computers establish a handshake connection.
Michelle’s computer and the hubspot.com server then decide on the type of encryption they’ll employ to send and receive data securely. The encryption and decoding of data while it is in transit between the computer and the server are what make this connection secure. When data is moving from one location to another, security attacks are more likely to occur, thus scrambling the information in an encrypted language, or using a private key, keeps everything safe until it reaches its destination.
When Michelle’s computer decrypts the data using the private key, a lock icon appears next to the website’s name in the browser’s search bar.
Michelle can freely visit hubspot.com, comfortable in the knowledge that any information she contributes will not be intercepted by dangerous hackers.
How much is an SSL?
Depending on the level of protection you desire, your SSL can cost anything from nothing to hundreds of dollars. The following are the several types of SSLs, from least secure to most secure (and, in general, from cheapest to most expensive):
- Domain Validated (DV) Certificates – For sites that do not exchange any consumer information, such as blogs or small business websites.
- Organization Validated (OV) Certificates – For sites that do not exchange sensitive consumer information, such as commercial websites with forms and lead capture features.
- Extended Validated (EV) Certificates – These certificates provide the highest level of security and are capable of handling sensitive data such as financial transactions.
The type of SSL you select is determined by the kind of actions you anticipate visitors taking on your site. If you don’t know where to look or what you’re getting, SSL certificates can be costly.
After you’ve decided on the type of certificate you need, look for Certificate Authorities that provide SSLs at that level. The steps are as follows:
How to Get an SSL Certificate?
- Ensure that your WHOIS record is up to date and corresponds to the information you’re providing to the Certificate Authority.
- On your server, create a Certificate Signing Request (CSR). (This is something your hosting company can assist you with.)
- To validate your domain, submit this to the Certificate Authority.
- Once the process is complete, install the certificate they offer you with.
Best Free and Low-Cost SSL Certificate Authorities
- Let’s Encrypt
- SSL For Free
- Instant SSL
- Basic SSL
If you need a lower level of encryption for a blog or business site that doesn’t handle critical financial data, the following authority can help:
If your content is housed on HubSpot’s CMS, you may use a free basic SSL to protect your content and lead data.
HubSpot handles renewal for you because we know you’re busy.
Your SSL certificate will renew 30 days before it expires on its own.
The HubSpot website displays a content management system (CMS). Power your website with a CMS that makes it simple to grow better, according to the Hub landing page.
2. Let’s Encrypt
The Linux Foundation founded Let’s Encrypt, which was supported by Mozilla, Site Ground, Cisco, Facebook, Akamai, and other leading technology businesses. It provides free DV SSL certificates (no OV or EV here), but keep in mind that these certificates are only valid for three months at a time and should be updated at least once every sixty days. What is the reason for this? To fulfill their long-term goal of shifting the web from HTTP to HTTPS, the corporation is adamant about automatic certificate renewals.
SSL certificates from Comodo come with a 90-day free trial and are recognized by all major browsers. With a single certificate, you can protect up to 100 domains.
It’s made specifically for Microsoft Exchange and Office servers. Comodo provides an unlimited number of server licenses as well as priority phone support. And, maybe most crucially, Comodo is a Best Seller of SSL certificates.
A comparison of DV, EV, and OV certificates is shown on the Comodo SSL Certificate internet page.
Cloudflare is well-known for its products that speed up and secure websites. Many famous websites, including Reddit, Mozilla, and Stack Overflow, use it as a CDN and security provider. Every day, Cloud Flare stops millions of threats and provides help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Cloudflare Free SSL/TLS website landing page features an animated orange laptop with a purple screen and text that reads Cloudflare Free SSL/TLS, as well as purple call-to-action buttons that indicate sign up and contact sales.
5. SSL For Free
SSL For Free is a 501(c)(3) non-profit certificate authority that supports all major browsers. SSL For Free, like Let’s Encrypt and other SSL certificate authority, provides certificates that are good for three months.
SSL For Free is a website that displays certificates and wildcard SSL certificates that are completely free, widely trusted, and provides SSL benefits.
You’ve probably heard of GoDaddy, the world’s largest domain registrar with over 60 million domains. GoDaddy will supply you with a free SSL certificate that is good for a year if you have an open-source project.
SSL Certificates, website security, and website backup are all displayed on the GoDaddy website. Demonstrate to visitors that you are trustworthy and genuine.
GeoTrust offers a full variety of DV, OV, and EV SSL certificates, all of which feature automated domain name validation. They’re known for their ease of use, quick certificate issuance, and compatibility with the most popular desktop and mobile browsers.
The trust website is orange, blue, and white, with a tagline that reads SSL to Grow Your Business. Purchase now or renew later.s
Another public SSL certificate vendor is GoGetSSL. It offers a 90-day free SSL certificate trial, and it simply takes approximately five minutes to confirm your domain (no callback or face-to-face verification required). All major browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Safari, accept their certificates.
The Go Get SSL website displays certificates for domain validation, business validation, and extended validation. At the top of the page, a black background with an animated image of Superman in a teal cape appears.
9. Instant SSL
Another alternative that deserves your consideration is Instant SSL. Their free certificates last 90 days and are compatible with all major browsers. Their SSL certificate solutions include features such as unlimited server licensing, 24/7 support, and limitless re-issuance.
Instant SSL website screenshot in dark and light green, urging you to secure your site today with SSL certificates beginning at $125.
10. Basic SSL
Before you buy, you may try Basic SSL for 90 days for free. You may focus on other parts of your website while Basic SSL takes care of the certificate for you, thanks to a quick and straightforward certification process.
Protect your customer’s experience on your website.
When users visit your site, they don’t have to worry about the danger of surfing the web. Your website can safely and securely handle data transfers between your clients and your business with an SSL certificate from a reliable vendor. Your site visitors will know they can trust you if they see a lock icon in the search box. In the end, this improves the user experience, improves the ranking of your website in search results, and helps your organization adhere to industry security standards.