An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that helps to authenticate the identity of a website in order for that website to be served over an encrypted connection through HTTPS rather than HTTP. This encryption helps to protect sensitive data from being decipherable or intercepted when interacting with that particular website.
This is especially true when submitting any sensitive information through an online form or completing an online purchase.
Without this encryption, it is much easier for this data to be intercepted by a third party trying gather this data for malicious purposes. The process of encryption works by scrambling internet traffic data into an format this is undecipherable without a proper decryption key.
What is SSL?
SSL is an acronym that stands for Secure Sockets Layer and is a key component to protecting not only the website itself, but its visitors as well. When a website has an SSL certificate installed, it will display a padlock and HTTPS in the browser’s address bar, signaling that the connection to the website is secure. With a secure connection, website visitors can more safely use and interact with the site when entering information for submission.
Are there different kinds of SSLs?
Yes, there are different kinds of SSL certificates. Depending on your business, this will determine the type of SSL that is best for you.
This short video from GoDaddy provides an overview of the different types of SSL certificates and can help you make a decision on the right one for you.
Standard DV SSL
Standard SSLs, or DV (domain validation) certificates are the most common type of SSLs. They are used by websites that require basic protection. In many cases, this is all most businesses really need. DV SSLs are the lowest costing SSL certificates and can be used to protect one website or multiple websites.
Premium EV SSL
Premium SSLs, or EV (extended validation) certificates are more common for ecommerce websites. They are higher in cost, but provide the highest level of authenticity. EV SSLs generally take a bit longer to issue because there is more involved in the authentication process. Sites that use this type of SSL certificate not only display HTTPS, but also show the address bar in green. Premium SSLs can also be used to protect one or more websites.
Wildcard SSLs are used when you have subdomains on your main domain that you need to protect. These type of certificates not only protect your main website, but also any sub domains that reside on your main website under the same hosting plan. For example, careers.yourdomain.com or store.yourdomain.com are examples of subdomains. With a Wildcard SSL, these subdomains would also be protected.
What information does an SSL certificate contain?
SSL certificates commonly contain the following information:
- The domain name that the certificate is issued to
- The organization that the SSL is issued to
- Who the certificate is issued by
- Digital signature of the certificate-issuing authority
- The certificate holder’s public key
- The date the SSL was issued
- Expiration date of the certificate
Why do I need an SSL certificate for my website?
SSL certificates are necessary for a number of reasons. But most importantly, they help to keep user data secure as well as validate website ownership through server verification.
In addition, they help to establish trust among website visitors. When a website is not using an SSL certificate, a message will appear in the web browser bar stating that the website is not secure. This is a sure way lose visitors, which is not ideal for any website owner trying to grow their business.
How can I get an SSL certificate?
Visit our SSL certificate page for additional product information where you can make a selection on the certificate of your choice.
For help with the installation of your certificate, see install my SSL certificate.
You may also want to visit our Help Center for additional questions about SSL certificates.