A comprehensive guide to SSL certificates
Need to secure your site, but not sure where to start? Check out columnist Stephanie LeVonne's helpful guide to SSL certificates and get informed.
A full range of SSL products are available on the market today that cater to various domain and security needs. Though many webmasters are exploring the possibilities, hoping a move to SSL will boost their search rankings, it can be overwhelming to try to compare these options, let alone fully understand what you’re paying for.
Many SSL providers offer a wealth of add-ons, which makes comparing providers relatively difficult. This guide will help answer several common questions so that you can find the certificate that best suits your needs:
- What type of SSL certificate should I purchase?
- Should I use a free certificate or purchase one from a vendor?
- Which certificate is best for securing a sub-domain? Multiple domains?
- How much warranty coverage do I need?
- How do I troubleshoot common installation problems?
What is an SSL certificate?
Before we tackle those questions, let’s cover the basics. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, a security method which allows for the encryption of data when being transferred over a server. SSL certificates help to protect the transfer of sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords and usernames, Social Security numbers and more.