Whether you’re looking for a cheap SSL certificate wildcard, a single-domain certificate, or a multi-domain certificate, this article will go through the ins and outs of choosing an SSL store and how to decide where to spend your money.
Let’s dive in.
More expensive ≠ better
Sometimes in life, it’s good to invest a little more cash to get a good product that will last longer. With SSL certificates, this is not the case. For one, you don’t even get a better quality or “stronger” certificate based on the amount of money you pay. Most SSL certificates on the market today offer the same level of 256-bit encryption. What makes it work better or worse is actually your server configuration.
Price variation is typically due to the number of domains or subdomains you wish to secure, as well as the validation. Then there’s the fact that some online stores simply charge more than others for no good reason other than they can.
So if the price should not factor into your SSL purchasing, what should? We’ve broken it down into three main areas.
1. The partner Certificate Authority (CA)
An SSL is only as good as its issuing CA. CAs are the guys in charge of issuing, revoking, and generally maintaining SSL certificates across the internet. All SSL stores are partnered with a CA (unless you’re purchasing directly from the CA itself). Looking into the issuing CA and whether or not major browsers and applications trust them is imperative. If an SSL doesn’t come from a trusted source, then your website is likely to be flagged as “Not secure” to anyone trying to visit. Not ideal.
What are people saying about the SSL shop in question? Have people had good experiences, or are complaints prevalent? Check across various review sites, such as Trustpilot, to gauge a consensus.
3. The level of support
If you’ve spent any time shopping online, you’ll know that customer support is not always great. No matter what price you’re paying, you deserve impeccable support. Look into customer service hours, the type of help they give, and even how easy the SSL activation and installation process are. These are things that will color your SSL experience and determine whether or not it’s smooth sailing or a stressful mess.
Launching a website can be an expensive endeavor, but SSL is not something you need to pay more for if you don’t have to. If you do your research, you should be able to find a quality certificate from a great store that will provide the level of support you deserve.