How to Choose SSL Encryption for your Website

Posted on 3rd February 2020 by Samantha in Uncategorized
7 minutes read
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If someone you were on a date with mentioned the phrase “Secure Sockets Layer”, you’d probably just smile politely while scanning the room for the nearest exit. But an SSL certificate UK is vital if you want your website to rank higher in search results. (And, of course, you want that – that’s how people find your website.)

The problem is that there are so many types of SSL certificates that choosing the right one can be a little overwhelming. Before you start playing “eeny, meeny, miney, moe”, you might want to take a few minutes to learn which kind of SSL certificate uk your website actually needs.

Why is it so important to have an SSL certificate, anyway?

A Secure Sockets Layer certificate encrypts your data before it’s transferred over a server. This means that when you’re sending or receiving sensitive information like credit card numbers, passwords, addresses and usernames, only the devices that are intended to see the information can see it.

This makes people feel safer when they’re visiting your website. It also makes search engines rank you higher, because visiting your website is less risky.

In fact, if you have an eCommerce website, you don’t even really have a choice. The Payment Card Industry forbids you to collect credit card information if your website doesn’t have an SSL certificate.

What happens if I don’t have an SSL certificate uk?

Aside from the obvious, like making you ranking lower in search results and not having as much web traffic, not having an SSL certificate means that all the information that’s transferred to your website is sent in plain text format, for any old hacker to read. Data doesn’t usually travel in a straight line from one place to another; it bounces around from server to server like a ping pong ball, just begging for a clever data thief to grab it and read it before it gets to where it needs to.

This, as you might imagine, is not good.

Will people know if I don’t have an SSL certificate?

Short answer: Yes.

Longer answer: There are ways to check if a website has an SSL certificate.

  • Generally, there’s a little padlock in the address bar.
  • Or the browser bar might be green.
  • Or the website’s address says “HTTPS” instead of “HTTP”. (The “S” stands for “Secure”.)

If you click on the padlock, a message comes up that says something along the lines of “Connection is secure. Your information (for example, passwords and credit card numbers) is private when it is sent to this site.”

Also, if you don’t have an SSL certificate, most browsers will warn your would-be visitors that they’re about to visit a site that isn’t secure, and that any information they send to your website will be visible to hackers. (At which point, most people will promptly click away from your website and probably throw their laptops out the window, for good measure.)

So, yeah. SSL certificates are extremely important.

And now, for the fun part:

How do I choose the right SSL certificate uk based provider?

(Heads up: We’re going to be throwing some jargon at you that might be a little confusing at first, but we promise we’ll explain along the way.)

These are the six SSL certificate uk site owners really need to know about:

  1. Domain Validated (DV) certificates
  2. Organisation Validated (OV) certificates
  3. Extended Validation (EV) certificates
  4. Wildcard certificates
  5. Multi-domain certificates

1. Domain Validated (DV) certificates

These are the fastest and easiest SSL certificates to get. (These can be issued in as little as a few minutes or up to a day, and all you have to do to get one is prove you own the domain.) The catch is that these certificates also offer the least authentication (no security information is displayed when you click on these in the browser), but you’ll get enough authentication to assure your visitors that you do indeed have an SSL certificate.

Comodo Positive SSL certificates are a kind of DV certificate offered by Sectigo (formerly Comodo), which is one of the best regarded Certificate Authorities. This is the Certificate Authority whose SSL certificates are offered by Hosting.uk.

This kind of SSL certificate is perfect for: blogs, personal websites, basic template sites, and small websites that just need something to make their visitors feel more comfortable while they save up for a more secure SSL certificate.

2. Organisation Validated (OV) certificates

This type of SSL certificate uk is one step up from a Domain Validated certificate, and if you want to get your hands on one, you’ll have to prove not only that you own the website’s domain, but also that you own the business connected to the website.

This process typically takes anywhere from one to three days and involves lots of paperwork. To get this kind of certificate, you’ll usually need to submit your business documents to the Certification Authority (this is the authority that issues SSL certificates). The kinds of documents they might require include these:

  • Legal government licence
  • Articles of incorporation
  • Legal existence record
  • Attestation letter

The whole process takes about one to two days.

This kind of SSL certificate is perfect for: businesses that don’t quite have the budget for an EV certificate just yet. (Although, in this case, you could just choose the Domain Validated certificate, which is much cheaper.)

3. Extended Validation (EV) certificates

This is the premium SSL certificate uk enterprises prefer. It’s the most expensive and has the most rigorous validation process, but it also offers the most authentication and the best ROI. This type of SSL certificate offers full business validation, increases conversion rates and reduces shopping cart abandonment.

EV certificates also give your website the most advanced protection against cyber-attacks.

When you have an EV SSL certificate, your company’s name and information is usually displayed when you click on it in the web browser, and your visitors will know that they can trust you with their private information.

This kind of SSL certificate is perfect for: social media websites, eCommerce websites, banking websites, government websites, and any other website that collects lots of sensitive information about its visitors.

This kind of SSL certificate uk authorities issue in up to a week. However, don’t let the issue time or the validation process scare you off. If you have a registered business, you’ll be just fine. So, if this is the right SSL certificate for your website, then get it. There’s no point in saving yourself a couple days now only to wind up suffering a lot of heartache (and lawsuits!) later.

4. Wildcard certificates (DV)

Most websites don’t have only one domain name. They also have lots of sub-domains. (For example, your website might have www.realdomainname.com, login.realdomainname.com, and contact.realdomainname.com.)

It would be a pain to have to get a separate SSL certificate for each sub-domain name, so wildcard certificates help you save money by offering encryption on not just your main domain, but also an unlimited number of sub-domains.

Hosting.uk offers a DV wildcard certificate, so you’ll also get it really quickly (only up to a day, and sometimes in minutes)!

This kind of SSL certificate is perfect for: blogs, personal websites, basic template sites, and small websites that have multiple sub-domains to secure.

5. Multi-domain certificates (DV)

Multi-domain certificates let you secure multiple domain names (rather than just one domain name with multiple sub-domains) under one SSL certificate.

The multi-domain certificate offered by Hosting.uk is a DV certificate, which means you’ll get it fast.

This kind of SSL certificate is perfect for: website owners who have lots of domain names and web hosting clients on shared accounts.

Recap

You need an SSL certificate if you want to get more web traffic and increase conversions. To choose the best SSL certificate for your website, all you need to do is figure out whether you’re selling anything on your website, how many domains you want to secure, and how much sensitive information you’ll be collecting through your site.

Once you know that, choosing the right SSL certificate is easy!