Gone are the days when installing an SSL certificate was just for privileged websites with large pockets. As demand for SSL certs grow, they have become more accessible. Cheaper SSL certificates have surfaced the market, giving every site the change to encrypt private data. So, let‘s examine Free SSL certs and Cheap SSL certificates to see which is of better value for your website.
Table of Contents
Why Use SSL Certificates?
Designing a good website that is responsive and search engine optimized is not the end of building your website. It is also critical to secure it. When you secure a website with an SSL certifiate, no one can tamper with the encrypted data. This helps to keep clients information private. Therefore, Secure Sockets Layer Certificates are important to website developers to help avoid cyber threats. There are two types of SSL Certificates: ‘Free SSL certificates’ and the other for which you pay a fee is simply called ‘SSL Certificate.’
Free SSL Certificate
These certificates are free to obtain and do not have a cost. The purpose of Free SSL certificates is so that it doesn’t cost any money to secure a website. This is the cheapest way to activate the HTTPS protocol on your website.
There are two types of Free SSL certificates. ‘Self Signed Certificates’ where the Certificate Authority does not need to sign. Instead it is the user who signs the certificate. The second type of free SSL certificate is signed by a Certificate Authority. There are no other differences between both the certificates as they both provide the same level of encryption.
Paid SSL Certificate
These certificates are provided at trustworthy certificate authority websites. They might be available for purchase directly from websites or from third party resellers.
Since the encryption is like that of the free SSL certificate there might be some confusion as to why a paid SSL certificate is necessary when there are free SSL certificates.
Let us look at the differences between the two.
Differences: Free SSL Certificates vs Paid SSL Certificates
Free SSL Certificates are only Domain Validated, which is a basic level of authentication. These are ideal for small websites and blogs. Paid SSL Certificates also support Organization Validation and Extended Validation. And these are necessary for business websites.
With Free SSL Certificates, only the identity of the website owner is verified. Whereas since, Paid SSL Certificates with OV and EV certification, must go through an in-depth business validation and verification process.
Period of Validation
Free SSL Certificates that are issued have only a 30 – 90 day validity. The website owner must renew them every time the period is completed. In contrast, a Paid SSL Certificate lasts for a period of 1 – 2 years.
Certification Authority which issue Paid SSL Certificates commit to providing 24/7 support for customers. The support is typically through chat, calls or email. On the contrary, Free SSL certificate holders are not privy to this kind of support. They must get support from forums and FAQ pages.
OV and EV based certifications help your website with putting your business name in the certificate information. Free SSL Certificates do not have these advantages.
With a Free SSL Certificate, anything that takes down the Certificate Authority’s website or a problem with their Private Key will decertify your website. Paid SSL certificates providers offer users guarantees that pay around USD 10,000 to USD 150,0000 for a loss in certificate.
Which SSL Certificate is best for E-Commerce websites?
E-commerce websites deal in money and financial information like credit cards and other methods of payment. This is an issue if the users are unable to trust the website. Legitimate websites will show site security which will notify that the site is trustworthy.
Paid SSL Certificates are issued to websites only after a thorough verification of the identity of the organization. These provide a site seal, and the name of organization on the certificate information that will assure the users that the website can be trusted. These features are not available in Free SSL Certificates.
An SSL Certificate that is from a reputed and branded Certificate Authority has with it around the clock technical support that is ideal for online businesses. Yourwebsite is an authorized reseller of recognized certificate authorities.
Check out SSL certs that are ideal for e-Commerce site here.
Cheap SSL Certificates
If you cannot afford to pay a large price for your SSL Certificate and are looking for a cheap SSL Certificate solution. Look for reputed resellers and there will be no problem with the website. The reseller buys SSL Certificates in bulk which enables them to sell it at much lower prices to customers. Higher prices do not mean that the Certificate is better or any more secure.
The case for Cheap SSL Certificates
Web security is a very important part of business websites, particularly E-commerce websites that handle financial information. While Free SSL Certificates seem like good value, they have many limitations. Namely, lower depth of validation, lesser amount of period of validation, low to no levels of support and no warranty available in case of issues with the certificate authority.
Treat SSLs an investment
Think of SSL Certificates as an investment into the security of your business and online brand. The certificates also help with search engine optimization. When used, the will increase conversion rates on the website. This is how they increase the level of trust on given websites.
Even though the cost of a Paid SSL Certificate might seem higher than Free SSL Certificate, the advantages that accompany a cheap Certificate far outweigh it.
Sectigo, a leading Certificate Authority, is one of the most popular CAs. They verify businesses manually, and their method has earned them a high level of trust in the industry. They have both cheap SSL certificates and some that are pricey. It all depends on what you want the SSL certificate to do. If you have a website that you expect to grow and do business with, why not get your SSL certificate, even a cheap one from a reputable authority?
When it comes down to whether you should use a Free SSL Certificate or a Paid SSL Certificate. The advantages that a Paid SSL Certificate are more. For small websites and blogs, it might be beneficial to use Free SSL Certificates. But for business websites the advantage of using a Paid SSL Certificate might help inspire trust and increase audience in the long run.