From January 2017 on, new browser versions of Google Chrome (version 56) and Mozilla Firefox (version 51) will start giving a notification in the address bar to state your site is “not secure”.
It gets better, if your website is in the Google Search Console (for SEO tracking) you will also get a warning there as an administrator that certain URL’s will trigger a “Not secure” warning at your visitors, for example registration pages or password forgot pages.
Why installing an SSL certificate on your site?
The main reason why you would choose an SSL certificate for your website is the fact data is sent encrypted between visitor, website and back…
- Web forms, registrations, profile pages, passwords… preferably are sent over a secure connection.
- If you offer online services, having a HTTPS enabled website simply is a necessity!
- You are running a web shop or e-commerce platform? Give that extra confidence to your visitor when he visits your site!
Which SSL certificate to choose?
There are several types of SSL certificates: domain validation, organisation validation, extended validation (the famous green address bar), wildcard certificates… but which one is the best option for your site or application?
We admit it, finding the path through the dense SSL forest is not exactly easy. Therefore, consult Kinamo when trying to figure out which certificate fits your needs best. We will check with you which type is the most applicable to your needs.
Looking for the highest degree of visual “trust” and a green address bar with your company name embedded?
Then the Extended Validation (EV) certificate is best suited. EV certificates are not cheap, but the vetting process is strictly regulated, more complex and gives the visitor the best degree of insurance that the site is effectively linked to your company. EV certificates are commonly used by financial institutions, e-commerce platforms and other sites working with transactional data.
You’ve got a multitude of servers that must be secured by one single certificate, all with the same domain and subdomains? Then the Wildcard SSL certificate is your best choice: these certificates allow you to secure *.yourdomain.com, often against a much better price tag then picking individual certificates per subdomain..
The only disadvantages: they are only available as domain validation and only work for subdomains (so myserver.domain.com and my2ndserver.domain.com but not myserver.domain.com and myserver.2nddomain.com).
If you are really on the hunt for a bargain when securing your website, the cheapest option is a standard SSL certificate with domain validation.
These certificates are cheap, fast emitted (getting a certificate within 5 minutes is possible, if you follow the steps correctly) and they are often valid from 1 to 3 years.
Since 2016 you can also get “free” SSL/TLS certificates. These are offered by Let’s Encrypt, created by the non-profit Internet Security Research Group (ISRG).
There are advantages when using these certificates: the validity is limited to 90 days, so the certificate must be renewed every 90 days.
True, this can be done automatically, but requires specific server settings or other creative tweaking solutions. Let’s Encrypt certificates only work with domain validation, have no wildcard certificates and will require more work then a “simple” domain validation certificate.