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Do I Need an SSL Certificate?

by | Jun 6, 2024 | Website Hosting Blog

Today’s modern digital age means that most businesses have an online presence. For businesses which operate in the world of e-commerce, website security is absolutely paramount. In the competitive marketplace, businesses which want to get ahead should make security a focus. Making it clear that they can fully protect their customers’ data and secure any on-site transactions.

With that in mind, one crucial aspect of today’s website security is having an SSL Certificate. But what exactly is an SSL certificate, how can having one improve your business? And is it OK for a business to get a free SSL Certificate?

In this blog post, we’ll answer all of the above questions. At Tasjeel.ae, we work day in and day out with numerous global online businesses. This means we have the resources to understand exactly what individual companies require. We’ll guide you through any questions you might have about SSL Certificates, so that you can make an informed decision.

Let’s now explore what SSL certificates are. Why they’re essential for online businesses, and how to set one up with your own SSL Certificate:

Understanding SSL Certificates

screenshot of tasjeel.ae website showing their SSL certificate

Defining SSL Certificates

First, let’s lay out a clear and simple definition of an SSL Certificate. The ‘SSL’ in the term stands for Secure Sockets Layer.

Your SSL Certificate acts as your digital certificate. It authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information sent to the server. In simple terms, the SSL Certificate secures data transmitted between a browser and the website’s server.

Learn more about the history of SSL’s here.

Why SSL Certificates Work For Both Website Owners and Users

Essentially, the SSL Certificate is what allows you to browse through an organization’s website. Even purchase products or services from them; and do all of this while keeping your data secure and private.

When you visit a website with an SSL certificate, you may notice a padlock icon next to the URL in the address bar. This padlock means that the connection is secure and so is any information you enter on the website is. Meaning your login credentials or payment details have gone through an encryption to protect them from potential hackers.

Benefits of SSL Certificates

Now that we have a working definition of SSL Certificates, let’s further consider the benefits of them. These benefits are for both the website owners and for users/customers.

Immediate Benefits of having an SSL Certificate:

SSL Encryption:

The main function of an SSL certificate is to encrypt data between the user’s browser and the website’s server. Making it unreadable to anyone trying to intercept it. All website owners should be seeking to make sure that users feel secure when they’re browsing a website.

Secure Transmission and transactions:

SSL certificates ensure secure transfer of sensitive information over the Internet. Meaning personal details, email addresses credit card numbers, and passwords are safe. It is especially critical for e-commerce businesses to make sure that they are protecting their customers’ information online.

Long-term Benefits of having an SSL Certificate

Trust and Credibility:

Many people recognize the secure padlock icon next to a website’s URL. They may not fully understand its meaning.

This padlock icon indicates an SSL Certificate. The very fact of it being there is often enough to instil trust and reassurance in visitors. Website owners should aim to build trust with visitors as soon as they land on their site. Trust is key.

SEO Benefits:

Google likes websites with SSL certificates because they are more secure for users. These websites may rank higher in search results to show the best ones first. Therefore, having an SSL certificate can leapfrog your website in search engine rankings.

Types of SSL Certificates

Now that we’ve covered how having an SSL Certificate can help your website, let’s look types of SSL Certificates. If you’re still unsure about which SSL Certificate is right for you, consider consulting with an expert from Tasjeels team. These are the different types of SSL Certificates:

What is a Single Domain SSL:

The Single Domain SSL, a basic type of SSL Certificate, secures a single domain or subdomain. It is effective in terms of security for simple websites. Because it provides basic encryption for data transmitted between the user’s browser and the website. Simple Domain SSLs favour websites which are low-cost options.

What is a Wildcard SSL Certificates:

Wildcard SSL Certificates are for securing the main domain and all its subdomains. This means that a single certificate can protect multiple subdomains under the same domain name. For larger websites with multiple subdomains, a Wildcard SSL Certificate can be a sensible, cost-effective option.

Multiple Domain SSL:

Multiple Domain SSL Certificates, also known as Unified Communications (UC) Certificates. They allow you to secure multiple domains with a single certificate. This is best suited for organizations who have multiple websites or domains which they wish to keep secure.

Organization Validated (OV SSL Certificate):

OV SSL certificates require validation of the organization’s identity in addition to domain validation. Organizations must prove their legitimacy in certain ways before being able to secure an OV SSL Certificate. This means that, for the user, there is an extra layer of security, trust, and authenticity.

Extended Validation (EV SSL Certificate):

EV SSL certificates offer the highest level of validation and security. Websites with an EV SSL certificate display the organization’s name in the address bar. As well as a green padlock icon that many users may already recognise from the most trusted sites. All of this indicates that the website has undergone a rigorous validation process.

Pros and Cons of Getting a Free SSL Certificates

Website owners have many options when it comes to obtaining an SSL Certificate. Some will want a trusted organization to establish their specific SSL Certificate for them. While others will seek out free options. Here’s a quick overview of the pros and cons of obtaining a free SSL Certificate:

Pros of a Free SSL

Cost-Effective:

It goes without saying, but a free SSL Certificate is, well, free. This means that it’s a budget-friendly option for small websites, start-ups, or less established website operators. Those who don’t want to commit to a paid option.

Basic Encryption Options:

Depending on the free SSL Certificate you obtain, there are plenty which provide the basic encryption necessary. This is perfect for securing data transmission for customers.

Easy Implementation:

Due to being cost-effective, free SSL Certificates are often easier to install. As well as to implement and set up on your website.

Cons of a Free SSL

Less Advanced Features and Validation:

Free SSL certificates often lack numerous important features. These can include the kind of validation levels or verification requirements that many modern online users expect.

Time Limited or Short Validity Period:

Many free SSL Certificates are time-limited or have a short validity period before renewal. This is a major con for websites which are really trying to avoid SSL Certificate costs. Because they often run into issues of having to pay fees further down the line anyway.

Less Credibility:

As mentioned in the first point, many users expect a certain level of credibility from their websites. Especially when it comes to paying their hard-earned money or giving personal details away. Some users perceive free SSL Certificates as less trustworthy compared to paid options.

Less Support Options:

Free SSL Certificates normally do not come with the same level of customer support as paid certificates.

How can I get an SSL Certificate I can trust?

Many series website operators who opt to buy an SSL Certificate from an authority that they can trust. Especially those who are serious about the security of their users. Buying an SSL Certificate means more secure website traffic due to powerful encryption. As well as the reassurance that customers will see your SSL padlock icon when they land on your site.

Customer Support

Depending on where you buy your SSL Certificate, you will also have the benefit of customer support. As well as an experienced team who will be able to guide you when it comes to choosing the option which is right for you. If you’re operating the following then Buying a suitable SSL Certificate is a vital step:

  • Any type of e-commerce website
  • A medical website
  • A recruiters’ website
  • or any website where you value the security of your users

Conclusion: In the Modern Online World, Users Value Trust and Security Above All

Safety is crucial with the amount of time that each of us spends online in today’s world. It’s often the case that a customer’a first point of contact with your organization will be through your website. With that in mind, you must present them with a website that emphasises trust and security.

Whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise, having an SSL certificate is crucial. It protects your customers’ data in the short-term, and builds trust in your brand in the long-term.

At tasjeel.ae, we value ourselves as being reputable providers of all your needs in relation to website security and website building. Including finding you the right SSL Certificate.