Which SSL certificate should I use for my site?

Robert-Jan Budding, October 12, 2018

Proper security for your website is essential in these times of ever-increasing users on the digital highway and the ever-increasing dangers of cybercrime. An important tool for securing your website or shop is an SSL certificate.

Entrepreneurs who are active in the world of e-commerce are even obligated to have such a certificate. But what types of SSL certificates are there? And what is ultimately the best choice for your website? In this article, we will provide you with the answers.

Distribution of SSL certificates

SSL certificates are issued by a certificate authority. This is a third party that guarantees the fact that a certificate —after being issued— belongs to a certain company, organization, or server. This is done by signing the public key with the publisher’s own certificate. You could see it as a kind of conformity mark.

Quality of encryption

It is also good to know that a certificate type basically says nothing about the quality of the applied encryption. That is the same in all cases. The difference lies mainly in how rigorous the type of validation is and the domains for which a specific SSL certificate works.

Different forms of SSL certification

SSL certificates can be classified into a number of types. You will find a list of these types below.

Domain Validation SSL

This is the least comprehensive form of SSL certification. In this case, the certificate authority only checks whether the connection with the application actually leads you to the website that the certificate belongs to.

If this is the case, the certificate is issued and the connection encrypted. The encrypted connections can be recognized by a distinctive green lock when visiting the relevant website.

A Domain Validation SSL is usually issued fairly quickly. This means that you can use it soon after applying. Moreover, it is also the cheapest type of SSL certificate. With Savvii you will even get it for free with all packages. That said, this type is not 100 percent reliable, because it only checks that connection and not the organization behind a website. For websites that process no or little sensitive personal data, simply having domain validation is sufficient in most cases.

Organization Validation SSL

This SSL certificate goes one step further. It also validates and checks the organization behind the domain. With this type of certificate, not only can you be certain that your data is transmitted over an encrypted connection, but you can also know where and with whom your data ultimately ends up.

The application process may take a few days to a week, but an Organization Validation SSL is perfect for companies and organizations that regularly process personal data and therefore have the safety of their users as their topmost priority.

Extended Validation SSL

This is the most comprehensive type of certificate on the market. In addition to everything checked for by the other certificates, in the case of extended validation, the certificate authority also carries out comprehensive research into the legal, physical, and operational ins and outs of the applicant.

This certificate can be recognized by the green bar that you will see when entering the Internet environments of the big banks. The application process for these expensive certificates can take a long time due to the large number of documents that you will have to submit as an applicant.

SSL certificates at Savvii

Savvii provides three types of SSL certificates. We will briefly describe them below.

  • Let’s Encrypt is a domain validation certificate that is issued by default to all those domains that have been set up in admin.savvii.com, and whose DNS is targeted to Savvii.
  • If you do not want to use Let’s Encrypt you can also choose the Wildcard Certificate. This SSL certificate offers more validation possibilities. It is also valid on every subdomain of a given domain.
  • Do you process a lot of privacy-sensitive information or financial data? Then we also provide an Extended Validation Certificate. This certificate is only available for some (and therefore not multiple) domains.

Benefits of Let’s Encrypt

From a practical point of view, an SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt has many advantages. The certificates are free, user-friendly, and automated. That is why you are not spending a lot of money and time on it. This is also a reason why it is attractive for starters or website owners who aren’t very tech savvy.

The used encryption techniques have the same level of quality as those of paid certificates. For most websites, simply having domain validation is sufficient when it comes to SSL certification.

An additional advantage of Let’s Encrypt certificates is that they install and renew themselves. This way your website is continuously provided with the latest safety guarantees without you having to worry about it yourself.

Checklist

Would you like to know more about the safety of your website? Learn everything you need to know about making your site secure with our free security checklist.

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