Free SSL Vs Paid SSL Certificate
Security for online users is, to say the least, very important. We’re in quite a scary time, where hackers and fraudulent activity online are becoming ever growing issues every single day. We really don’t mean to scare you, that being said, we do believe that we website owners should use this concern to help them. An SSL certificate has become almost necessary for any website now, being used as an incomparable weapon against any suspicious activity online, as well as helping with your search engine rankings. Not bad.
So, you can confidently say that you need an SSL certificate, but what type? There are two types; free and paid. To summaries, we think the best option is the paid SSL certificate, but you can’t just take our word for it, right? So, below we have provided you with all the reasons why you should choose the paid option.
What is an SSL Certificate?
Basically, an SSL certificate binds together a domain name with the identity of your organisation, think, the name of your company or location. When you have installed your SSL certificate on a web server, it will activate the padlock, allowing secure connections from a web server to a browser.
You can check if a website has an SSL certificate by looking at the address bar, once on the website. If you see a padlock, then the browser connection to the server is secure. If it says “not secure”, it does not have an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate will protect all your sensitive information, things like credit card information, passwords, and usernames. Many users will, rightly, opt to not stay on websites that are not secure too.
What is a free SSL certificate?
As you probably assume, a free SSL certificate is one that you do not have to pay for. However, there are more differences between a free SSL and a paid SSL than just the price. The whole purpose of a free SSL certificate is to make them available for everybody, no matter the budget, which (we admit) is great.
You can choose between ‘self-signed certificates’ or ‘signed by a certificate authorities’ SSL. A free SSL certificate will provide the same level of encryption as the paid SSL certificates.
What are the pros of a free SSL certificate
The main (and slightly obvious) proof a free SSL is that you don’t have to pay. This gives start-ups and low budget organisations the accessibility to a secure server. Free SSL certificates do offer very similar protection, but there are a few issues and faults, which may make you more inclined to choose the paid option.
What are the cons of a free SSL certificate
> They’re a little inconvenient – you have to renew your certificate a lot more regularly, perhaps every 90 days, sometimes less.
> Free SSL doesn’t protect subdomains. So, if you have a sit with a number of different subdomains, you will have to pay for your SSL certificate.
> You won’t get the customer support. If anything goes wrong, or you’re unsure with something, there’s no immediate help that will be there for you.
> They are unsuitable for e-commerce. To make customers trust your business and, thus, make purchases, we would advise a paid SSL certificate. In order to be able to secure credit card and personal information, you cannot use a free SSL certificate.
What is a paid SSL certificate?
Yes, you guessed it, you will have to purchase these types of SSL certificates. With this purchase, you will be issued with a secure SSL certificate, which will be signed by a respectable certificate authority (CA). You can purchase these certificates directly or through 3rd party sites.
Though it is true that, in terms of the level of encryption, a free SSL certificate is very similar to a paid SSL certificate…so you’re probably asking; “why would I pay for something I could get for free?”. Well, the differences between the two will justify the payment. We promise…
Pros of using a paid SSL certificate
> Your customer will trust you more. When you have a certificate issued by a respected, trustworthy Certificate Authority, makes a website just seem so much more reliable. Customers and clients will feel safer using your website and purchasing from your e-commerce store.
> You have different validation options, something you don’t get with free SSL certificates. These are Domain, Business, and Extended Validation. You also get to choose from different certificate types: Wildcard, One-Domain, and Multi-Domain. These allow you to pick the best one for your website, your needs, and your complexities.
> The renewal process of your paid SSL certificates is a lot more convenient. You will only have to renew every two years, meaning your business and website will run smoothly and stay secured.
> You’re also protected. When you purchase an SSL certificate, you will get a warranty which covers you for any damage that might incur. So, if your website, unfortunately, got hacked or there was a data breach, you could be entitled to a pay-out. A free SSL certificate does not offer this.
> You’ll also get customer support. This is just an extra bit of security and peace of mind for you.
Why you should choose a paid SSL certificate
Obviously, free SSL certificates seem like a great, cost-effective solution, especially for independent, small websites at the beginning of their journey. However, paid SSL certificates grant you more flexibility, benefits, security, and support. If you have a big business or e-commerce site, in our opinion, there isn’t much to think about. A paid SSL certificate will help your business accelerate, your customers will trust you and keep coming back. You should consider this as more of an investment than a purchase.