Your website must appear professional, secure, and credible before you can convert visitors to loyal customers. With this in mind, one of the best ways to ensure security is to get an SSL certificate for your website.
It is a piece of code on your web server. It establishes an encrypted connection, ensuring the security of any data given by your website users. Unfortunately, if you do not have a cheap SSL certificate, major online browsers will tell visitors that your website is not safe.
This guide will go over how to get an SSL certificate while keeping things as simple as possible!
What is an SSL certificate?
It enables websites to transition from HTTP to HTTPS, which is more secure. A data file that has stored on a hosted web server. It enables SSL/TLS encryption and contains the public key, website identification, and other information. Besides, devices that want to connect with the origin server will consult this file to receive the public key and confirms the server’s identity. Yet, the encryption key is confidential and secure.
What is SSL?
SSL, often known as TLS, is a technology used to encrypt Internet traffic and authenticate server identification. It operates by any site with an HTTPS web address.
What data does an SSL certificate have?
SSL certificates have the following:
- First, it has the domain/web name for the certificate issued.
- Second, which individual, organization, or device received it?
- Third, which certificate holder gave it?
- The digital signature of the certificate authority
- Relative Subdomains
- The certificate’s issue date
- The certificate’s end date
- The open key (the private secret key)
SSL’s public & private keys are long sequences of characters used to encrypt and decode data. Only the private key can decrypt data encrypted with the public key and vice versa.
Why is an SSL certificate required for websites?
It safeguards user data and confirms website ownership. Also, it prevents attackers from building a fake version of the website and wins user trust.
SSL/TLS is doable due to the public-private key pairing that SSL certificates enable. Clients (such as web browsers) gain the public key required to open a TLS connection from the server’s SSL certificate.
It ensures that a client communicates with the correct server that owns the domain. It aids in the prevention of domain impersonating and other types of attacks.
Required for an HTTPS web address, essential for enterprises. It is the secure version of HTTP, and HTTPS websites have their traffic encrypted with SSL/TLS. Also, it protects user data in transit. Finally, it makes websites more reputable in the eyes of the user. Many consumers will not notice the difference between an HTTP:// and an https:// web address. Still, most browsers have begun to flag HTTP sites as “not secure” to provide an incentive to migrate to HTTPS and increase security.
Steps to obtain an SSL certificate for your website
- Have the Right Website Information
It certifies by a firm named Certificate Authority (CA). Getting an SSL certificate can be very simple if you preplan it with the needed data. The data set includes:
- A unique IP address
Because the SSL protocol works, each certificate you plan to buy will need its IP address. Instead, users of some outdated devices and web browsers would be unable to access your website. You can use a tool to determine the IP address of your website.
- A Valid WHOIS Record
The CA must confirm that you have the domain name when getting the cheap SSL certificate. To do that, you can check the domain’s WHOIS record.
- Confirmation of a Company
If you apply for a high-level certificate, the CA may examine government databases to confirm your company. Also, the CA may request your government registration papers for your business.
- Determine Which SSL Certificate You Need
There are many kinds of SSL certificates, classified as follows:
- Domain, Organization, and Extended Validation are the three levels of validation.
- Single Domain, Wildcard, and Multi-Domain Secured Domains
Let’s have a quick look at each type:
- Domain Validation
It is the simplest and most basic level of validation. It ensures that your firm owns the domain. Hence, it suits small firms that rarely communicate information with their customers.
- Organizational Validation
The medium degree of validation. It verifies domain ownership and organizational characteristics such as name and location. Hence, it is best for commercial websites that include forms and gain many leads.
- Extended Validation
It is the most costly and extensive validation. Besides domain ownership and organization facts, it checks the firm’s physical location and legal existence. Thus, it is an excellent choice for websites that contain sensitive information, such as financial transactions.
- Single Domain:
Protects only a single subdomain.
For example, you cannot use johndoe.com for subdomains such as blog.johndoe.com.
Protects an unlimited number of subdomains inside a single domain.
For example, you can use it with any subdomain, such as shop.johndoe.com or blog.johndoe.com.
A single SSL certificate can cover up to 100 domains.
For example, you can use johndoe.com for domains such as janedoe.com.
- Select a Certification Authority
It is a third-party organization that issues SSL certificates. There are dozens of CAs operating globally, but only a few of them have a significant share of the SSL market share. So, you can buy a cheap SSL certificate while also meeting your business objectives.
- Create a Certificate Signing Request (CSR)
Before requesting an SSL certificate from a CA, you must prepare a CSR file on your web server. The CA will then use the data in this file to give your SSL certificate.
The formation of a CSR depends on the webserver and Webhosting that your website uses. Thus, we propose contacting your site host to see if they have CSR generation instructions in their knowledge base.
- Send the CSR to the Certificate Authority.
After you’ve obtained a CSR, visit the website of the CA you chose and buy SSL certificate cheap you’ll need. Following the checkout procedure, the CA will request to submit the CSR file you prepared in the last step.
- Wait for your CA to confirm it.
Depending on what type of certificate you buy, the CA may take hours to days to authenticate your information and issue your site’s SSL certificate. Getting a domain validation certificate, for example, takes a few minutes, but extended validation can take several days.
- Configure Your SSL Certificate
When the CA has completed processing your SSL certificate request, it will send an email with instructions on how to access your SSL certificate. You can also download it through the user account you created when you purchased the certificate.
The installation of an SSL certificate depends on the operating system (OS) of the webserver where you host your site. Contact your site host, or see if it offers any online help installing your SSL certificate.
- Is it Possible to Get a Free SSL Certificate?
You can. The majority of the hosting companies include a free SSL certificate as part of your hosting plan.
Navicosoft is a good example. They include an SSL certificate in your plan when you sign up for hosting. Hence, follow these steps to activate your SSL certificate:
- First, navigate to the Navicosoft control panel.
- Next, go to My Sites > Manage Site.
- Finally, turn on the SSL certificate switch under the Security tab.
Yet, the SSL certificate can take a few hours to activate, so don’t worry if it doesn’t activate now.
Summary: How to Get an SSL Certificate
As we discussed earlier, getting the cheapest SSL certificate entails the following steps. It gives a positive user experience, improves SEO, and helps your company meet industry standards. So, go ahead and use this guide or get help from the best certificate authority!