Editor’s Note: This article was first published on October 13, 2016. It was updated on August 9, 2018.
Why should you care about a website’s security certificate? Consider this scenario: You’re cruising online and find yourself on a cool website. They have just what you need at a price you can celebrate. “Woot-woot,” you scream inside while reaching for your credit card.
Then, with a single click, you tuck your plastic back inside the safety of your wallet.
Why? The payment link isn’t secure. The address bar doesn’t have a lock icon or turn green. and you know that could mean trouble. The new string of words going through your mind is likely not appropriate for this blog, but they probably express exasperation and disappointment.
Now, imagine the scenario is flipped. Only the website is yours, and the visitor is one of your potential customers. They won’t know why you’ve delayed the purchase of an SSL to protect your site. But you’re only in your first year of business and you needed to spend carefully. Doesn’t everyone know that no one would ever hack your small site, so an SSL would be a waste?
Think again. Every website can benefit from an SSL certificate.
Did you know an SSL certificate can improve SEO?
That’s right, Google now uses SSL as a ranking signal in their search algorithm, so that HTTPS or SSL-secured websites are ranked higher than non-secure sites.
Google’s so focused on security, in July of 2018, the Chrome browser started including “not secure” notices on all websites that lack a proper SSL certificate.
If your business relies on organic search from Google, an SSL certificate is an immediate necessity.
A website without a security certificate is a serious risk
One site, two sites, three sites or 100. Regardless of the size of your business’s online footprint, choosing the right security certificate is critical to keeping your website secure. It can also lead to significant time and cost savings, boost your Google ranking, and help you establish trust.
Just like you, your customers expect to see that you care enough about their security and privacy to provide them with a secure visit — free from prying eyes ready to steal personal or financial information.
How can you provide this experience? It all begins by choosing GoDaddy as your Certificate Authority. All GoDaddy SSL Certificates offer the strongest SHA-2 and 2048-bit encryption and hands-on support from our security experts.
Which SSL certificate is best for your business?
As the above infographic illustrates, there are a number of SSL certificates available. But how do business owners select the best SSL certificate for their needs? Let’s explore the options below.
Option #1: Wildcard SSL Certificate
Before you begin, take into consideration how your web presence is organized. Does your business have a single web address such as coolexample.com, or do you also provide a mobile site at mobile.coolexample.com, a store at shop.coolexample.com and perhaps a link to blog.coolexample.com? Each of these will require SSL protection.
Your common name and an unlimited number of related subdomains will be secured to the same level, making your visitors’ experience consistent.
Option #2: Multi-Domain SAN SSL Certificate
If your websites include variations beyond subdomains, you’ll want to consider requesting a Multi-Domain SAN SSL Certificate. This option is perfect if you manage a stable of websites with geo-based domains or a variety of top level domains (TLDs), such as .com, .eu, .biz or .shop.
Also referred to as Unified Communication Certificate SSLs, the basic version of a Multi-Domain SAN SSL Certificate covers up to five websites. Up to 100 websites can be covered for an additional fee. Whenever you host three sites or more, the savings can add up quickly.
Option #3: Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificate
While each GoDaddy SSL Certificate provides a level of trust, the grandaddy of them all is the EV SSL Certificate. In addition to the padlock icon that appears in the browser indicating the site is HTTPS, the entire browser bar changes to green.
In other words, it’s not just encryption for your eCommerce transactions. It’s a way to establish credibility as a legitimate business.
Option #4: Organization Validation (OV) SSL
Security-wise, informational business websites with a single domain name need no more than a Standard SSL for domain verification. To boost consumer confidence, however, a non-eCommerce site can benefit greatly from an Organization Validation (OV) SSL.
The familiar padlock will appear in the browser letting guests know they can enter passwords, submit contact information, or send donations to support your cause. Stand out from the rest by showing your site visitors that they can rest easy. It’s similar to the EV SSL Certificate, just conveniently scaled down for both needs and cost.
Let’s talk levels
Now that you know about the different types of SSLs and their functions, it’s time to talk levels: Standard, Deluxe, and Premium with High Assurance.
Standard level SSLs are best for blogs and social websites. They validate domain ownership and provide a $100,000 warranty against compromises.
Deluxe SSL OVs are best for business and organizations because they validate both the site and the organization behind it. They provide a $250,000 warranty against compromises.
Premium High Assurance SSL EVs are best for eCommerce websites. They validate domain ownership and provide top-level verification, including the High Assurance green address bar, along with a $1,000,000 warranty against compromises.
Be legit online and get boosted
Finally, whatever SSL based security certificate is right for your business, it’s also a great way to boost your visibility online. However slight, the boost Google gives to secure HTTPS/SSL sites might be the key to outranking your competition.
To take advantage of the Search Engine Results Page bump, make sure not to block web crawlers using robots.txt, and always allow indexing by avoiding the robots meta tag. Refer to Google Webmaster Tools for more tips on how to get the most for your dollar and effort.
So what are you waiting for? Get your security certificate today!
Also published on Medium.