How to Get an SSL Certificate for Your Website
If your website will be handling any type of sensitive information or financial transactions, you need an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate lets visitors and customers to your website know that it’s identity can be proven and trusted–after all, the certificate is proof of identify via a secure third party. Site users like to know that the connection between the browser and the server is a fool-proof one, and that any information that’s personal to them remains safe and secure. If your website needs an SSL certificate, follow these simple steps to get one. You might be surprised at how easy the process actually is.
Note From Rohan : I have chipped in an infographic which explains how SSL technology works which will help you evaluate it better.
Determine Website Needs
Before you start looking for an SSL certificate, you must first determine what level of this type of security your website really needs. There are a few different types of SSL certificates–namely standard SSL certificates, SGC SSL certificates, and EV SSL certificates–the higher level of security each SSL certificate provides, the larger the price-tag it bears. Websites that will be handling payments, online stores for example, may want to consider a higher level of security. This will protect private personal and account information that customers must present in order to make their purchases.
Do Your Homework
When you’re trying to decide which SSL certificate vendor to go through, it doesn’t hurt to shop around a little. It’s important to pick a vendor with a solid reputation–one that has established trust with a lengthy list of both site owners and customers will probably be your best bet.
It’s also important to compare prices, service, and support to make sure you know exactly what it is you’ll be paying for.
Request a CSR
Once you’ve decided on a vendor, you will need to request a CSR. In most cases, the vendors themselves will provide you with detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to do this. Each vendor is different, however, so make sure that you follow any and all directions carefully. One small error can turn into a giant headache later.
In order to request a CSR, you must have what’s called a “dedicated” IP address. If your site utilizes a shared server, you will not be able to generate a request unless all sites on that server are using the certificate–and that usually isn’t the case. When you request a CSR, you will have to provide some specific information to the server–name, address, and email address are standard–but you will need to provide some additional information as well. It all depends on the vendor.
Enter in all information exactly to avoid errors and mishaps along the way. Once your request has been approved, an email will be sent to the email address you provided, and you may be asked to confirm your identity before moving on to the next step.
SSL Certificate Installation
Installation is typically a quick and painless process, and again the vendor will determine the steps you need to take to install it. Usually you can copy and paste your certificate or you can upload it from email to get the ball rolling. Once you’ve done that you can count on your server to install the certificate for you–it’s that easy.
Regardless of which SSL certificate you decide to use, it’s important that you know what you’re signing up for and exactly what kind of security it will provide to your website. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the many options out there and before you know it, you’ll have an SSL certificate–the perfect foundation in which to start establishing trust with the many visitors to your website.