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SSL Certificate Types & Differences

When setting up and SSL certificate for your website you will run into three types of certificates being offered by the major providers. Here is what they are and how they differ.

Domain Validated SSL Certificates

These types of SSL certificates are the cheapest and they are also the quickest to obtain. “Domain Validated” means that only domain name ownership is validated during the approval process, meaning you simply need to be able to reply to a validation email sent to an email account associated with domain name ownership. In most cases these types of SSL certificates are just fine.

Organization Validated SSL Certificates

Organization validated certificates provide further trust to website visitors. In addition to verifying domain name ownership, the SSL issuer will conduct some basic vetting of the organization to verify that it exists. These usually only take a couple of days to set up, in my experience. I usually opt for these types of certificates for my personal projects that have brands.

Extended Validation SSL Certificates

Extended validation certificates, also referred to as EV SSL certificates, provide the most vetting and organization validation of all available certificates. EV SSL certificates will activate the green bar and lock in most major web browsers, which shows users that you are pretty serious about your website security.

There are very few ways to announce your security-minded intentions to users outside of seals and other visual elements or statements on your website, so the fact that this activates something in the address bar of the browser can be worth the extra time and money that is required to get one of these types of certificates set up. If you are operating a major e-commerce website, for example, you will likely want to go with and EV SSL certificate.

Where to Buy SSL Certificates?

I buy mine from Namecheap. They offer all three levels of SSL’s mentioned above, from several different SSL providers. And the prices are great.

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