How the SSL/TLS Issuance Process Works

Everything you need to do to receive your SSL/TLS Certificate

Buying an SSL/TLS Certificate is a little different than, for instance, buying a gallon of milk. That is to say the purchasing process is a little bit more involved than simply selecting the item you want, paying for it and then taking it home with you. But don't worry, as complex as the SSL/TLS Issuance process may seem, The SSL Store™ is here to explain it all and guide you every step of the way.

The first thing you're going to have to do when purchasing an SSL/TLS Certificate is select the right one for you. We have an entire section devoted to that very concept – picking the right Certificate – so for the sake of this discussion, we're going to skip that conversation and assume you've already arrived at a decision about which SSL/TLS Certificate you want to purchase.

Purchase Certificates

Buying an SSL/TLS Certificate is a little different than, for instance, buying a gallon of milk…

Generating a CSR and Private Key

After purchasing your SSL Certifcate, the next step is to generate your Certificate Signing Request and Private Key. Depending on the Web Server you plan on installing the certificate on, there should be a way to do both of these using console commands on that very server. But, in the interest of streamlining the process, we've simplified things and come up with our own CSR Generation tool too.

Something to Remember

Critical Information

After you receive your private key make sure to save your key in a safe and secure location. It is critical that you never share or lose this key, lest your entire SSL Certificate could be compromised. In the event your key is lost or compromised, you will have to re-issue the entire certificate.


Authentication is done via the organization that issues the SSL certificate. These Certificate Authorities, as they are called, go through a validation process depending on which type of certificate a website is purchasing. There are three types of cetificate levels:

Domain Validation

Domain Validation

  • Issues within minutes
  • Basic no-frills encryption
  • Great for any site

Shop DV Certs

Domain Validation

Organization Validation

  • Light Business Authentication
  • Displays Business Details
  • Perfect for E-Commerce

Shop OV Certs

Domain Validation

Extended Validation

  • Full Business Authentication
  • Activates Green Address Bar
  • Displays Best Site Seals

Shop EV Certs

OV and EV certificates require a company to undergo what is called "business authentication." Wherein, the CA puts the applicant through a series of validation procedures and checks to ensure that it is a legal entity operating in good faith in its location. This process requires more resources so it tends to take a little bit longer, but the upside is your SSL/TLS Certificate will now display your company's business information, which will help give your customers the peace of mind that comes with knowing they're doing business with the legitimate article.

Dig Deeper into the Validation Process

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Receiving and Installing your SSL/TLS Certificate

When the CA has finished the validation process it will usually email you the SSL/TLS Certificate, in addition to any intermediate certificates and other files you may need. From there, it's just a matter of installing it.

Easy, right? No, not always. That's why we have a database of installation guides ready for you to take a look at. We even have helpful tools for converting file formats, Decoding CSRs and anything else you may have to do during the installation process.

And this isn't meant to scare you, some servers make it extremely easy to install your Certificate. We just want you to know that we are here to help you through the installation process. You can even call one of our Customer Experience reps and they'll walk you through it over the phone.

Get Help Installing Your Certificate

Installing your SSL/TLS Certificate

Important Reminder

if you don't want to attempt it at all, for a nominal fee we can install the SSL/TLS Certificate for you. It's completely up to you, just remember, The SSL Store™ is here to help throughout the entire process. Whether it's finding the right security solution, generating a CSR, getting your Certificate validated more quickly (we can expedite the process for you) or installing it—The SSL Store™ has your back.

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