SSL/TLS Buyer's Guide

All the information you need to choose the right security solution for you and your website

By now you know that you need an SSL/TLS Certificate for your website. The reasons for this are plentiful. In addition to protecting the communication between your website's visitors and your web server, SSL/TLS also authenticates your identity as a business.

Both of these are absolutely crucial to your online success. Web security is an integral necessity in this day and age, but so too is authentication. Trust is everything in E-commerce. Without your customers' trust, you're not going to succeed in anything you endeavor to do on the internet. Giving your clients the assurance that they can trust you – that you are who you claim to be – is paramount to your success.

This is something that all companies, from the smallest mom-and-pops operations to the biggest Fortune 500 corporate enterprises all understand and employ. SSL/TLS is an absolutely crucial part of any web presence.

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But Which Option is Right For You?

Based on the size and scope of your company, your online portfolio, budget and business goals, we can point you in the right direction. We can help you find the optimal security solution for you and your web presence.

That's what this buyer's guide is for. Take some time to click around and read the information provided below. From explanations of the different authentication levels to descriptions of additional features and benefits, we guarantee we can help you find the security solution that is exactly right for you. After all, SSL/TLS isn't a one size fits all type of product. It's worth understanding what it is you need and want to help ensure you get the absolute best fit.

So go ahead, read on, and remember, if you have any questions our friendly customer service representatives are always just a call or click away.

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Types of SSL/ TLS Certificates

Authentication Levels

The first thing you need to do when determining which SSL Security Solution is correct for you is to decide on which authentication level best suits your business. If you're running a non-e-commerce business or a personal website, you may just want to go with a Domain Validation SSL Certificate. For larger companies where business authentication is important, you should consider an Organization Validation or Extended Validation SSL Certificate.

More on Authentication Levels

Something to Remember

Something to keep in mind...

it takes different lengths of time to get validated for your SSL/TLS Certificate—depending on which authentication level you choose. While a DV Cert can be issued in mere minutes, it can take a few days for an OV or EV Cert. Of course, The SSL Store™ can help you to expedite the process, but you should still know what to expect in terms of issuance time.

Wildcards and Multi-Domain SSL Certificates

After you've determined the Authentication Level you need, you're going to need to determine how many domains and Sub-Domains you have to cover. Whereas a Single Site SSL/TLS Certificate protects just a single domain, Wildcard and Multi-Domain options give you great flexibility if you'll be protecting more than one site.

A Wildcard Certificate can cover an unlimited number of Sub-Domains while a Multi-Domain Certificate can cover up to 250 additional domains. These certificates are great because they save you money and simplify certificate management needs.

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Features of SSL/TLS


Most SSL/TLS Certificates come with a warranty attached that will kick in should there be any issues on the Certificate Authority's end. The sizes of these warranties vary dramatically, with some lower-end offerings covering up to $10,000 in damages and some higher-end products offering up to $1,750,000 in coverage.

The Right Warranty Fit


Encryption Strength

While most SSL/TLS Certificates offer standard 128/256-bit encryption strength, it is worth noting that the actual strength of your encryption depends on a multitude of factors like your Web Server's processing power and the capabilities of your end users. A Certificate might say it has 256-bit encryption strength, but that only means that it's capable of that strength. The actual strength of your encryption may vary.

About Encryption Strength

Site Seals

In addition to the standard visual indicators that accompany an SSL/TLS Certificate, most Certificates also come with Site Seals. A Site Seal, which can be either static or dynamic, is a small image that can be placed on homepages and checkout pages, which states your website is protected by the CA that issued your SSL/TLS certificate. Different Site Seals bring different levels of value, depending on which CA you choose.

More on Site Seals


Benefits of SSL/TLS


Inspire Trust with SSL/TLS

Trust is essential to your success online. Your customers have to trust that you are who you claim to be, and they have to trust that you're keeping their information safe. Without that trust, you're in a world of trouble. Fortunately, SSL/TLS Certificates have been empirically proven to boost trust in consumers.

Inspire More Trust

Boost Your SEO Rankings with SSL/TLS

When implemented properly, your SSL/TLS Certificate can actually give you a 5% Search Rankings boost. Back in 2014, Google announced it would be adding SSL to its ranking algorithm and the rest of the industry quickly followed suit. Today, with the browser community pushing for universal encryption, that SEO boost is being incentivized even more.

Better Search Rankings


Increase Conversions with SSL/TLS Certificates

Every year, more and more research is done on consumer habits and what influences people to go through with an online purchase or abandon their cart at the checkout page. And every year, that research indicates that having encryption is a major influence on that decision. Shoppers are more likely to purchase if they know their information is being protected.

Convert at a Higher Rate

Protect Your Brand with SSL/TLS Certificates

90% of major corporations and 74% of small-to-medium sized businesses have been the target of a Cyber Attack. These attacks are costly and, perhaps even more dangerously, can do critical damage to your company's reputation. You simply cannot afford to take chances when it comes to that.

Protect Brand Integrity


Future-Proof Your Website

Is your company growing? Think you may be building an additional website or adding a few new Sub-Domains soon? The good news is that if you pick the correct SSL/TLS Security Solution, your Certificate will be adaptable and you'll be able to grow without worrying about security lapses.

Step Into the Future

Simplify Your Certificate Management

Having multiple Certificates for multiple websites can be a real headache. Not only do you have to manage the certificates, but you also have to keep track of renewal dates and make sure that multiple installations go correctly. But the right SSL/TLS Security Solution can alleviate all of that.

Ease Administrative Burdens


A Few Final Questions

Which Certificate Authority Should I Choose

Which Certificate Authority Should I Choose?

You know you have to purchase an SSL/TLS Certificate from a Trusted CA—but which one? Each CA has its strengths and weaknesses. Some may offer better pricing at the cost of lower brand recognition. Others may offer huge advantages in terms of boosting trust and increasing conversions, but this will come at a steeper price. Some even bundle other premium Web Security features in with their SSL/TLS offerings. So which CA is right for you?

Choose the Right CA

Is Extended Validation (EV) Really Worth It?

Is EV Worth it? For many businesses and organizations the answer is yes. Extended Validation comes with myriad benefits, from the immediately recognizable green address bar to the proven track record of increasing the sales and profitability of the companies that opt to invest in it. There is no higher level of authentication, and by extension, trust, than Extended Validation.

Why it's Worth it


It's Time to Make a Decision

So, now it's time to click around and make a decision about which SSL/TLS Certificate is right for you. Remember, The SSL Store™ is here to help. You can call or chat online with our customer service reps if you have any additional questions.

And just to make things easier on you, here's a checklist to help you determine which features are most important, and what SSL/TLS Certificate is right for you.