How to get a cheap SSL for your site

Thinking about getting a cheap SSL and wondering where to start? This guide should steer you in the right direction. Acquiring an SSL isn’t rocket science, and, fortunately, buying a cheap SSL isn’t any different from buying any other kind of SSL.

Contrary to what you might have heard, price doesn’t mean better quality when it comes to SSL certificates. In fact, all SSL certificates sold on the market today have the same underlying technology and encryption strength no matter what the price point, so that’s one less thing to worry about when choosing an SSL.

So, how do you choose one? With so many options and stores available, it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed. Read on to find out how to make the process of getting a cheap SSL certificate an easy one.

1. Define your needs

This is the easiest way to distinguish the kind of SSL you need. Do you have a small informational website or a personal blog site? Do you request any personal data from visitors? Maybe you’re thinking of launching an online store, or you already have a pretty busy e-commerce site, or several, even. Whatever your situation, think about your site’s size, the size of your audience, and the purpose of your site. This will help you with the next point. 

2. Familiarize yourself with the different SSL types

Now that you’ve outlined your specific website needs, it’s time to figure out the type of SSL you need. They may have different brand names depending on the site you go to, but ultimately there are three main types of SSL certificate and three validation levels. The three SSL Types are:

Single domain: This will protect one domain or subdomain.

Multidomain: This will protect multiple domains or subdomains.

Wildcard: This will protect a single domain and unlimited subdomains of one level connected to it.

Validation level refers to how extensively the issuing Certificate Authority (CA) will check your background before giving you the certificate. When a website visitor clicks on the padlock symbol in the address bar, they will see the type of SSL you have and the level of validation. The SSL validation levels are:

Domain validation (DV): This is the least invasive validation type, with the CA simply verifying that you own the website. Ideal for blogs and small websites that don’t require logins or the handover of personal information. 

Organization validation (OV): The CA will carry out minor background checks on the person or company purchasing the SSL. Ideal for small e-commerce stores.