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Internet users these days expect to find the padlock symbol in their address bars whenever they visit a website. It assures them that the website is not only trustworthy but also capable of offering a secure and private browsing experience. The padlock symbol, however, is only shown for websites that use HTTPS and have a valid SSL certificate associated with them.
Lately, most browsers and major search engines have started penalizing websites that haven't adopted HTTPS. Consequently, if you're a website owner, it's imperative that you get yourself an SSL certificate. Thanks to GoGetSSL, doing so is cheaper and quicker than you might think.
GoGetSSL is a platform where you can buy a variety of SSL certificates from several different certificate authorities at extremely low prices. In this article, I'll help you understand what SSL certificates are and how to choose the right GoGetSSL certificate for your business.
1. The Need for Certificate Authorities
The Hypertext Transfer Protocol, or HTTP for short, transfers most of the data between your users and your web server as readable text. This means that the data is readily accessible to anyone who tries to monitor the connection between the web server and the users. HTTPS, or HTTP Secure, solves this problem by encrypting all the data.
For the encryption to work, all you need to do is generate a pair of keys: a public key, which you share with your users, and a private key, which you store as a secret on your web server. But this approach is reliable only if your users can be sure that you really are the owner of the public key they received. Therefore, you need to bring a certificate authority such as GoGetSSL into the picture.
A certificate authority, or CA for short, is an organization that can issue a certificate proving that you're the owner of your public key, and thus your website. So long as your users' browsers trust the certificate authority, they'll gladly accept the certificate and proceed with the encryption.
Modern browsers and operating systems maintain large lists of certificate authorities they trust. GoGetSSL is a part of almost all of them. For example, here it is in Mozilla Firefox's list:
2. Understanding SSL Certificates
HTTPS, in its early days, used to rely on a protocol called SSL, short for Secure Sockets Layer, to handle the key exchange and encryption details. Consequently, the certificates it used came to be known as SSL certificates. Although SSL has now been largely replaced by a new protocol called TLS, short for Transport Layer Security, the name persists. Noting this is important because when you buy an SSL certificate from GoGetSSL, you're actually buying a certificate that's also compatible with the latest version of TLS.
SSL certificates, also known as public key certificates, are documents that contain, among other details, a public key, the name of the organization or individual who owns the public key, the name of the certificate authority that issued the certificate, and the digital signature of the authority. Because they have a fixed period of validity, SSL certificates also contain the dates between which they're valid.
Here's a sample certificate, one issued by GoGetSSL:
3. Why Use GoGetSSL
GoGetSSL is one of the largest providers of SSL certificates in the world today. You can use their service to buy certificates from several reputable certificate authorities, such as DigiCert, Thawte, and Sectigo, which you might know as Comodo CA.
Additionally, GoGetSSL is a strategic partner of Sectigo, and thus a Sectigo subordinate CA. GoGetSSL-branded certificates are some of the cheapest premium SSL certificates you can get your hands on. They support elliptic curve cryptography and SHA256 hashes, and they're trusted by all major browsers, both desktop and mobile. Furthermore, they tend to have the shortest processing times of any SSL certificate providers. In fact, GoGetSSL's domain validation certificates are issued in under five minutes.
It's also worth noting that GoGetSSL has four-year subscription plans for most of its certificates. This means that you can renew your certificates, with big discounts, just once every four years. However, the CA/Browser Forum, a regulatory body for SSL certificates, has a rule that all certificates can have a maximum validity of only two years. So when you go ahead with the four-year plan, GoGetSSL will proactively help you replace your certificate with a new one at the end of two years.
4. Types of Certificates
GoGetSSL currently offers four major types of certificates, each catering to a different business need. Let's take a closer look at each type:
a. Domain Validation Certificates
Domain validation certificates, or DV certificates, are the cheapest SSL certificates available on GoGetSSL. They're also the most popular. As the name suggests, a DV certificate validates that you're indeed the owner of your website's domain name.
When you purchase a DV certificate, there's absolutely no paperwork involved. To prove ownership of your domain name, all you need to do is associate a specific DNS CNAME record with your domain, or respond to a confirmation mail sent to the email address you used while purchasing the domain.
The basic DV certificate can be used with exactly one fully qualified domain name. If you want to support HTTPS on other sub-domains of your website, or on other domains you own, buying a GoGetSSL multi-domain certificate is a better idea.
These certificates use an array-like field called
subjectAltName to store all the additional sub-domain or domain names. Each entry of the array is called a Subject Alternative Name, or SAN for short. Therefore, multi-domain certificates are often called SAN certificates.
GoGetSSL's cheapest multi-domain certificate supports two SAN entries by default. You can, however, pay extra to add as many as 248 more SAN entries to it.
Public IP SAN Certificates
With GoGetSSL, you can protect IP addresses too using SSL certificates. If you have a public IP address, and you are its exclusive owner, you might want to get this type of certificate for it.
GoGetSSL Public IP SAN certificates are ideal for teams of developers who don't want to make do with self-signed certificates. They're quite similar to multi-domain certificates in that they support two SAN entries by default and can contain a total of 250 SAN entries.
If your website is going to have lots of sub-domains, and you're not sure what they'll be beforehand, you can save both time and money by purchasing a wildcard SSL certificate. This certificate supports an unlimited number of sub-domains, and of course you're free to use wildcards while specifying what they are.
b. Business Validation Certificates
Trust is an important aspect of customer experience. DV certificates, however, are generally regarded as low-trust-level certificates. They're ideal only for individuals and small businesses.
If you want to build more trust, you should consider getting yourself a GoGetSSL BusinessTrust SSL certificate. This certificate, in addition to validating your domain name, validates your business itself. GoGetSSL can validate your business by checking government or third-party registration records of companies. But if you have a Legal Entity Identifier, or LEI code, you can speed up the validation process significantly. With it, instead of the usual 2–3 days, you can get your business validation certificate in a matter of minutes.
If you don't yet have an LEI code, it's easy to get one. GoGetSSL is offering LEI codes at GetLEI. An LEI code helps to identify a company doing business internationally and helps to secure international financial transactions. You can learn more about LEI and why you might need one from GetLEI.
Like domain validation certificates, business validation certificates too have the multi-domain and wildcard variants, named BusinessTrust SAN and BusinessTrust Wildcard.
c. Extended Validation Certificates
Extended Validation certificates, or EV certificates, get you the highest trust level possible. To get this certificate, in addition to proving ownership of your domain and business, you must sign an EV subscriber agreement.
When you use an EV certificate, many browsers will show a green address bar along with the padlock symbol, visually indicating to your users that your website is more trustworthy than most other sites.
Compared to EV certificates from large certificate authorities such as Thawte and GeoTrust, GoGetSSL's own BusinessTrust EV and BusinessTrust EV SAN certificates, which are powered by Sectigo, are significantly cheaper and have shorter processing times.
d. Code Signing Certificates
All this while, we've been talking about SSL certificates for websites. However, there are often times when you want your users to trust the software they download from you. With GoGetSSL's Code Signing EV certificates, you can sign applications, drivers, and other such software products.
If you're developing applications for Microsoft Windows, the Java VM, or Adobe AIR, these certificates are very important because they ensure that your users don't see any warnings while installing your software.
5. Site Seals
Whenever you purchase an SSL certificate from GoGetSSL, you also get a site seal with it. A site seal is a stamp that you can optionally install on certain important pages of your website. These pages are usually ones involving online transactions or collection of very sensitive user information, where you want to emphasize to your users that their data is going to be absolutely secure.
Here's what a GoGetSSL site seal looks like:
The site seal can be either static or dynamic. While a static site seal is just an image, a dynamic seal is interactive. Users can click on or hover over a dynamic seal to see additional details about your website. GoGetSSL currently offers static seals for its domain validation certificates and dynamic seals for its business and extended validation certificates.
Your visitors expect you to value their privacy and security. Therefore, running a website without having a valid SSL certificate for it is unacceptable these days. Thanks to innovative platforms such as GoGetSSL, acquiring a certificate is cheaper and easier than ever. In this article, you learned about SSL certificates in general, and also about all the different kinds of certificates available on GoGetSSL.
Once you've purchased an SSL certificate, you can refer to GoGetSSL's installation manuals to learn how to start using the certificate. You're also free to contact their SSL support center should you need additional assistance.
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