What are all these types of SSL Certificates for?

One of the questions we get when we chat about SSL Certificates, after they have Googled it, people ask what are all these different types? So here you go for a simple run down of the types and terms.

The Choices of SSL Certificates

So to start with you have now realised that there are many types of SSL Certificates available in the market, and you make a choice based on 2 factors:

  • the basis of validation level
  • the number of domains you want to secure

On the basis of validation level

The basis of validation level you want lets you choose between:

  • Domain Validation
  • Organizational Validation
  • Extended Validation

Number of Domains

The number of Domains you want to secure lets you choose between:

  • Single Domain validation
  • Multi-domain validation
  • Wildcard validation
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SSL Certificate basis of validation level choice

So lets start with the certificates themselves:

Single Domain Validation SSL Certificates

These are the  easiest to get and install, and are usually issued within a few minutes after you buy them. Good enough for the single WordPress website running a blog or a micro business.

Business Validation SSL Certificates

These are are ideal for small, medium, and large companies. They require the person or company who buys the SSL Certificate to have a legally registered company somewhere and the ability to prove it. When any website visitors check the details of your SSL Certificate (normally just right clicking browser bar), they will see your actual company name and physical address, which will raise their level of trust in regards to your WordPress website.

Extended Validation (Green Bar) SSL Certificates

These are the ones which most people and companies prefer because they inspire the most trust to your customers, but of course come with a hefty price tag. They will make your website have a green bar in all browsers that your websites is opened on, which proves that your website and company is legitimate and your new customers can trust you and buy your products and services.

SSL Certificate Number of Domains choice

Based on the number of domains that you want to secure, you can choose between the following SSL Certificates:

One Domain SSL Certificates

These are the least expensive, and they are ideal when you want to secure one domain only.

Wildcard SSL Certificates

These are the right solution when you need to secure one main domain name (e.g. Home) and all / unlimited sub-domains for it (e.g. http://account.armyofflyingmonkeys.com, http://login.armyofflyingmonkeys.com, etc).

Multi-domain SSL Certificates

These are the ideal option when you own several domain names and you want to secure them with an SSL Certificate (e.g: armyofflyingmonkeys.com, armyofflyingmonkeys.co, armyofflyingmonkeys.net, armyofflyingmonkeysdraft.com, etc).

Instead of buying separate SSL Certificates for each domain and keeping track of their individual renewal dates every year, you can buy one single SSL Certificate and secure several domain names with it, which saves you time and money.

So which one is for me?

You should be aware that none of these Certificates is mix and match, nor are they ‘upgradable’. So you can’t start on a Single Domain Validation SSL Certificate, and then decide in 3 months to pay more for Multi-Site.

You throw away the first certificate and buy the new one to replace it if you need another type…

For most single SME business sites, with one website, then the simple Single Domain Validation SSL Certificate should suffice to start with in our opinion.

When to do this?

Simple answer ASAP, actually you should have done so in 2016!

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