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what is an SSL certificate? how to get it?

When it comes to the security and safety of our sites and data, an SSL certificate immediately comes to our mind. It completely works as a safeguard and protects our site from hacking, attacking, and stealing data. It is very prominent when users transmit sensitive data, such as by logging into a bank account, email service, or health insurance provider.

What do you mean by SSL? SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. An SSL certificate is an encryption (converting readable plaintext into incomprehensible text) based Internet security protocol that ensures safety, authentication, and data integrity. In other words, SSL certificates are what enable websites to move from HTTP to HTTPS.

What are the types of SSL certificates?

There are several different types of SSL certificates. You can choose as per your need and your website size and type. One certificate can apply to a single website or several websites. Likewise, all SSL certificates have the same level of encryption but the level of validation sets them apart. They can protect solely one domain to multiple domains or subdomains. Let’s have a look.

  • Single-domain SSL Certificate: A single-domain SSL certificate applies to only one domain. It is good for simple, single, and small blogs or business websites. It is the lowest in price as it works only for a single domain and pages within that domain. All three validation levels – DV, OV, and EV – are available for these kinds of certificates.
  • Wildcard SSL Certificate: It offers protection for a single domain and unlimited subdomains associated with it. For example, if you purchase a wildcard SSL Certificate, they will secure along with other subdomains such as, and The suffix on the web address must be the same. Wildcard SSL certificates can be issued with DV and OV levels of validation, but not EV.
  • Multi-domain: As the name indicates, multi-domain SSL certificates can apply to multiple unrelated and unassociated domains. They are expensive but more affordable than purchasing separate single certificates for each various site. It is best for organizations running multiple and diverse business sites. In fact, it protects more than 100 different domains.

Types of SSL Certificate Validations

SSL certificates also come with different validation levels. Which validations fit you depends on the size and scope of your website plus the kind of data you will be requesting from your users and/or customers. There are 3 types of SSL Validation: DV, OV, and EV.

Domain Validation Certificate

This is the easiest, cheapest, quicker and lowest level of validation. Certificate authorities simply verify without looking into detailed information about the identity of a person or company running a website.  It is ideal for smaller websites, freelancers and personal bloggers. Further, owners shouldn’t submit any documentation to install the certificate.

Organization Validation Certificate

To get an organization validation one has to send documents to CA that verifies their business name, physical address, phone number, and legal status. CA checks the applying entity’s information to determine if it’s a legitimate business and does some minor vetting. It takes some days to verify. These types of validation are trustworthy and best for medium-sized businesses and e-commerce stores. If you obtain the OV SSL the browser bar will display more information about the company than on Domain validation.

Extended Validation Certificate

It is the highest level of certificate, and more comprehensive plus expensive than other validations. When issuing EV certificates, CAs strictly check the extensive background of the domain-owning organization, validating its ownership, legal existence, physical location, and more. It takes more than a week to get verified. Moreover, it clearly displays the organization’s name with a green address bar on the browser.

How to get an SSL Certificate?

SSL certificates are issued by an entity known as a Certificate Authority (CA). What is CA? A CA is an outside organization, a trusted third party, that generates and gives out SSL certificates. (it digitally signs the certificate with its own private key, allowing client devices to verify it). Follow these steps to get an SSL certificate:

  • Check all the website information you have is correct.
  • Choose, what type of SSL certificate and validation is beneficial for your website.
  • There are numerous certificate authorities operating on the market, select one to obtain an SSL certificate.
  • Generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) through your server, through your cPanel, or through an online CSR generator.
  • Submit your CSR to the Certificate authority to validate your domain.
  • Once the CA has processed your SSL certificate request, it will send you an email allowing you to access your SSL certificate. ( Await validation by the CA)
  • You can then activate and install it on the website origin’s server after the certificate issue. From now on, your website will be able to load over HTTPS.

(Note: Some hosting providers offer SSL certificates for free as a part of hosting packages. You just have to toggle on the SSL certificate switch from My sites>Manage sites> security tab.)

What is the difference between HTTP and HTTPS?

The Key Difference between them is HTTP lacks a security mechanism to encrypt the data, whereas HTTPS provides SSL or TLS Digital Certificate to secure the communication between server and client. Let’s dive into the details:


The full form of HTTP is a Hypertext transfer protocol. It was initiated by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN in 1989. prescribed order and syntax for presenting information – used for transferring data over a network. If a website uses HTTP instead of HTTPS, all requests and responses can be read by anyone who is monitoring the session. In HTTP, there is no verification of identity – it’s based on the principle of trust. Anyone can inject content into webpages without the approval of the website owner.HTTP is an application layer network protocol that is built on top of TCP. Besides this, it transfers data in plain text and operates at the application layer on port 80.


HTTPS stands for Hypertext transfer protocol secure. The websites that have taken SSL certificates are HTTPS. HTTPS uses TLS (SSL) to encrypt normal HTTP requests and responses, making it safer and more secure. A website with an SSL certificate has https://at the beginning of its URL. HTTPS transfers data in cipher text (encrypt text) and operates at the Transport layer on port 443 by default for data communication. It is a highly advanced and secure version of HTTP.

How does SSL Certificate work?

SSL Certificate fundamentally works with Asymmetric and Symmetric Cryptography.

Asymmetric encryption is also called public key cryptography. There are two keys, a public key, and a private key, and the public key is shared with client devices via the server’s SSL certificate, and the private key is used to decrypt information encrypted by the public key. These keys are used to encrypt or decrypt the data.

Whereas in Symmetric cryptography there is only one shared key to encrypt and decrypt actual data and transfer it. Both sender and receiver should have this key, which is only known to them.

Final Words

SSL Certificate is the basic entity for a website that has eCommerce transactions, shares private information, credits cards numbers and more. SSL Certificate authenticates web servers, ensures security and saves from attackers and hackers who often try to set up fake websites to trick users and steal data. You can go through these well-known and popular SSL certificate authorities for secure communication: HubSpot, Let’s Encrypt, Comodo, Cloudflare, SSL for Free, Install SSL, GeoTrust, GoGetSSL, Godaddy, etc.

Without HTTPS also a website can run but the difference is, it is less secure and vulnerable to attackers. HTTP doesn’t need SSL and doesn’t use encryption as well. If your website is just an informative website, not having an SSL certificate is also fine.

We hope you get everything about the SSL certificate, its necessity, and obtaining ideas. We recommend going through the websites you own.

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