You know you need SSL but don’t know which SSL you need. It’s a common conundrum. SSL classifications aren’t so obvious to beginners. Like, what the heck is an SSL Wildcard, anyway? This article will explain that and more. Read on to find out which SSL would be perfect for your site.
1. Think about your website type
The first thing you need to do is think about what exactly your website is for. The key thing to decide is the level of interactivity you expect from customers. Do you expect them to submit personal data to use your site or none at all? Do you plan on launching multiple e-commerce sites where customers will make thousands of daily purchases, or is it a simple informational site? These aspects will factor into your decision.
2. Count your domains and subdomains
Next, how many sites and subsites do you have? Do you plan on adding any more later? This will determine the first part of your SSL. There are three SSL types when it comes to the number of sites you have:
- Single-domain SSL: This secures one site
- Multi-domain SSL: This secures 3-100 domains.
- Wildcard SSL: This confusingly named SSL secures one primary domain and unlimited subdomains linked to it. After installing it on your site, you can even create more subdomains, which will be secured automatically.
Once you decide on this, you’re halfway to choosing your SSL! The final thing to do is pick a validation level.
3. Decide on the perfect validation level
Before a Certificate Authority (CA) issues an SSL, they need to verify that person or business requesting it is who they say they are. This process is known as validation. Validation encompasses three levels. They range from simple to extensive. The three validation levels are:
- Domain validation: At the simplest level, the CA will simply check that you can access the site’s admin email. Usually complete in a few minutes.
- Organization validation: The CA performs more extensive checks, such as calling your company premises.
- Extended validation: The most extensive form of validation and included cross-checking government records. Can take several days.
As a general rule of thumb, the simpler your site, the simpler the validation you should choose. For anything requiring purchases, logins, or sign-up forms, you should probably get business validation (the latter two).
SSL can initially seem complicated, but they’re pretty simple once you break down the moving parts. Hopefully, you can now choose the best one for your site with ease.