SSL certificates are an important part of website security. They protect communication between your website and your users. But, what are the different types of SSL certificate and what do they mean?
The number of websites using an SSL certificate has been increasing rapidly. By the end of 2020 over 95% of Google Chrome website visits used HTTPS. Using an SSL certificate protects sensitive information which users send to your website. They also help to improve the trust users place in your site and factor into where tour website ranks in search engine results.
However, when you choose an SSL certificate for your website, it is important to choose the right one.
Types of SSL Certificate
There are a few different types of SSL certificate which are slightly different to each other. To try and understand the differences, we can look at the marketing information from one of the SSL certificate vendors, Sectigo.
A domain is your website address (e.g. google.co.uk is Google’s domain). Sectigo describe market domain validation (DV) SSL certificates as follows.
Simple, affordable, and lightning fast. Domain Validation SSL is the most basic, requiring a simple domain control check before issuance.Sectigo
This type of SSL certificate provides an extra layer of protection by verifying your organisation. Sectigo market organisation validation (OV) SSL certificates as follows.
Light business vetting is all that’s required to obtain a Sectigo OV SSL certificate. OV SSL certificates can secure IP addresses, too, making them an ideal fit for enterprises.Sectigo
These are top-tier SSL certificates which intend to provide the highest level of protection. Sectigo markets extended validation (EV) SSL certifies as follows.
After Sectigo performs an in-depth vetting of your organization your website will receive special treatment from the browsers. Your organization’s verified name will now appear in the browser’s address bar.Sectigo
How do web browsers display SSL certificates?
When a website is using an SSL certificate, web browsers display a padlock symbol to the user to show the connection is secure. However, according to Sectigo when your website uses an EV SSL certificate “your organisation’s verified name will now appear in the browser’s address bar” as well.
Let’s look at a few examples below.
As you can see the different types of certificate are displayed the same way in Google Chrome. You can only see a difference when you click on the padlock for additional details.
Which type of SSL certificate do you need?
Web browsers have now removed the organisation name from the address bar for EV SSL certificates. As a result, there is not much difference to users of your website unless they examine the certificate more closely.
All types of SSL certificate will secure the connection between your website and the user. The main difference is the amount of organisation information present in the certificate. The exact type of SSL certificate you need, depends upon your organisation and the intention of your website.
Today there are a range of SSL certificate vendors. These range from free vendors such as Let’s Encrypt to paid vendors such as Sectigo and GlobalSign.
If you need any help with finding the right SSL certificate for your website, get in touch and we can guide you through the process.