There’s an old saying, “There is more than one way to skin a cat.” Though I can’t say I’m fond of the phrase, its meaning, that there are several ways of doing something, is one that holds true for a great many things. If you’re wondering how to get an SSL Certificate for a domain, there are several ways to go about it.
On this page, I will cover the following TOPICS on SSL Certificates:
- What is an SSL Certificate?
- What does an SSL Certificate do?
- Why do you Need an SSL Certificate?
- How do you Verify an SSL Certificate?
- How does an SSL Certificate work?
- How do you GET an SSL Certificate?
- Website Costs Adding Up?
- How to Find any website’s SSL Certificate Information
- What Information is Provided on an SSL Certificate?
What is an SSL Certificate?
An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificate is a digital certificate that creates a secure link between a website and a visitor’s browser.
What does an SSL Certificate do?
It authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information sent to the server. When an internet user sends any confidential information, the browser will access the digital certificate and establish a secure connection.
Why do you Need an SSL Certificate?
There are Three Main Reasons why your website should have an SSL Certificate:
- Proves Domain Ownership
- Boosts your Google Ranking
- Protects your Visitors Sensitive Information, including Personal Data and Payment Information
How do you Verify an SSL Certificate?
Verifying a website’s SSL Certificate is very easy!
When you view a website’s URL in a browser, you look for 2 things:
1. The URL will be preceded by https:// (s = secure)
2. Then preceding the https:// will be a padlock icon.
How does an SSL Certificate work?
You don’t have to be techie to understand the basic concept! Here’s what happens:
- A visitor enters you site, and automatically the SSL Certificate creates a secure, encrypted browser connection.
- The visitor will see the https:// and the padlock icon next to your website URL, and will know that they are on a protected website where they can share personal data worry free.
So, now you know what your SSL Certificate IS and how to Verify that it is TURNED ON, but…
How do you GET an SSL Certificate?
How to add https:// and a padlock to your website for site security:
For those of us creating websites at Wealthy Affiliate, we have the fortunate perk of adding Site SSL for FREE!
This is a feature that, outside of Wealthy Affiliate, can be quite expensive. GoDaddy currently charges $80/yr for a basic SSL Certificate, and there are variations thereof that cost into the hundreds, even thousands… per year!
How to turn On your SiteSSL if you are a Wealthy Affiliate Website Builder:
At Wealthy Affiliate, we simply navigate to our Site Manager, scroll down to SitePlus+, and turn Site SSL to On:
If you’re reading this outside of Wealthy Affiliate, then you’ll have to pay a fee for this website security feature through an SSL Certificate provider, such as GoDaddy.
[ OR you can learn how to transfer your website to Wealthy Affiliate to receive a free website builder, free training, free hosting, free Site SSL and much more for one all-inclusive cost-saving membership fee (even if you have multiple websites!). Save with WA! ]
Wealthy Affiliate’s personal SSL Certificate happens to be provided by GoDaddy, but GoDaddy isn’t the only SSL Certificate provider. Prices, of course, vary by provider, and as I already mentioned can be quite expensive, particularly if you have, or want, more than one website. If you are happy to pay the individual provider fee for each website, then you can start your search by looking at some options at GoDaddy.com.
Website Costs Adding Up?
If website costs are adding up fast, then Wealthy Affiliate can help. It provides all of the website necessities for one low annual fee, including the training to build your own website in minutes, the website builder, the website hosting, the SSL Certificate(s), website maintenance, and website support.
Many website owners are able to reduce costs by ditching the excessive programmer’s fees, and individual website maintenance and support fees, in exchange for a DIY approach, complete with step-by-step training. You can have a new website live in minutes.
For more information on DIY websites, see this page: Free Website Building, Hosting, and Support
How to Find any website’s SSL Certificate Information
Once a website’s SSL Certificate is turned On, then you can verify that it’s active, and view your certificate information in three easy steps:
1. Open a browser and go to your website.
2. Click on the padlock to the left of your URL. (If it’s not there yet, don’t worry. Wait a minute, refresh, and look again.)
- You’ll notice when you hover over the padlock that a message pops up which states “View site information.”
- When you click the padlock, you’ll see this:
This tells you the connection is secure (SSL is working), and your Certificate is Valid.
3. Click on “Certificate (Valid),” and this box will appear:
The blacked out lines above are the two spots where you’ll see your website’s complete URL.
What Information is provided on an SSL Certificate?
An SSL Certificate contains the following Information:
- The certificate holder’s name
- The certificate issuer’s name
- The certificate serial number
- The certificate issue date and expiration date
- A copy of the certificate holder’s public key
- The digital signature of the certificate-issuing authority
If your website is hosted through Wealthy Affiliate, then one thing you may notice is that the Expiration date is three months from the Issue date. It is typical of SSL Certificates for the valid dates to be between 90 days and 3 years. For WA Members, this will always show a current period of 90 days. In any case, they are auto renewed, and kept valid, so you don’t have to worry about any true expiration date.
A website’s SSL Certificate is public information, so you may view this with any padlock! Curious about site security on the websites you use most? Go and check out their padlock!
Owner of BuildYourIncomeOnline.com