Website owners and online users are far more concerned about their security in a time when the number of hacking attempts and fraudulent activity is increasing every day. Therefore, installing an SSL certificate has become a need for any website. SSL certificates are not only a valuable tool for web security, but they may also help you improve your search engine rankings. 

We will explore the differences between “Free SSL” and “Paid SSL” Certificates in this blog article to help you in picking the type of SSL Certificate that best suits the security of your website. 

Let’s start by defining the two: 

Free SSL Certificate? 

Just as the name suggests, a Free SSL Certificate does not cost anything. All websites must now have access to HTTPS as a result of the free SSL certificate availability.  

There are two types of free SSL certificates. Self-Signed Certificates or Certificate Authority Signed Certificates.  A Self-Signed Certificate is one that can be signed without the assistance of a Certificate Authority and they are personally signed by the issuer. A Certificate Authority Signed Certificate is the second sort of free SSL certificate that is offered in the market. A free SSL certificate offers the same level of encryption as a purchased SSL certificate in terms of security, but needs to be re-issued every 90 days. 

Paid SSL Certificates 

To add this type of SSL certificate to a business website you need to pay a fee. A reliable certificate authority issues and signs a paid certificate. You can either buy it directly from the Certificate Authority’s website or from third parties known as “Resellers.” A free SSL certificate offers the exact same level of encryption as a premium one in terms of security.  

Now that you know more about both, you may ask why people opt for the paid SSL Certificate. There are a few key differences that can explain why the paid option is better. Below we will get in to that. 

The key differences between a free and paid SSL certificate 

Type of SSL certificate  

The only option available with free SSL certificates is Domain Validation (DV). Only a minimal level of authentication is offered by DV certificates. They are usually employed for platforms like microsites and blogs.

If you choose to go with the free option Organization Validation (OV) and Extended Validation (EV) certificates are not available.  

While the paid SSL certificates do include the OV & EV choices, which are essential for safeguarding commercial websites. 

Support 

The certificate authorities (CAs) and sellers of purchased certificates are dedicated to giving their clients round-the-clock assistance. These customers are able to choose the assistance method they like, whether it be chat, email, or phone. Free CAs, on the other hand, are unable to afford to provide their clients with the same level of service. You’ll have to dig through many old forum postings if you need assistance with a problem involving free SSL. 

Level of validation 

Before issuing a free certificate, CA only validates the identity of the website owner when it comes to confirming the business information of website owners. Prior to giving the certificate to the website owner for purchased SSL certificates, the identity of the owner must first be verified.
With Organization Validation (OV) and Extended Validation (EV) certificates, the certificate authority fully verifies the company. 

Conclusion 

Today, website owners can benefit greatly from SSL certificates because web security has evolved into a “No Compromise” problem. Free SSL certificates are without a doubt a fantastic option for many, but as was already mentioned, they have some limitations. For someone who wishes to secure their blog or even a small website, they are the perfect option. 

There isn’t much to consider when it comes to real business, is there?
All of the top e-commerce websites would use free SSL certificates if they were suitable, however, they don’t, and there are several reasons for this. Paid SSL certificates can assist in boosting conversion rates by creating a sense of trust in the customer’s mind. Even though it costs a little up front, you will undoubtedly enjoy the benefits later.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s):

How do I get an SSL certificate?

Visit the 1-grid website to browse our various SSL packages. Once you decide on one that fits your business needs, buy it directly from the website.

How much does it cost?

1-grid has 4 packages to choose from, ranging from R219/y to R2419/y. Each package contains its own features.

If you still have some questions regarding SSL certificates feel free to reach out to out expert support staff.