If you want to make your website secure then you need to install SSL certificate on your website. You can call it SSL certificates or secure certificates.
What is Secure Certificate or SSL certificate?
Secure certificate or SSL certificate is a certificate which identifies that your website is secure and all the communication which happens between your website and website visitors is also secure. When the SSL certificate has been implemented on your website, the site becomes accessible by HTTPS protocol.
If your certificate is not valid, expired or the authenticity is not verified by the browsers then you will see the error when accessing the site through HTTPS. When you add a SSL certificate to your site, make sure that it is properly set and working otherwise your website won't be accessible.
Why You Should Use SSL for Your Site?
There are many benefits of using SSL certificates. The first benefit is that the communication between your website and visitor's computer is encrypted. So if your website is collecting the visitor's data or any payment information then it's secure.
Even if you have only informative site then also you should keep the SSL certificate for your website. Secure connections gives a trust to your visitor and that will be beneficial to your business.
Another benefit of having secure site is that, Google counts HTTPS protocol as one of the ranking factor. That means Google will be give secure site a ranking boost than the non-secure sites.
What Types of SSL Certificates Available?
There are few types of SSL certificates which are offered by HostGator.
- Free SSL Certificate
- Single Domain SSL Certificate
- Multi Domain SSL Certificate
- Wildcard SSL Certificate
- Extended Validation Certificates
Free SSL Certificates
HostGator offers free SSL certificate but that is available only for HostGator domain. So if you access your website using hostgator domain then only it will work. It won't work with your domain name. It is also called shared SSL certificate on HostGator hosting. If you want to make a secure site then this is of no use. This is only used by HostGator to attract more customers. Nothing else.
Single Domain SSL Certificate
Most of the users will use the certificate on single domain until they have branded company with multiple domains. Single domain certificates are the cheapest and easiest to get. You can immediately get the certificate after verifying the ownership of the domain name.
Multi Domain SSL Certificate
A regular web master with one website don't need this certificate. This certificate is used to make the more than one site secure. This certificate is useful for those who want to secure more than one domain using a single certificate. Usually big companies will require this type of certificate.
Wildcard SSL Certificate
Wildcard SSL certificate is used to make more than one sub domains secure. You can use a single certificate on different sub domains. You don't need to get different certificate for different sub domain.
Extended Validation Certificates
Extended validation certificates are available for single domain as well as multiple domains. An extra verification is performed by the certificate authority to give this type of certificate. Any site using, EV(Extended Validation) certificate will get the company name in URL of site. For example, see the below image for paypal.com. You can see that PayPal, Inc. [US] is written with the Green lock sysmbol.
That means PayPal is using EV certificate. If anyone is using domain validated certificate then you won't see the company name besides the green lock symbol.
Where Can You Buy SSL Certificate?
You can buy the certificate from the HostGator using any of the three techniques.
- Use HostGator billing portal to buy the SSL certificate
- Use the SSL order form at https://www.hostgator.com/ssl
- Contact Billing Support Team
HostGator uses GeoTrust, Comodo and RapidSSL to issue the SSL certificates. Most of single domain validation certificates on HostGator are issued by Comodo and costs $39.99 per year. You can even purchase the certificates directly from a certificate authority but I wouldn't suggest you that because HostGator charges $10 extra to install shared ssl certificates issued by third party. Also the process becomes complex when you want to purchase a third party certificate.
Things to Note Before Purchasing SSL Certificate on HostGator
- SSL certificate requires dedicated IP address which is not included in the share hosting plan. You will have to purchase the dedicated IP which costs $2 per month.
- Only one SSL certificate is allowed per cPanel account. So if you want to make two different sub domains or two different domains secure then you will have to use wildcard certificate or multiple domain certificate respectively. You cannot use two different certificate on a single cPanel.
- You will have to pay renewal charges after SSL certificate expires. Most of the certificates have one year validity. So you will have to renew the certificate every year.
If you are comfortable with the above points then go ahead and make your site secure.
Install SSL Certificate on HostGator
If you have purchased an SSL certificate from HostGator then you don't need to do anything. They will install the certificate on your domain for you. Once the setup is done, you can directly access the site using HTTPS protocol.
If you feel there is something which I should include in this article then please contact me with your details.
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