Everything you need to know about SSL certificates

SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates first came on the scene in 1996 to create a security layer between the connection of a website and its end user. In 1999, improvements were made and the name was changed to TLS (Transfer Layer Security). This is the version still in use today, although the old name is more commonly used. Sites that have a functional SSL certificate display a green https prefix to their URL instead of http and often display the little padlock icon.

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Websites that accept sensitive personal or contact information, eCommerce sites and even any sites that require users to login need an SSL certificate to prevent hackers from sidestepping the connection and stealing the information that passed from the user to a website and vice versa. Google recently introduced HTTPS as a ranking signal which means using SSL encryption technology will also help boost your Google search ranking.

HostPapa supports two different brands of SSL certificates: Let’s Encrypt and GlobalSign, though any SSL certificate provider could be used on your account.

Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificates

Let’s Encrypt, run by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG), is a registered Certificate Authority, which means it is one of the authorized companies able to issue SSL certificates. It’s an open source project that aims to secure the entire world wide web. Instead of fumbling with public keys and waiting for hours until your certificate is issued, Let’s Encrypt allows you install a certificate using Shell access, a couple commands and by installing and running Let’s Encrypt’s Automatic Certificate Management Environment (ACME) client.

All shared hosting accounts, reseller hosting accounts and virtual private servers come pre-installed with a Let’s Encrypt SSL for your security and convenience. However, the Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate on your website is not directly managed by you. If you think there’s been an issue with the installation or activation of your Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate, read this article.

GlobalSign SSL Certificates

GlobalSign is a WebTrust-certified certificate authority and provider of Identity Services that offers a diverse range of Identity service solutions including industry-leading SSL certificates. GlobalSign is the first SSL provider to offer a simplified range of SSL Certificates – fitting neatly into the three newly defined SSL classes of Domain Validation (DV), Organization Validation (OV) and Extended Validation (EV). While Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates offer secure enough connections for most small businesses, a GlobalSign certificate adds extra layers of security.

If you are a Business Pro customer, you’ve already got a GlobalSign SSL certificate enabled and active on your account. For Starter, Business and Reseller clients, a GlobalSign SSL may be purchased and enabled on your account at any time. To read more about how a GlobalSign SSL certificate can help your business, and to purchase one, click here.

With GlobalSign SSL certificates, if you purchase an SSL certificate to secure domain.com, it will also secure www.domain.com.

To better understand the limitations and restrictions of SSL certificates, read this article.

For information about how to install third party SSL certificates on your HostPapa site, read this article.

This article is also available in: French Spanish German

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