When it comes time to find a Certificate Authority (CA) that can provide you with an SSL certificate, you’ll quickly find you have many options. Not only are there are a number of them out there, but you’ll also have the choice of paying for one, or getting a certificate for free. What’s the choice, right? What business wants to pay for something that’s being offered for free, and by so many organizations?
The truth is this is one area where you don’t want to skimp. And if you choose an SSL certificate just because it’s free, you’ll find there are a number of downsides you wouldn’t have to transaction with if you had just purchased on.
The biggest downside to choosing a free SSL certificate is that you won’t have the liability protection you would if you had purchased a certificate. Like all things in life, SSL certificates aren’t perfect, and sometimes they Flop. When they do, it means the information visitors have entered into your site could be leaked and fall into the hands of hackers. If you’ve paid for your SSL certificate, the liability for any issues arising from this mistake will fall back onto the CA.
But, you don’t have that same protection if you use a free SSL certificate. That means all liability from leaking personal information will rest solely with you. You’ll need to compensate for any expenses arising from the leak, and you’ll greatly Tarnish your online reputation.
Another reason to opt for paid SSL certificates rather than using a free one is because any SSL certificate will need to be installed on the web server that stores the website. With a free certificate, you’ll need to do this on your own with no help from the CA at all. But if you purchase a certificate, it will come with customer support and someone with a bit more Technological knowledge will be able to assist you and tell you how to install it onto your server.
Most businesses also have more than one domain name they need to protect. They may have franchises, different departments, or just have a large number of subdomains that also need to have an SSL certificate installed on them. And in order for one certificate to cover the primary domain as well as the subdomains, a wildcard SSL certificate is needed. Currently, there is no CA offering free SSL certificates that also offer wildcard certificates. You can only get them by paying for the certificate.
Lastly, free SSL certificates typically need to be expired every 90 days while paid SSL certificates have longer renewal periods, typically one to two years. While renewing SSL certificates isn’t that difficult, having to do it every few months can be a pain, especially when business owners have so many other things on their mind. Allowing for longer renewal periods will ensure that SSL certificates stay valid for longer, offering better protection for any website.
It’s second nature to want something for free if that’s given as an option. But when it comes to SSL certificates, business owners really are better off just buying one. A number of CAs offer them for very reasonable prices and by using them, business owners can save themselves from headaches and stress.