When you run an e-commerce website, you will understand how important is the security of the website. With so many online fraud cases, consumers are naturally fearful of disclosing their personal information online.
So how do we secure our websites from unauthorized access and assure our customers that our websites are safe? One way is through using good quality SSL certificates. Some web hosting providers offer SSL certificates with their hosting plans, for example HostGator.
What is an SSL
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, an encryption technology that was created by Netscape. SSL creates a secure connection between your web server and your visitors’ web browser allowing for sensitive information to be transmitted without the problems of eavesdropping, tampering, or forgery.
This means that whatever information that your visitors entered are being delivered to your server, in an encrypted format. You can think of it as sending a registered letter instead of a postcard!
Encrypting communications this way is to prevent eavesdroppers or hackers or any other unauthorized person from intercepting and reading them. Your server will know how to decipher them later.
Do you need SSL
Well, let’s take a look at why we need an SSL certificate. Trust. It is hard to gain and easy to lose especially in cyber world. Most Internet users these days are pretty suspicious about how their data are being transferred or used for purposes other than what was intended.
Most visitors/customers would purchase from a website only if they are convince of it being secured. They look for lock icons and color coded address bars. And major credit card companies require that your website be “PCI compliant” before accepting payments. Using SSL is part of this compliant list.
So, if you provide the following services on your website, then you should get a good quality SSL certificate.
- Transmitting or storing credit card information directly – if your website accepts payments through payment processing sites like PayPal and Google Checkout, then you will need SSL.
- Receiving confidential information such as usernames and passwords.
HostGator’s SSL Certificates
Now that we have decided that we need an SSL certificate, the next step is to determine which SSL we require and whether your hosting provider offers it. If you are hosted with HostGator, this step can be easily done.
HostGator offers several types of SSL certificates that come under shared certificates and private certificates.
Shared SSL Certificates
You will be glad to hear that HostGator offers FREE shared SSL certificates for all their shared and reseller plans. A shared certificate provides you secure connection to your HostGator server. The only thing is that it is registered under HostGator and not your domain.
What this means is that you (or other authorized people like your employees) can safely log into a page that you do not want the public to view. For example, an administrative page that only you and your staff should have access to.
However, since it is shared, it is best not to be used for e-commerce purposes.
Private SSL Certificates
HostGator offers Comodo Private SSL certificates. This private certificate can be separately ordered regardless of which hosting plan you have signed up for. Note that you will need a dedicated IP address to have this private SSL installed.
Price ranges from $50 to above $150 per year, depending on the type of certificate. But for the purpose of our discussion, let’s take a look at 2 certificates that you most likely will use.
- Domain Validated Certificate
This costs $50 per year but if you purchase HostGator’s Business Plan or Windows Enterprise Plan, a Domain Validated SSL certificate is included in the hosting plan. The Business Plan packages are from $10.36 per month while the Enterprise Plans are from $14.36 per month.
Use the coupon code “BLUEGATOR25” to get 25% off the prices. This coupon code is guaranteed to work!
- Company Validated Certificate
This certificate is similar to the Domain Validated Certificate but includes your domain’s WHOIS information.
- Domain Validated Certificate
SSL certificates provide an easy and cost effective way to protect your visitors’ information from being siphoned by those with bad intentions. Once the software is installed and the padlock displayed on your website, you will gain your visitors’ trust and they are more likely to purchase from you than those without an SSL certificate.
If you would like a secure web hosting provider who also offers SSL certificates, then give HostGator a try!