February 22, 2024

Ultimate SSL Guide: Certificates to Hosting

SSL certificates have remained a core aspect of web security since their inception during the early days of the Internet. Because SSL certificates keep customer data safe from unauthorized users and facilitate private and secure digital experiences, many website owners use them as an extra layer of protection during online interactions.

SSL certificates unveiled: the A to Z guide

SSL certificates have remained a core aspect of web security since their inception during the early days of the Internet. Because SSL certificates keep customer data safe from unauthorized users and facilitate private and secure digital experiences, many website owners use them as an extra layer of protection during online interactions. 

In fact, 84.9% of all websites use HTTPS, which is powered by SSL, making SSL a standard expectation for any modern website—especially ones that collect any sort of private information from users. 

By learning about the benefits of using SSL security protocols and exploring different SSL certificate options, you can make informed decisions as you develop your digital presence. 

Understanding SSL certificates

SSL, which stands for Secure Sockets Layer, encrypts the connection between a server and a browser, authenticating both parties and protecting any data they share. An SSL certificate is a piece of code that verifies a website’s identity and encrypts any information that visitors share when they use that site. By encrypting the data, the certificate essentially makes the information unreadable while it’s being transmitted from the visitor to the website’s server. 

If your website has a valid SSL certificate, the URL will begin with “https” to indicate its security. Anyone who visits your website can view the certificate’s details to confirm that the site is safe and trustworthy.

When setting up SSL for your site, you may also encounter the term “TLS.” TLS, or Transport Layer Security, is the latest version of the SSL security protocol. It was created to be more efficient and address potential vulnerabilities in the SSL system. Typically, when a website or host mentions SSL, they’re actually referring to TLS. 

Why is SSL important?

SSL is a baseline security requirement for most websites, and it’s essential for protecting both you and your visitors. Having SSL legitimizes your site and shows your customers that you take data security seriously. As a result, SSL is a critical aspect of your technical infrastructure and your overall reputation. 

Explore the key advantages of using SSL below:

Offering secure checkout

SSL encryption allows your customers to safely input their payment and contact details when making purchases. Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance rules require any business that processes or stores payment information to meet certain security standards. 

Thus, you need an SSL certificate to safely and legally conduct e-commerce activities on your website.

Protecting login information

If you allow your customers to create accounts on your site, your SSL certificate protects their login information, keeping their passwords private and secure from potential hackers. It also protects any information they store or process within those accounts, helping build long-term trust in your brand.

Improving SEO

Google and other search engines prioritize websites that have secure SSL certificates. They also penalize those that don’t by lowering their rank or even removing them from search results entirely. As a result, having SSL certification is an essential part of making your website more searchable and visible to customers.

SSL validation levels

When you set up SSL for your site, a certificate authority must first validate your identity to confirm that they’re encrypting data for a legitimate organization. There are three levels of validation that you can pursue:

  • Domain validation (DV) – This is the most relaxed level of validation and involves simply proving ownership of the domain name.
  • Organization validation (OV) – With this validation process, the certificate authority directly reaches out to the organization requesting the certification.
  • Extended validation (EV) – As the highest level of validation, EV certification involves running an extensive background check on the certified organization.

All three levels of validation offer the same level of protection and security. However, organizations that have gone through a more extensive validation process are seen as more trustworthy. 

Getting thoroughly vetted by your certificate authority confirms that your site is a reputable business and shows customers that you’re collecting their data for legitimate purposes. 

Types of SSL certificates

You can also secure different types of SSL certificates based on the size of your web presence. In other words, when operating a secure website, you need to encrypt each page that a visitor might interact with. 

Here are the three types of SSL certificates that you can explore to ensure that your entire digital ecosystem is secure:

  • Single domain – Single domain certificates only apply to a single domain name.
  • Wildcard – When using a wildcard certificate, you can encrypt a single domain and all of its subdomains.
  • Multi-domain – You can use multi-domain SSL certificates to verify multiple websites with different domain names.

The role of SSL in website hosting

Because SSL addresses the connection between a server and a browser, securing SSL certificates is a key aspect of establishing your web hosting. Fortunately, your web hosting provider will set you up with the digital infrastructure you need to publish your web content online, including SSL certificates. When you sign up for your web hosting package, you can select an SSL certification option, which you’ll typically have to renew each year along with your other hosting services. 

By offering SSL certification, hosting providers support overall web security and provide you with the tools you need to keep your data safe. Reputable web hosts can also set you up with different types of certificates and validation levels depending on your unique needs. 

Working with a trusted SSL host is essential for any website, but organizations that handle sensitive data can especially benefit from choosing a provider that’s well-versed in website security.

Choosing the right SSL certificate

When selecting an SSL certificate, think about your overall web security needs. Every website should have some level of protection through SSL encryption, but sites with more extensive operations may want to choose more advanced levels of coverage and validation. 

Before signing up for a certificate, consider factors such as:

  • The number of domains, sub-domains, and affiliated websites you want to encrypt
  • The types of visitor data you’re collecting on your site
  • The level of trust you want to establish with customers

For example, if you’re creating a single portfolio page to showcase a personal project, you may only need a single domain certificate with the basic DV validation. If you want to display multiple projects on different pages within that same site, you could upgrade to a Wildcard option. On the other hand, if you want to set up an online shop, you’ll likely want the highest level of validation to ensure that customers are comfortable trusting you with their payment information. 

As a reputable certificate authority, provides DV, OV, and EV SSL certificates—including certificates from top SSL providers like RapidSSL and Comodo—to support everything from small businesses to large enterprises. Explore flexible Wildcard options that grow with your site as it expands, or check out basic options to secure your data as you first launch your digital presence.

SSL certificates with

By choosing for your SSL certificate, you can effortlessly implement secure web protocols and manage your domain names all on one platform. To set up SSL security with your hosting package, simply select an option and go through an easy SSL domain setup on the product management dashboard. 

Keep in mind that you can connect with the team for support throughout the setup process, ensuring that you and your customers get the full benefits of SSL certification. 

Implementing SSL on your website

Once you sign up for hosting with, it’s easy to upgrade your site with an SSL certificate. Use these step-by-step instructions as a guide when securing your certificate through the platform:

1. Make your selection

Browse’s SSL options and choose the certificate that best matches your security needs. Click “Add to Cart,” and proceed to checkout to purchase the certificate. Once you buy the SSL certificate, you’ll be able to configure it through your account. 

2. Find your SSL add-ons

From your account, navigate to “My Products” to view your hosting package. Then, click on “SSL Certificates.” You’ll see the add-on you purchased along with information about its expiration or renewal date. Click “Setup now” to access the domain setup page. 

3. Complete the setup process

Under “SSL Domain Setup,” type in the domain name you want to secure. Be sure to enter the exact URL, especially when securing a specific subdomain. Then, double-check your contact information on the following form.

4. Update your DNS records

If you’re hosting through, the site will automatically provide you with DNS information and will auto-apply your SSL certificate to the name server. 

5. Keep track of your renewals

When you purchase your certificate, you’ll receive an expiration date, after which you’ll need to renew your SSL. Set up auto-renewals to avoid issues and ensure that you have consistent protection on your site.

Secure your data with’s SSL certificate

Understanding the basics of SSL certificates and how to set them up on your website is critical for building trust with your customers as you get started with web hosting. Fortunately, by hosting your site with, you can easily access a range of secure SSL solutions to establish a reputable online presence and grow your brand with confidence. Learn more about our other solutions, such as SiteLock for enhanced website security.


W3 Techs. Usage statistics of Default protocol https for websites.
Google Search Central. HTTPS as a ranking signal.

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