How Much Does an SSL Certificate Cost? Here’s How to Get it at the Cheapest Price

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Thinking of buying a robust SSL certificate that’s easy on your pocket? Here’s what you should know

There was a time when website owners used to wonder whether they need an SSL certificate or not. Times, as many know,  are changing. Thanks to the rising level of web security knowledge and push for encryption by browsers, most business owners and web admins understand the need for SSL/TLS. These changes have caused a massive leap towards a more secure web.

Whenever someone wants to set up an SSL certificate on his/her website for the first time, the first question that comes to his/her mind is “how much does an SSL certificate cost?” To be fair, this is a valid question. However, the answer to this question isn’t as straightforward as people want it to be, because it depends on a lot of factors. Let’s see what impacts the cost of an SSL certificate.

Factors That Affect the Question: “How Much Does an SSL Certificate Cost?”

SSL Certificate Validation Level

Before issuing an SSL certificate, certificate authorities conduct a validation process to determine the legitimacy of the website or organization purchasing the cert. Depending upon the validation process, there are three main types of SSL certificates. They are Domain Validation (DV) SSL certificates, Organization Validation (OV) SSL certificates and Extended Validation (EV) SSL certificates.

Domain Validation (DV) SSL certificates

 As the name suggests, these are certificates in which the ownership of the domain is verified. This process is entirely automated. And as a result, they’re the most affordable SSL certificates. One thing that isn’t involved in the DV SSL certificate validation process is validating your organization/business. In simpler words, these are the most basic SSL certificates.

Get a DV SSL certificate starting at as little as $9.98 per year

Organization Validation (OV) SSL certificates

OV SSL certificates are mid-level SSL certificates that validate the legitimacy of your organization/business. By viewing certificate details, a user can verify whether the website belongs to the organization it claims to be or not. If you want to install an OV SSL certificate on your website, you must validate your organization with the certificate authority (CA) by presenting the required documents. This validation process typically takes 1-3 days. These certificates, because they include your business/organization details, are costlier compared to the basic DV SSL certificates.

Get an OV SSL certificate starting at $33.69 per year

Extended Validation (EV) SSL certificates

EV SSL certificates are the most advanced type of SSL certificate. If you’ve noticed some websites displaying their company/organization names in the address bar (also known as a green bar for some browsers), then those websites have installed EV SSL certificates on their websites. Naturally, you need to go through a stringent validation process to issue an EV SSL certificate from a certificate authority. These certificates cost the highest compared to other SSL types.

Get an EV SSL certificate starting at $88.00 per year

These different levels of validation all affect the answer to the question “how much does an SSL certificate cost?”

How Much Does an SSL Certificate Cost? Looking at SSL Certificate Validity

Many first-time buyers aren’t aware that SSL certificates come with a specific validity period. Right now, the maximum validity period of an SSL certificate is two years. If the validity period is higher, the per-year cost of an SSL certificate reduces.

Number of Domains and Subdomains Secured

Another major factor determining the price of an SSL certificate is the number of domains and subdomains it can secure. SSL certificates that secure a single domain are regarded as Standard SSL certificates. These certificates are typically the most affordable.

If you’re having (or planning to have) subdomains on your website and want to secure them along with your primary domain, then you need to get a Wildcard SSL certificate. A Wildcard SSL cert will allow you to secure an unlimited number of subdomains along with your primary domain. The cost of Wildcard SSL certificates is higher compared to standard SSL certificates.

If you have multiple websites or web properties you need to secure with an SSL certificate and want to save your pocket from burning, then you should get a Multi-Domain (SAN) SSL certificate. This particular cert can protect multiple websites with a single SSL certificate. These certificates are the preferred choice for organizations administering various websites.

And if you have multiple primary domains as well as subdomains to secure, then you don’t need to decide between Wildcard SSL certificates and Multi-Domain SSL certificates because there’s an SSL certificate type that has the benefits of both. It’s called Multi-Domain Wildcard SSL certificates.

SSL Certificate Authority

The price of an SSL certificate depends a lot on the certificate authority that is issuing it. Now one might be confused as to why the name of the CA matters when all SSL certificates provide the same level of security. This is a fair argument on the surface, but there’s more to it than it seems.

Different SSL CAs differ from one another in terms of their infrastructure, customer support, reputation, products, etc. As a result, you see the difference as far as the cost of SSL certificates is concerned. 

With all these factors, it’s fair to wonder what the best options for you are. It’s best to weigh cost and needs to see which options fits you. Therefore, when you are wondering “how much does an SSL certificate cost,” you’ll now know how to vet through your options with more knowledge.

Learn About Standard SSL Certificates