Standard SSL certificates are the most basic form of digital certificate you can obtain from a certificate authority (CA) to secure your website. In this day and age of cyberattacks, it goes without saying that a visitor’s trust is vital if you’re looking to retain your customers on your website. With Google flagging sites without a valid SSL certificate as “Insecure,” and with the digital certificate industry rising to the occasion by providing a host of solutions tailored to meet different requirements, there’s no good reason not to get one to secure your website.
Before we dive into how to obtain a standard SSL certificate for your WordPress website, let’s take a sneak peek at some of its features and how this type of certificate works.
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What Are the Features and Benefits of a Standard SSL Certificate?
Now that we understand what a standard SSL certificate is let’s look at some of the advantages of using these certs!
- Quick and Easy Issuance: The certificate issuance process takes only a few minutes. That’s because standard SSL/TLS certificates only require domain validation (DV) by a CA.
- Affordable Pricing: It is the most basic form of SSL certificates offered at the entry-level and is usually available at the lowest price point.
- Compatibility: All standard SSL certificates are compatible with all modern browsers and devices
- Customer Support: You can get on a live chat with a web security expert or submit a ticket to the support team available at your service 24/7, 365 days a year. In addition, you can also find answers to your questions in the knowledge base or under FAQs.
- Encryption Strength: Standard SSL certificates provide the same level of encryption as other digital certificates. Sectigo offers up to SHA-256 bit encryption strength with RSA 2048-bit signature key.
- Unlimited Server Licensing: Your standard SSL certificate can be installed on multiple servers at no extra cost.
- Warranty: Comes with a generous warranty for liability protection just in case something goes wrong with your standard SSL certificate.
- Secure WWW and non-WWW Domains. Standard SSL certificate secures both the www and non-www versions of the site. For example, www.site.com and site.com will both be accessible over the secure HTTPS protocol.
- Site Seal and Padlock: Visual indicators of trust, such as a site seal and padlock, are presented to help boost customer confidence.
- Google Approved: A standard SSL certificate helps your website to boost its Google rankings, especially when compared to a site with no SSL certificate.
How Does a Standard SSL Certificate Work?
An SSL certificate provides an encrypted communication channel between a client browser and the server it is talking to. It prevents any eavesdropper listening in on the network from stealing any data transmitted over the wire. How does it do that? To answer that, we’ll need to understand what happens behind the scenes once we enter a web address into our client browsers and hit enter:
- When the client browser (like Chrome, Firefox, etc.) sends a request to a website (www.example.com), it’ll first check whether the server it’s hosted on has a digital certificate associated with the website. If a certificate is present, the client and the server initiate an SSL handshake to begin establishing a secure connection.
- The server will share its certificate along with the public key, and the client will verify the validity of the certificate with a third-party trusted CA. If this verification step fails, a secure session won’t establish and the connection will abort.
- However, once trust is established and encryption protocols are negotiated, the client will create a pre-master secret key that it encrypts using the server’s public key before sending it over.
- Since the server holds its private key, it can decrypt the information using it to obtain the same shared pre-master secret key that the client holds. They both use this key to generate the symmetric key that they will use for the rest of the session. If the session ends, a new symmetric session key will generate for the next session.
- Once both the server and the client finish calculating the keys, the bulk data transmission process begins using symmetric encryption. At this point, all your data travels through a secure encrypted channel, and any attacker sniffing the network will only be able to read garbled encrypted data and not the original values or messages.