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If you’re having trouble finding the right SSL certificate provider, we’re here to help. We have thoroughly researched more than 25 providers to narrow down a list of the very best. The best SSL certificate provider is Comodo. It has everything you need, its products are affordably priced, and it thoughtfully serves its customers.
The Best SSL Certificate Provider for Most
Most people needing an SSL certificate for their website should take a hard look at Comodo. Comodo has top-notch customer support along with every validation level and SSL certificate type most people need. Its price match guarantee ensures its customers are getting the best deal possible. It also keeps buyers educated through its knowledge base and video series.
The Best SSL Certificate Provider Options to Consider
- Comodo – Best for Most
- Entrust – Best for Organization Validation
- GoDaddy – Best for Extended Validation with One Domain
- DigiCert – Best for Large Enterprises Needing Maximum Security
- RapidSSL – Best for Domain Validated Certificates
When It Makes Sense to Invest Into an SSL Certificate Provider
SSL certificates come with different uses and features, but their overarching mission is the same. SSL certificates create safety, trust, and credibility for websites. Purchasing an SSL certificate will allow your readers or customers to feel protected when entering sensitive information on your site.
It’s time to purchase an SSL certificate when you start asking your website visitors to enter information. SSL certificates secure information like legal contracts, login credentials, credit card info, home addresses, and phone numbers. The more sensitive the information, the greater the need for a certificate.
For example, let’s pretend you own an ecommerce store selling expensive camera equipment. A customer is prepared to purchase a $1,000 camera lens but changes her mind when she sees the sketchy check-out page. The URL reads “Not Secure”, and there’s no guarantee that you aren’t another internet scammer.
Failing to fix things like this will cost you sales and hurt your reputation with customers. Especially when you start taking customer credit card information, it is crucial you invest in an SSL certificate.
#1 – Comodo — The Best for Most
Comodo is the best SSL certificate provider for most because of its variety of solutions, caring customer service, and competitive pricing. There are many providers that offer SSL certificates as a small aspect of their business. Comodo specializes in SSL certificates, and it shows through its large yet targeted product inventory.
The company has an arsenal of extended validation (EV), organization validation (OV), and domain validation (DV) products. It offers wildcard and multi-domain certificates so purchasers can protect all their subdomains at once.
It’s common for potential customers to be unclear and confused when purchasing SSL certificates from a provider. Especially from one that offers several different products.
Comodo does an excellent job of addressing this by including thoughtful explanations of the different SSL types on its website. It also includes product descriptions that convey what specific needs each one addresses.
We believe poor customer service disqualifies companies from being at the top of the industry. Customer service is especially important with SSL certificate providers. There are many steps to setting up a certificate and the renewal process can be tricky.
Fortunately, Comodo understands this and places extreme importance on customer support. It gives users the ability to contact its experts 24/7 via phone call, live chat, or e-mail. It also educates customers by providing them a knowledge base, glossary, and video series.
Let’s face it, no one wants to overpay for an SSL certificate. Comodo understands this and claims it has the best pricing in the industry. To ensure its promise, it offers a price match guarantee. If you find a competitor offering a lower price for the same product, simply send Comodo an email and their team will send you a coupon code.
On top of this generous offer, Comodo has a 30-day money-back guarantee on all its products. The price match and money-back guarantees show Comodo’s extreme confidence in its products and their prices.
Comodo’s pricing for its domain-validated SSL certificates starts at $7.02 per year. Its organization validated SSL certificates start at $27.44 per year. Its extended validation SSL certificates start at $72.18 per year. Comodo offers several products for each validation type so prices vary. Its low prices and price match guarantee ensure you always get the best deal.
#2 – Entrust — The Best for Organization Validation
If you need an SSL certificate specializing in organization validation, Entrust is your best option. Entrust offers only five SSL products, and four of them are organization validated (OV) certificates.
Entrust lets users cancel and reissue SSL certificates without charging fees. This is important for organizations that may need to pivot to a different OV certificate quickly. If you need to cancel, Entrust will give you a prorated refund for the remaining time period on your term.
Its OV certificates are compatible with over 99.9% of mobile and desktop browsers. It has award-winning customer support, and all its certificates are identity checked. Its knowledge base educates organizations on SSL certificates and how they operate.
Entrust offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all its industry-compliant products. Its lowest priced product is the Standard OV SSL certificate offering one domain. It costs $199 per year. Its Advantage OV certificate includes two domains and costs $239 per year.
It also has two multi-domain certificates costing $319 and $429. Its high-end product is the Wildcard OV certificate. It includes unlimited subdomains and costs $699 per year. Both the multi-domain and wildcard certificates allow enterprise accounts. Entrust does not have the lowest prices on the market, but they are very competitive.
#3 – GoDaddy — The Best for Extended Validation with One Domain
Although GoDaddy’s main source of business is through web hosting, it also offers SSL certificates. With GoDaddy’s pricing structure, users don’t pay extra for extra validation. Instead, prices only increase based on the number of domains and subdomains protected.
This is a huge advantage for an organization that needs maximum security through extended validation (EV) but with only one domain to cover. GoDaddy offers award-winning 24/7 customer support, a 30-day money-back guarantee, and unlimited servers and reissues. All plans are available in domain validated, organization validated, and extended validation format.
With GoDaddy, you can protect one website with a standard level of SSL validation for $69.99 per year, an entire website with SSL encryption plus enhanced site security for $99.99 per year, or leave the complete installation and management to GoDaddy to take care of on your site for $119.99 per year. Its multi-domain certificate costs $159.99 per year (for 5 to 100 sites), and its Wildcard Certificate costs $295.99 per year.
While you can take advantage of the low price for the single domain EV certificate, beware of the renewal fees. All its plans have renewal fees that are higher than the cost of signing up, which is a little disappointing.
Easily secure an extended validation for your site through GoDaddy.
#4 – DigiCert — The Best for Large Enterprises Needing Maximum Security
DigiCert does a good job of positioning themselves as the SSL certificate for large enterprises needing top-notch security. It secures 81% of global ecommerce transactions, and 97% of the world’s largest banks use DigiCert.
Delayed validation times are common with SSL certificates, especially EV SSLs. Most of DigiCert’s products promise issuance after only one day. It also offers enormous warranties of up to $2 million on certain products. DigiCert has a site seal that increases business conversion rates. Its 24/7 customer support can be reached via email, live chat, and phone call.
Its SSL certificates are broken into three categories. The Basic SSL certificates are compatible with the major browsers and start at $238 per year. Secure Site SSL certificates are the next step up. These come with a $1.75 million warranty, priority validation and support, blocklist check, and a DigiCert secured seal. These plans start at $399 per year.
DigiCert’s highest tier certificates are the Secure Site Pro SSLs. These include certificate transparency (CT) log monitoring and a vulnerability assessment. These plans start at $995 per year. DigiCert is expensive. If you’re looking for something on the cheaper end, this is not the provider for you.
#5 – RapidSSL — The Best for Quick Domain Validation
Best for Quick Domain Validation
If all you need is a basic, cheap SSL certificate that you can set up quickly, don’t bother with anything big or fancy. Just grab a DV certificate from RapidSSL. It’s not maximum security, but it’ll get the basic job done for an accessible price.
RapidSSL is an inexpensive SSL certificate provider that’s great for domain validation. It was bought out by DigiCert but is still its own brand. It has single domain and wildcard DV options for purchase.
DV domains are great for people who have a blog and are taking reader’s information, but who don’t necessarily need maximum security. It advertises quickly bringing basic encryption to websites and comes with a trustworthy seal.
It has only two certificates. The RapidSSL Certificate is its standard certificate. It costs $17.95 per year if you commit to one year and $11.59 per year if you commit to six. The RapidSSL Wildcard Certificate costs $149 per year if you commit to one year and $110.47 per year if you commit to six.
RapidSSL is nothing fancy. If you need an SSL certificate for legitimate business purposes, look elsewhere. It’s a cheap SSL certificate meant for domain validation and quick issuance.
Methodology for Choosing the Best SSL Certificate Provider
Choosing an SSL certificate provider can be tricky. There are countless options, types, and plans. It’s also common to have a knowledge gap between the provider and the customer. The three most important criteria to consider are the validation levels offered, certificate types available, and the provider’s customer support.
There are countless website owners who need an SSL certificate, but don’t know anything about them. It’s so important to know the different validation levels and what they’re used for. The three main validation levels of SSL certificates are domain validated (DV), organization validated (OV), and extended validation (EV).
DV SSL certificates are cheaper and require less effort to obtain. There is no need to submit company documents or wait extended periods of time for certificate approval. However, a DV SSL certificate is less trustworthy because all it does is verify who the site owner is.
OV SSL certificates are a step up from DV. They are good for business, nonprofit, and government organizations that need a steady trust level for less sensitive transactions. These certificates usually take a few days to obtain because they require company information like domain name and location.
EV SSL certificates offer the greatest level of trust. If you run a business handling highly sensitive information and transactions, you must invest in an EV SSL certificate. It’s the easiest for your customers to identify and has the greatest amount of security. Websites that are this secure show a padlock and have green company letters in the URL bar.
Obtaining an EV SSL certificate is more expensive and takes longer. To get one, applicants must verify the existence of the business, show corporate documents, and the business must be cross-checked by a third-party database.
Once you decide how many domains and subdomains you need to get certified, you must understand which SSL certificate type is needed. The three main types are single domain, wildcard, and multi-domain.
A single-domain SSL certificate is straightforward. It only authenticates pages that are under one domain. For example, it would cover www.crazyegg.com, www.crazyegg.com/blog, and www.crazyegg.com/pricing.
Single domain certificates do not cover subdomains. If you only need SSL certifications for one website without subdomains, a single domain certificate will get the job done.
Wildcard SSL certificates authenticate one domain and include subdomains. A hypothetical example of a subdomain is mail.business.com. Wildcard certificates are typically more expensive than single domain certificates. If your website has subdomains, you will want to select a wildcard plan.
Finally, a multi-domain SSL certificate covers more than one domain name. This allows someone with more than one website to get them all covered. You should purchase a multi-domain SSL certificate if you have more than one domain name you need to authenticate.
Finding an SSL certificate provider with excellent customer support is vital. There are certain products where customer support is not as important. SSL certificates are not one of them.
Many people purchasing SSL certificates barely understand what they do, let alone how to implement them. You need to find an SSL certificate provider that is willing to help you with onboarding and that is easy to work with.
Some customer support buzzwords to look out for are “award-winning”, “24/7”, “phone calls, emails, and live chat”, and “quick response”. These show the provider cares about its customers even after the point of sale. Setting up an SSL certificate can be confusing, and you need to be sure you’re in the right hands.
Whether your website has high ticket transactions or simply collects phone numbers, you need an SSL certificate. This shows your readers and customers that their information is secure and that your domain is credible.
Understanding the difference between wildcard and single domain certificates is essential. It’s also important to become familiar with domain validated, organization validated, and extended validation SSL certificates.
While Comodo is the best provider for most, it’s not necessarily best for you. Entrust is an excellent provider of OV certificates while GoDaddy is great for single domain certificates. If you don’t need much security, RapidSSL is a good option. If you need the opposite, consider DigiCert for your SSL certificate needs.