· ssl basics · 15 min read

SSL Certificate Costs

When it comes to understanding the cost of an SSL certificate, there are several factors to consider that can significantly influence the final price.

When it comes to understanding the cost of an SSL certificate, there are several factors to consider that can significantly influence the final price.

SSL Certificate Costs

In the digital era, where privacy and security have become paramount, SSL Certificates play a crucial role. SSL, an acronym for Secure Sockets Layer, is a standard technology that safeguards an internet connection by securing data that is transmitted between a browser and a web server.

Brief Explanation of SSL Certificates

An SSL Certificate acts as an electronic document that authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts the information being sent to the server using SSL technology. This encryption ensures that sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords, and credit card numbers, is kept secure and private. To gain a deeper understanding of this, you might want to learn what is SSL and how does SSL work.

Importance of SSL Certificates for Website Owners

For website owners, SSL Certificates are not just an optional addition but rather a necessity in the current digital landscape. These certificates are pivotal for three main reasons:

  1. Enhanced Security: SSL Certificates protect your site’s data and your users’ information from potential cyber threats and data breaches.

  2. SEO Boost: Google gives a ranking boost to secure HTTPS/SSL sites, so having an SSL Certificate can also benefit your site’s SEO.

  3. Increased Trust: When visitors see the secure padlock icon or the ‘HTTPS’ in your web address, they’re more likely to trust your site. This can lead to increased user engagement and potentially higher conversion rates.

By understanding these benefits, it becomes clear that the cost of obtaining an SSL Certificate should be factored into the budget of every serious website owner. In the next sections, we will delve deeper into SSL Certificate costs and how they can vary.

Understanding SSL Certificate Cost

Factors That Influence SSL Certificate Cost

When it comes to understanding the cost of an SSL certificate, there are several factors to consider that can significantly influence the final price.

Firstly, the level of validation required is a crucial aspect. There are three main types of SSL certificates: Domain-Validated (DV), Organization-Validated (OV), and Extended Validation (EV). Each of these offers varying degrees of security and validation, with DV being the least expensive and EV being the most.

Secondly, the number of domains or subdomains you wish to secure can also affect the cost. Single domain SSL certificates only secure one domain, while wildcard and multi-domain SSL certificates, which secure multiple subdomains or domains, respectively, are typically more expensive.

Thirdly, the reputation and service offerings of the SSL provider can impact the price. Established, reputable providers often charge more, but they also typically offer better customer service and have proven trustworthiness over time.

Lastly, the length of the certificate’s validity period is another important factor. SSL certificates usually need to be renewed every one to two years, and the longer the term, the higher the cost.

Estimate of Average SSL Certificate Cost

Given the factors mentioned above, SSL certificate costs can vary widely. On the lower end of the spectrum, a basic Domain-Validated SSL certificate can cost as little as $10 to $50 per year. On the other hand, an Extended Validation SSL certificate from a well-established SSL certificate authority can run anywhere from $100 to over $500 per year.

It’s worth noting that these are average ranges and actual prices can vary significantly depending on the specific circumstances and needs of the website owner. For instance, securing multiple subdomains or opting for a multi-year certificate can add to the cost.

Also, keep in mind that while cost is an important consideration, it should not be the only factor when choosing an SSL certificate. The level of security and trust that a certificate can bring to your website is equally, if not more, important, especially when considering the potential impact on SEO and user trust.

In summary, it’s essential to weigh the cost of an SSL certificate against the value it brings to your website and business. Having a clear understanding of the factors that influence the cost of an SSL certificate can help you make an informed decision that balances both your budget and your security needs.

Types of SSL Certificates and Their Costs

Navigating the digital landscape involves understanding the nuances of security measures, one of which is the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. There are different types of SSL certificates available, each offering varying levels of validation and, consequently, costs. Let’s delve into the three main types: Domain-Validated SSL Certificate, Organization-Validated SSL Certificate, and Extended Validation SSL Certificate.

Domain-Validated SSL Certificate

The most basic type of SSL certificate is the Domain-Validated (DV) SSL Certificate. This certificate provides the lowest level of validation, only requiring domain ownership verification. Because of its minimal validation process, it’s also the most affordable SSL certificate. The cost ranges from free to around $100 per year. Though it offers essential encryption, it doesn’t provide robust assurance to your website visitors about your company’s identity, as no company information is checked or displayed.

Organization-Validated SSL Certificate

A step above the DV SSL Certificate is the Organization-Validated (OV) SSL Certificate. This certificate verifies not only your domain ownership but also your organization’s existence and legitimacy. The process involves checking your business details against a trusted third-party database. The price for an OV SSL Certificate lies between $50 and $200 annually. This certificate offers an elevated level of trust compared to the DV SSL, as it displays your company information to your website visitors.

Extended Validation SSL Certificate

The most comprehensive and expensive type of SSL certificate is the Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificate. This certificate involves a stringent validation process where your business undergoes a thorough examination before issuance. The cost ranges from $100 to over $500 per year, but the investment may be worth it as it provides the highest level of user trust. The EV SSL Certificate showcases your company’s name in the address bar, offering a clear indicator of your site’s enhanced security measures.

Whether you opt for a DV, OV, or EV SSL Certificate will largely depend on your budget and the level of trust you wish to establish with your website visitors. Each certificate type carries its own merits and considerations, which you should weigh carefully. For further understanding of the SSL certificates, you can refer to what is ssl and how does ssl work. Remember, investing in an SSL certificate is not just about securing data—it’s also about building trust with your audience and safeguarding your online reputation.

Ways to Get a Free SSL Certificate

Securing your website doesn’t always have to come at a price. In the vast digital sphere, there are several reliable avenues that website owners can explore to obtain an SSL certificate for free. Let’s delve into three of the most popular free SSL providers: Let’s Encrypt, Cloudflare, and SSL For Free.

Let’s Encrypt

Let’s Encrypt is a renowned non-profit certificate authority that provides SSL certificates at zero cost. This organization aims to make encrypted connections in the World Wide Web ubiquitous. By eliminating the complex process of manual creation, validation, signing, installation, and renewal of certificates for secure websites, Let’s Encrypt has made the internet a safer place for its users.

The SSL certificates provided by Let’s Encrypt are domain-validated, implying that the certificate authority has verified that the certificate holder has control over the domain. This, however, means that they do not offer the higher levels of security provided by organization-validated or extended validation SSL certificates.


Cloudflare is a globally recognized web infrastructure and website security company offering a myriad of services, including a free SSL certificate. With a strong commitment to enhancing internet security, Cloudflare generates and deploys an SSL certificate to your domain within minutes of the domain being added to their system.

Besides the standard SSL certificate, Cloudflare also offers an array of security features like DDoS protection, a Web Application Firewall (WAF), and a Content Delivery Network (CDN). Although their free SSL certificate is domain-validated, similar to Let’s Encrypt, the added security features make Cloudflare a compelling choice for website owners.

SSL For Free

SSL For Free, as the name implies, offers SSL certificates at no cost. These certificates are provided by ZeroSSL, another well-respected name in the SSL industry. SSL For Free offers both manual and automatic methods for certificate setup and renewal. This flexibility caters to a wide range of user competencies, from tech-savvy individuals comfortable with manual installation to newcomers in need of automatic setup and maintenance.

Though SSL For Free provides domain-validated SSL certificates, it also guides website owners on how to upgrade to an extended validation SSL certificate, for those seeking a higher level of security.

In conclusion, website owners should not be deterred by the potential cost of SSL certificates. Free options exist, like Let’s Encrypt, Cloudflare, and SSL For Free. Each offers a domain-validated SSL certificate and aid in the process of SSL certificate installation. While these free certificates may not offer the same level of validation as paid versions, they still significantly enhance website security and user trust. For further understanding of SSL certificates, explore what is ssl and how does ssl work.

How to Install an SSL Certificate

Step-by-Step Guide

Installing an SSL certificate can seem like a daunting task, especially for the uninitiated. However, the process is simpler than it may initially appear, and we have prepared an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide for you.

  1. Purchase an SSL Certificate: The first step is to buy an SSL certificate from a trusted SSL certificate authority. There are various types to choose from, each catering to different needs and budgets.

  2. Generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR): The CSR is a block of encoded text that includes information about your website and your organization. It’s an essential part of getting your SSL certificate issued. You can generate this through your web hosting account or server.

  3. Submit Your CSR: Once the CSR is generated, you need to submit it to the Certificate Authority you purchased the certificate from. They will use this to create your SSL certificate.

  4. Install Your SSL Certificate: After your certificate is issued, you can install it on your website. This is typically done via your web hosting account’s cPanel or similar control panel. If you’re unsure about how to do this, refer to our comprehensive guide on SSL certificate installation.

  5. Update Your Website to Use HTTPS: After installing the SSL certificate, you need to update your site to use HTTPS instead of HTTP. This can usually be done through your website’s settings or by using a plugin if your site is built on a platform like WordPress.

  6. Verify Your SSL Certificate: Finally, test your website to ensure the SSL certificate is working correctly. You can do this by checking the URL. If it begins with ‘https’, your SSL certificate has been successfully installed.

1. Purchase SSL CertificateFrom a trusted SSL authority
2. Generate CSRVia your web hosting account
3. Submit CSRTo your SSL certificate authority
4. Install SSL CertificateVia your web hosting account’s control panel
5. Update Website to HTTPSThrough website’s settings or a plugin
6. Verify SSL CertificateCheck if your URL begins with ‘https’

These steps offer a simplified overview of how to install an SSL certificate. The exact process may vary depending on your hosting provider and the type of SSL certificate you choose. For a deeper understanding of how SSL certificates work, you can visit how does SSL work.

Remember, the installation of an SSL certificate is not just a technical necessity; it is a vital component of your website’s security and integrity. It safeguards your users’ data, boosts your SEO ranking, and builds user trust — a trifecta that’s hard to beat.

The Cost of Not Having an SSL Certificate

Impact on SEO

In the realm of online visibility, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) stands as a beacon guiding the web traffic towards your website. SSL certificates, an integral component of website security (learn more about what is SSL), play a significant role in boosting your website’s ranking on search engines like Google.

Google and other search engines prioritize sites that ensure user safety, and an SSL certificate is considered a vital safety measure. Without this badge of security, your website might lag behind in the race for the top spot on search engine result pages (SERPs). The absence of an SSL certificate could result in search engines labeling your site as “Not Secure,” which could deter potential visitors and negatively impact your website’s SEO performance. In essence, not having an SSL certificate could lead to a reduction in your website’s visibility and organic traffic.

Decreased User Trust and Potential Revenue Loss

In the digital age, where cyber threats lurk around every corner, establishing trust with your users is paramount. An SSL certificate plays a crucial role in building this trust by assuring visitors that their data is safe and secure.

Without an SSL certificate, browsers will label your website as “Not Secure.” This warning may raise red flags for users, making them less likely to interact with your site or make purchases, leading to a significant drop in conversion rates and potential revenue loss.

Furthermore, a study by GlobalSign indicates that 84% of users would abandon a purchase if they knew the website was not secure. This demonstrates the significant impact a lack of SSL certification can have on a website’s profitability.

To summarize, the cost of not having an SSL certificate transcends the realm of financial implications. It can erode user trust, decrease your website’s visibility, and significantly impact your bottom line. Therefore, investing in an SSL certificate is not only a smart but a necessary move for website owners.

In the next section, we will explore various ways to get a free SSL certificate for your website, including options like Let’s Encrypt, Cloudflare, and SSL For Free.


Summary and Importance of Budgeting for SSL Certificate Cost

As we draw the curtain on this exposition, it’s imperative to recap the salient points. We explored the concept of SSL certificates, taking a deep dive into their importance for website owners, the costs involved, and the impact of not having one on your site.

SSL certificates, as we have discovered, play a crucial role in guaranteeing the security of a website. They ensure that sensitive information transmitted across the internet is encrypted and safe from prying eyes. Therefore, as a website owner, understanding the cost of SSL certificates and incorporating them into your budget is not just an option, but a necessity.

With an array of providers and various types of SSL certificates available, the cost can range widely. Factors such as the level of validation, warranty, and the certificate authority can significantly influence the price. Thus, it’s essential to comprehend these factors in order to make an informed decision that suits your budget and website needs.

We also explored the possibility of acquiring an SSL certificate at no cost. While this might be a viable option for some, it’s important to remember that paid SSL certificates often come with additional benefits, such as higher levels of validation and customer support.

The absence of an SSL certificate can have detrimental effects on your website. Not only can it lead to a drop in your SEO rankings, but it can also reduce user trust, potentially leading to revenue loss. Hence, the cost of an SSL certificate should be viewed as an investment rather than an expense.

In essence, the importance of budgeting for an SSL certificate cost cannot be overemphasized. As a website owner, your goal should be to provide a secure environment for your users, and an SSL certificate is a vital tool in achieving this.

Remember, when it comes to security, cutting corners can prove costly in the long run. Therefore, take the time to understand the different options available, consider the benefits and drawbacks, and choose a certificate that aligns with your security needs and budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it necessary to have an SSL certificate for every website?

Yes, it’s necessary for all websites to have an SSL certificate. Not only does it secure your website, but it also improves its credibility and SEO rankings.

How often do I need to renew my SSL certificate?

SSL certificates typically need to be renewed every one to two years. However, the exact length can vary depending on the certificate authority.

Can I switch SSL providers if I find a better price?

Yes, you can switch SSL providers if you find one that offers better value. However, it’s important to consider other factors such as the level of validation, warranty, and customer support provided.


Is it necessary to have an SSL certificate for every website?

Absolutely! SSL Certificates, which you can learn more about here, are essential for every website. They ensure that your site’s visitors have a secure, encrypted connection, protecting their information from potential hackers or data breaches. So, whether you’re running a personal blog or a multinational e-commerce site, having an SSL certificate is non-negotiable. It not only boosts your website’s security but also enhances its credibility in the eyes of your audience.

How often do I need to renew my SSL certificate?

SSL certificates aren’t perpetual; they have a specific lifespan and require periodic renewal. Most SSL certificates have a validity period of one to two years. Upon expiration, it’s critical to renew them promptly to prevent any interruptions to your website’s security and the trust of your visitors. If you’re unsure about the renewal process, you can follow this SSL certificate installation guide, which also covers the renewal steps.

Can I switch SSL providers if I find a better price?

Yes, you certainly can switch SSL providers if you come across a more cost-effective alternative. It’s a consumer-friendly market, and you have the liberty to choose an SSL provider that offers value for money while meeting your specific needs. However, it’s crucial to remember that while price is an important factor, it shouldn’t supersede the quality and reliability of the SSL certificate. Always ensure the provider you choose is a recognized SSL certificate authority.

In conclusion, having an SSL certificate for your website is crucial, not just for the security it provides but also for the confidence it instills in your visitors. Make sure to renew it regularly and don’t hesitate to switch providers if you find a better deal. However, always prioritize quality and credibility over cost savings.

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