Should I use a free SSL or a Paid SSL?

Updated 2 months ago by Theo Chu

Free SSL Certificate

The best part about a free SSL certificate is that it’s, well, free. Canadian Web Hosting shared hosting customers can request to have AutoSSL set up, a free 3-month certification with the option for renewal. There are also SSL companies online that offer free domain-validated (DV) certificates. A DV certificate is a server security certification that provides the lowest level of validation on the market. This is super great for website owners or bloggers that don't need to process payments online.

With that being said, free SSL certificates do have their drawbacks. SSL providers have stricter term lengths and set up limitations for the renewal process. Many companies only offer 3-month SSL certificates, after which the customer has to request to have it renewed again, which means setting up regular reminders for yourself if you go the free route. 

Paid certificates can be purchased from a variety of retailers and they vary in price, from $50-$1000 for a year. They can be expensive but they’re a necessary cost if you are selling things online. If you want customers to feel secure on your website, you’ll need to add an SSL certificate into your business’ budget. Paid certificates offer further liability protection and coverage of affiliated subdomains. If you’re a business owner or own an eCommerce store, think of a paid certificate as insurance. The higher-quality the certificate, the more protection you and your customers will have against potential risks.

In addition to validating your domain like a regular SSL certificate, paid certificates come with Organization Validation (OV) and Extended Validation (EV). OV SSLs mean the actual business behind the website is also verified. OVs are common with corporations, governments, and other entities that want to build an extra level of trust. EV SSLs provide the maximum amount of trust to your visitors and take the most effort to validate. A fully validated EV certificate will display the organization’s name on the left-hand side of your browser in green.

Having trouble? Contact us and our team will be happy to help.


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