A Day in the Life of a Website Owner

Today I completed one of the newest admin tasks of being a website owner: buying an SSL certificate for my website.

While I don’t do any eCommerce transactions through it, nor is it an “official” corporate site, my site will still be marked as “not secure” for Chrome browser (v 62+ only) users because I’ve got forms on it. Yes, the little form on my contact page is going to get me all sorts of security warnings through Chrome. Very frustrating.

So I took a look at some of the different options available to me and my little website.

SSL certificate options for SMBs

Wow, there are a TON of options out there! Super-secure with green checkmark for eCommerce sites. Ones with low encryption. Others with high encryption. Short term certificates. Long term certificates.

According to GlobalSign, there are 3 main types of SSL certificates: Extended Validation (EV SSL), Organization Validated (OV SSL) and Domain Validated (DV SSL).

The encryption levels are the same for each certificate, what differs is the vetting and verification processes needed to obtain the certificate and the look and feel of in the browser address bar.

Okay, that’s helpful. Since I’m not selling anything directly on my website like an eCommerce site, I can skip some of the more complex and pricey options. Because I do collect information on my clients though my contact page, I decided to go with one of the less complex options that still offers high encryption security, forces the secure encryption version of my URL (https://spacebarpress.com), and helps me avoid any “mixed content” warnings from browsers like Chrome.

Where to buy an SSL certificate

There are a few options for any website owner:

  • Your hosting company may offer you a basic SSL with your hosting package (like mine does).
  • They may also offer SSLs as an add-on service.
  • Your domain registrar may offer SSLs as an add-on service (like mine does).
  • Buy one from an SSL reseller.

Which option you go with depends on your situation, budget, and comfort level. Before you buy, however, make sure it’s from a reputable company and offers you good protection.

In my case, I simply enabled the SSL add-on in my web hosting panel, filled out a few bits of information, and voila, all done! No more mixed content warnings from Chrome.