The best SSLs for different website types

So, you’re about to launch a super cool website but need to finish securing it. For a well-rounded security arsenal, you’ll of course need an SSL certificate. But you’re stuck on whether to get a Wildcard certificate from Namecheap or a Multi-domain certificate from another vendor. You’re not alone. When starting out, everyone has trouble figuring out the best SSL for their site. The following guide should help you make a decision!

You need to remember that SSL certificates are made up of two categories: the number of domains or subdomains you wish to secure and the validation level. SSLs based on the number of sites you have is reasonably straightforward. They are:

  1. Single-domain SSL
  2. Multi-domain SSL
  3. Wildcard SSL

The first two are self-explanatory, but what about a WIidcard? That secures a single primary domain and unlimited subdomains of one level linked to it. 

Validation is the process of issuing Certificate Authorities (CAs) verifying you or your company before sending you an SSL certificate. There are three levels, ranging from Simply checking you have access to the website’s admin email to cross-checking government records for the existence of your business. The higher the validation level, the more info about your company can be accessed by users in the SSL itself. The validation level you choose depends on your website type. The three types are:

  1. Domain validation (DV): Simplest
  2. Organization validation (OV): Medium
  3. Enterprise validation (EV): Most extensive.

Now that you have the basics down, here are some website types and what SSL you should get.


Portfolio or informational site

If you have a website that exists solely to impart information and has no interactive features whatsoever, you have a pretty easy job securing your site. You can go with a single-domain SSL with DV validation for this website type. 

Small online stores and sites that offer services

Now we’re getting into interactive territory. With these kinds of sites, users will be expected to impart a great deal of sensitive data, from credit card numbers to personal information. A higher validation level is necessary to make them feel at ease, so they can click on the little padlock and find out more details about your company before buying. We recommend a Single-Domain with OV or EV certificate. 

Organizations with multiple online stores or services

In this case, you have a vast online business empire and a lot of ground to secure. Depending on whether your sites are hosted on domains or subdomains, you’ll want either a Multi-domain or Wildcard SSL. Like the last point, an OV or EV validation level is essential.

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