Secure Socket Layer Certificates or SSL Certs are meant for protection and security on the Internet. This is part of the technology used to secure and to verify connections are secure when confidential information is transmitted to or from a website.
For instance, when you are making purchases online you want to make sure your financial information is protected. To verify you are on a secure website, first look at the website address.? If it starts with ‘https’, that means it is a secure and encrypted connection as the ‘s’ at the end stands for secure. If it only says ‘http’, (missing the ‘s’) you cannot be certain it is ‘secure’. You can also verify this by looking to the lower right corner of your screen and seeing if you browser contains a lock symbol.
The SSL cert then electronically certifies and verifies that the company is who they say they are.
You may purchase your certificate in two possible ways. One way is to purchase a ‘shared’ certificate, which is offered by most website hosting services and is usually part of their hosting fee. Or, there could be a small annual fee for it.
If you use a shared SSL cert, the URL will read differently on the secured (https) pages (This has nothing to do with the look of your website). For instance, if it is your own certificate, your website address might read www.bootsales.com. If it is a shared certificate, it may read www.bootsales.hostingcompany.com.
Hosting companies often sell SSL certs but you don’t have to obtain the certificate through them. You can purchase your certificate from a variety of sources.
There are different grades of SSL Certs and their costs can be greater or less. With more expensive certification, more definitive proof will be needed for legally verifying your company’s physical location and existence. If you do decide to purchase your own certification there is usually no real value to purchasing a high end cert.