Free SSL vs Paid SSL Certificate

18 February 2020

eCommerce Website Development

Why pay for an SSL certificate and why paid SSL certificates are better than free SSL certificate? The answers to these questions are not straightforward because the decision between paid SSL and free SSL depends on several factors, such as the tech-savviness of your IT staff.

What Is An SSL Certificate?

SSL is an abbreviation for Secure Socket Layer. It creates a more secure connection between web browsers and the server. Every site that handles sensitive information such as credit card numbers and personal identification information needs an SSL certificate to protect the data from hackers. Some of the advantages of having a secure website include:

  1. A secure connection between your browser and the server of the website
  2. The green padlock in HTTPS sites makes increases visitor's trust of the website
  3. Higher google ranking
  4. Protection of the visitor's information
Building customer trust in your website is a must. The only way to accomplish this is by installing a secure socket layer certificate. When you install an SSL certificate on your website, the URL changes from HTTP to HTTPS. A padlock also appears at the beginning of the URL at the address bar. This padlock builds immediate trust because it shows the website visitors that their sensitive information is safe.

Types of SSL Certificates

There are two main types of SSL certificates. The first one is the Free SSL Certificate, which is available for free. For the other one (SSL Certificate), you will have to pay an amount after a specified duration of time to continue enjoying their benefits.

Free certificates don't have price tags attached to them. What many people don't know is that the free version provides you with the same security as paid certificates.

To equip your website with a paid certificate, you must pay for it. Now that a free SSL provides the same level of encryption, you must be wondering why to pay for some SSL certificates while some are available for free. Here are some of the main differences between them:

  1. Business Authentication

    Free SSL certificates come with Domain Validation only. A Domain Validation (DV) certificate provides basic authentication and won't let you know who is running the website. A paid SSL comes with Domain Validation bundled with Organization Validation (OV) and Extended Validation (EV). The Organization Validation lets the website visitor know who or which company is running the website and whether it is a real business or not.

    When it comes to verification of the website owner's business details, in free SSL, the trustworthy certificate authority (CA) doesn't verify everything. The CA concentrates on verifying the details of the website owner but not his or her business' details. In paid SSL, the CA does an in-depth verification of the organization or business. It is very rare to find a paid SSL certificate installed on websites that is not genuine.

  2. Validity Period

    Most free SLL certificates are only available for 30 to 90 days. The website owner keeps renewing the certificate after every one to three months. No paid SSL is issued for less than one year. Most of them require renewal after a period of one or two years. With a paid SSL certificate, the website proprietor avoids the hassles of applying for new certificates now and then.

  3. Support

    The paid SSL certificate service providers (certificate authorities and resellers) provide round the clock (24/7) customer support. The customer can either call, send an email, or chat with the customer support team to get assistance. On the other hand, the free SSL certificate providers are unable to offer their customers exceptional customer support because they don't have enough resources.

A paid SSL certificate is like an investment. It comes with round the clock customer support that is ideal for all website owners. They also help build customer trust and boost the Google ranking of your website. If you are still unable to choose between paid and free SSL certificate for your website, you should know that if free SSL is as good as paid certificates, all the leading eCommerce websites shouldn't be paying for SSL. The fee you have to pay in paid certificates should not scare you, as they help increase the conversion rate on your website by making customers trust your business.


If you wish to secure your website or server with a 256 bit encryption Industry Standard SSL Certificate to conduct safe, secure e-commerce transactions over the Internet and, most importantly, to secure your customers' information, do visit today.

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