Important Tips When Buying an SSL Certificate
Buying an SSL certificate is quite a simple task if you’re clear about your requirements, but at the same time, it can be very tricky if you do not have much knowledge about SSL certificates. Here are few important tips and guidelines to help you when you’re in the market for an SSL certificate, even if you don’t have much knowledge on that front.
- Get your server set up and make sure your WHOIS record is up-to-date
- Generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) from the server.
- Submit the CSR and other required information to the Certificate Authority (CA) for the SSL product you purchased
- Complete the validation for your domain and company if your certificate requires it
- Upon issuance from the CA, properly install the certificate on the server.
What specifically do you need to have before buying an SSL certificate?
- Unique IP address (for your website)
If you have multiple sub-domains on a single IP address, you will need a Wildcard SSL certificate to secure all your sub-domains’ names with a single SSL certificate. If you have multiple different domain names on single IP address, then you need a Multi-Domain/SAN/UCC SSL certificate.
- CSR Generation
A Certificate Signing Request or CSR is a piece of text that must be generated from your web server before the issuance of an SSL certificate. The CA will use the information contained in the CSR (like organization name, domain name and public key) to create your certificate when issuing.
- An up-to-date WHOIS record
When you buy an SSL certificate for your website, your CA will check on your domain name to ensure valid information about your business and contact information. The authorities always match these details with the WHOIS record before issuing the SSL certificate. Some CAs will call the phone number listed in the WHOIS record while many will send an email to the listed e-mail address, to make sure you have the registered with correct information.
- Business/Organization documents
Documents verifying your business and organization are required when you are going to buy an OV or EV certificate for your website.The CA often checks an online government database to verify your business information and government registration documents before issuing an OV or EV SSL certificate. If you want to find your US- based business data on a government site, please click here.
How long does it take to receive the SSL Certificate?
Time required for the authorities to issue an SSL certificate to the user totally depends on type of the certificate, the issuing CA’s specific process and how quickly you can provide the proper documentation required for your type of certificate.
- Domain Validated (DV) SSL: If you buy a DV SSL certificate and your domain WHOIS data is valid, then you can get the certificate within a few minutes.
- Organization Validated (OV) SSL: If you buy an OV SSL certificate, you may get the certificate within an hour or at most in a few days after you submit all the required documents to your CA.
- Extended Validation (EV) SSL: After ordering an EV SSL certificate, you may get the certificate after few days or possibly a week while the authorities conduct the very detailed and thorough validation process & procedures required.