Here are some questions you might ask: 

Q: What type of SSL do I need?

A: Most small business customers only need a single-domain SSL certificate. However, to make sure you’re getting what you need, check out the following questions:

1. Which type of server or Web hosting do you use?

A: Some types of servers require specific types of certificates. For example, Microsoft® Exchange Server 2007 and 2010 require Multiple Domain (UCC) SSL certificates because they need to secure multiple domains.

The company you purchase your SSL from should be able to help guide you to purchasing the right certificate for your needs.

           2. How many unique domains do you want to secure with HTTPS?

A: Securing a domain means encrypting its connection through hypertext-transfer protocol secure, also known as HTTPS. This is just a fancy way of saying third parties cannot view the information sent between the visitor and the Web server.

Depending on how your website is configured, you might want to use something other than a single-domain SSL certificate.

·  Wildcard SSLs cover all of a domain name’s subdomains (see What is a subdomain?). For example, you can secure *.coolexample.com, which would cover shop.coolexample.com, www.coolexample.com, and any other subdomains.

·  UCC SSLs can cover multiple subdomains, unique domain names, and websites. For example, you can secure www.coolexample.com, mail.coolexample.com, and www.awesomeexample.com.

Q: What is a Wildcard?

A: Wildcard SSLs protect a single domain name and all of its subdomains. This means you can request the certificate for *.coolexample.com to secure all of its subdomains, such as photos.coolexample.com, blog.coolexample.com, email.coolexample.com, and more.

Q: What is a UCC SSL?

A: UCC SSLs let you protect multiple, related domains and subdomains using the same certificate. Unlike Wildcard SSL certificates, you can request certificates for completely different domain names (for example, coolexample.com and coolexample.net) However, this certificate is not recommended for sites where content or businesses are unrelated.

These certificates are ideal for Microsoft Office® Communications Server, Exchange 2007 and 2010 Server, or other enterprise applications, and single companies or entities with many related URLs.

When planning to purchase a UCC SSL, consider the number of URLs you want to protect. If you want to secure both fully qualified (example: www.coolexample.com) and partially qualified (example: coolexample.com) domains with a UCC, make sure to account for two domains. This calculation is important because you cannot upgrade the number of domains UCCs can secure.

Q: How long does it take to get my SSL certificate?

A: Requesting an SSL requires validating ownership of the domain name that’s getting secured. For most customers, this is done in less than a day. However, for certificates that require further validation, the process can take longer.

For Premium Extended Validation (EV) certificates, there is an additional, extensive vetting process that starts with an in-depth application. Before you start, it helps if you have details about your business, such as registration number, incorporation or registration agent, and any relevant jurisdiction information.

Q: How do I install my SSL?

A: When GoDaddy issues the certificate, we send an email to let you know. What happens next depends on where you're hosted and the options you selected when you requested the certificate.

If you’re a GoDaddy customer using a shared hosting account or a website-building application like Website Builder, we automatically update the IP address for your website when your SSL is approved. That is to say, we install the SSL for you and you don’t need to do anything.

If you host your website with another provider, or you use one of our VPS or Dedicated Server solutions, see the article Installing an SSL: Server Instructions for the information you need.

Q: My SSL is about to expire. How can I renew it?

A: Typically, you need to purchase a renewal credit from your SSL certificate provider. If they installed the SSL for you, usually they’ll also handle using the renewal credit.

However, if you installed the SSL certificate yourself (on a dedicated server, let’s say), you’ll need to use the renewal credit to generate a new certificate with a new expiration date.

Want to learn more? Check out Getting Started with SSL Certificates

Additional Resources

 

Website Security 101

Connect with a SCORE mentor for free guidance!

About the Author(s)

Jessica Spart

Jessica is a small business consultant for GoDaddy and a freelance writer based in Arizona. She's passionate about helping small businesses succeed. GoDaddy.com | Google+ | @GoDaddy | More from Jessica              

Small Business Consultant, GoDaddy
Website Security