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SSL Certificate Options for SEO

Whether you migrate to HTTPS for SEO or security, it’s now evident that using HTTPS is quickly becoming a necessity for most websites.

With SEO in mind, I’ll share with you my take on the different SSL Certificate options.

One important thing to know is that there is no known SEO benefits for having a more secure SSL Certificate. It is however possible that a more secure certificate sends Google a more authoritive signal.

Let’s Encrypt - Domain Validated (DV)

I recommend Let’s Encrypt for most websites. It's free, easy to install, and has the option to renew automatically. It’s also well adopted by hosting providers. If you’re on WPEngine for example, you can get the SSL installed in minutes through their admin panel.

For other hosts you might have to ask support. And for dedicated hosting you can install LetsEncrypt with a few command lines through SSH.

This is the one I use on this site:

Let's Encrypt SEOCharles address bar

Domain Validated (DV)

This is what I used before Let’s Encrypt appeared. Usually between $10-$80, this is the entry-level paid SSL. The only reason I’d recommend one over Let’s Encrypt is if you’re interested in a user money warranty, or a security seal that you can use on your site.

Organization Validated (OC)

Slightly more expensive, this one gets your organization verified in addition to the domain ownership. Again I would only recommend if you’re interested in the warranty or seal. One exception here is if you need a wildcard SSL (for multiple subdomains) or one for multiple domains.

A downside with the OC (as well as EV) is there will be a delay and paperwork for the organization validation.

Extended Validated (EV)

Often called Greenbar SSL for the (not so green anymore) sign in the address bar:

EV SSL on Choicemutual.com

The main motivation to get the EV is for that bar showing visitors your company name in a more authoritative secure sign. They usually cost between $100-200. Prices depend on where you buy and the duration (I recommend 2 years or more).

This is a good option for ecommerce, large organizations, and sites that collect sensitive information.

Where to Buy?

To keep things simple you can buy from your domain name registrar. But you should compare prices with certificate authorities (e.g. Comodo or digicert) since you don't need to get it from your registrar.

Whichever certificate you choose, make sure it’s 2048 bit SSL and 256 bit encryption.

Need help?

Let me know in the comments if you have any question about SSL Certificate and HTTPS migration. Or feel free to reach out if you're interested get me to migrate your site to HTTPS.

Related article: HTTP to HTTPS Migration Guide for Wordpress on WPEngine

Category: Technical SEO

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About Me

I'm Charles, an independent SEO Consultant. I blog here about SEO and life experiences. Read more