Planning to run an e-commerce ready website? Do you know what SSL is? If you plan to run an e-commerce ready website, SSL is vital to your business. In fact, choosing between private or shared SSL could be a key factor in closing a sale or losing business. Find out what SSL really is and why choosing shared SSL could cause you to lose business.
What is SSL?
SSL, short for Secure Sockets Layer, helps encrypt sensitive data when visiting a web site. It protects many things such as credit card information, sensitive account information, and other personally-identifiable information. You have probably seen SSL in action many times — it’s a little lock that appears in your browser’s address bar. If you run an e-commerce website, you will need that little lock to ensure your customers’ safety. Without it, customers might go elsewhere, reluctant to release personal information to a non-secure website.
There are two types of SSL, private and shared. Most web hosts (such as FatCow or ePowHost) offer shared SSL as part of their hosting package. Very few offer private SSL. There are advantages to both of these SSLs, but there is one huge negative to one of these SSLs.
Let’s learn about shared SSL.
Shared SSL: What it is and How it Hurts Business
Shared SSL, simply put, is a SSL used by many people. An example of this is a web host and their customers using the same SSL for added security. When you purchase a package from a web host offering SSL, it is always shared SSL. They share the same security certificate with you, and you get that protection for free.
However, since you do not own the certificate, you will not show up as the owner of it. Before entering any secure website, the browser will usually show the SSL to the visitor, verifying if they trust the site or not. With a shared SSL, your web host’s name pops up as the owner of the certificate — not you. If a visitor does not know your web host’s name, they will turn around and leave the site, thinking they were hacked or tricked. This is the inherit danger with using shared SSL, although it is free.
With that said, let’s move on to private SSL.
Private SSL: What it is and How it Boosts Business
Private SSL, unlike shared SSL, is a privately-owned SSL. You usually need to buy a security certificate (which is costly) in order to have your private SSL.
A private SSL has one major difference: you show up as the owner of the SSL. Instead of users seeing your host provider as the owner, they see your site as the owner. They trust it as a result, continuing on with their browsing experience. This is the advantage of private SSL. The major disadvantage, unfortunately, is the cost. You usually cannot get this from a provider also — you must purchase it separately from a different site.
So which one do you choose? If losing customers is vitally important to you, choose private SSL. It looks professional also, gaining customers’ trust. If not, go for a free shared SSL. Other web host providers, such as LunarPages and HostGator, offer a shared SSL as part of their package. Remember, when choosing the perfect e-commerce package, SSL always matters.
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