With the number of online scams and frauds multiplying day by day, the need for SSL certificates to validate the credibility of a website is on rise. And most of the eBusiness owners are well aware of this fact, taking proper steps to put forth their website as reliable and trustworthy by displaying trusted symbols of web security on their online eCommerce platforms.
However, there is a major problem when it comes to picking the right SSL certificates provider. Most people, when looking for a SSL certificate provider, put their first foot forward with google, which is perfectly alright, but the problem arises when they search using terms like cheap, cheapest, less price, best price, discount, best deal and…you get the picture. And here is the thing- a quality SSL certificate with the strongest encryption technology to build trust, boost confidence and increase conversions does not come at the cheapest price.
Purchasing an SSL Certificate which is the cheapest among the lot will probably save you a few bucks, but it won’t bring with it a 24/7 technical support and admin management tools to manage all your web security needs in one place. Yes, price is a major factor and one must go for an SSL which best suits his budgetary constraints, but price is only one of the many factors, which are perhaps equally, if not more important in a larger scheme of things.
Here is quick list of factors you need to consider before choosing an SSL Certificate Provider that best fits your needs:
Make sure that the SSL provider has a valid EV SSL Certificate themselves.
There are plenty of SSL resellers out there who’ll fulfil your security needs at a very cheap price, but a little background research will tell you that most of them are fly-by-night companies who cannot even get an Extended Validation (EV) SSL themselves after being authenticated and approved by a third party certificate authority. Go for a provider with a Green bar. It’s the most basic prerequisite.
Make sure that the SSL provider Has a Dedicated Phone Support.
When a major portion of your business is online it’s a certainty that at some point you will experience technical issues since web servers are a core part of doing business online. Choose an SSL provider you can call at 3 in the night and have your problems rectified.
Make sure that the SSL provider has a valid mailing address.
Again, when you’re doing business on the web, don’t select a provider who is working from a virtual office or out of their home. Make sure they’ve a valid mailing address.
Make sure that the SSL provider focuses only on SSL.
If a provider is adding SSL offerings to a multitude of products they already offer to munch on a little extra money, then it not set-up appropriately to manage the support needs of their SSL customers and choosing them is the worst decision you’ll ever make. Go for an SSL provider dedicated and focused solely on SSL certificates.
Make sure that the SSL provider offers multiple SSL brands.
A provider offering a single brand of SSL cannot offer unbiased suggestions for all for all your SSL security needs and will always recommend that single SSL brand regardless of whether it fits your needs or not. Go for a provider that offers you a a wide portfolio of SSL brand options to choose from.
Make sure that the SSL provider offers true 24/7/365 live support.
Run a thorough check and make sure that the SSL provider you plan to go for provides 24/7 support via chat, phone and email accommodating all time zones.
Make sure that there is a reference letter available from the vendor for the SSL provider.
Always ask for reference letters and if possible visible confirmation of relationship between the Reseller and certificate authority. You know Barack Obama, but does he know you?
Make sure that the SSL Provider has an auto SSL Renewal system.
Not all, but many SSL providers lack a proper management program to handle client orders, communication preferences and billing systems, and don’t keep a track on the expiry dates of their customers certificates, which results in sites losing their certificate when it expires, thereby coming across as unencrypted, entrusted and unsecure to the website visitors. Pick a provider who promises to remind you before your SSL certificate expires.
Make sure that the SSL provider offers a money back guarantee.
A litmus test to check the credibility of a provider. If a provider doesn’t offer at least a 30 day timeline to submit a cancellation request and getting full refund incase you aren’t satisfied with their services, that as big as a red flag gets.
Make sure that the SSL provider offers SSL tools to confirm SSL installation.
Go for a provider that provides SSL tools to authenticate SSL security features and to confirm whether the SSL has been installed on the web server or not.
In addition to the points listed above, always check the reputation of your provider online. Search for their reviews not only on their websites, but also on forums that’re well outside their control. No one is in a better position to comment on the quality of their services than people who’ve had first-hand experience of working with them.