What type of SSL/ Secure Certificate do I need?

There are several types of SSL Certificates (also known as Secure Certificates) that you can choose from.  This article explains the differences between the various types:

Shared Certificates

Shared certificates are provided free on all of our web hosting plans.  This allows you to enjoy the encryption that SSL provides without purchasing your own SSL Certificate.  However, because it is a shared certificate, it is not tied specifically to your domain name, which means that you must use the server name in the URL;

 (typically something similar to https://secure222.evolvingmedia.com) instead of your own domain name, if you want to avoid browser warnings.  If you attempt to use your own domain name with a shared certificate, you will receive warnings in your web browser that your domain name does not match the domain name indicated on the certificate.

Shared certificates are appropriate when you desire a secure connection to your server, but do not intend for it to be used by the general public (for example, logging into an administrative area of your website that customers or visitors do not see).  Shared SSL is not appropriate for e-commerce sites, since your customers will expect your domain to have its own private SSL certificate. But can be used to secure email between the your computer and the host account.

Domain Validated Certificate

For situations where the general public will be visiting a secure section of your site (e.g., making a payment by credit card), you’ll want to utilize a private SSL certificate such as this one.  It is directly tied to your domain name, letting customers know they are on the correct website, and unlike a shared certificate, there will be no browser warnings.

Private SSL Certificates are appropriate for e-commerce websites and for any situation where you desire secure communication between your website and its visitors.

Company Validated Certificate

A company validated certificate is similar to a domain validated certificate; however, additional documentation must be provided to certify your company’s identity.  The biggest advantage of a WHOIS company validated SSL certificate is the way your site is displayed in a browser. More validation means more trust, and your visitors will have more confidence in the security of your site.

EvolvingMedia provides the Comodo Instant SSL, which is a company validated certificate.


Extended Validation Certificates

EV certificates provide secure connections, verify the business’ identity, and help to prevent fraud through a thorough set of checks and validations.

These certificates are designed to provide a higher standard of assurance for visitors to authenticate the business behind the domain. The green HTTPS address bar is exclusive to EV SSL certificates and reassures website visitors that they are interacting with a verified business on a secured domain.

Wildcard Certificates

A Wildcard SSL Certificate enables SSL encryption on unlimited subdomains using a single certificate. The subdomains must have the same second level domain name (i.e. domain.com).

SSL Certificates Are Issued on an Annual Basis


SSL Certificates are usually purchased with a 1-year expiration date, although multi-year SSL certificates are also available by contacting our sales team.  Before a certificate expires, you will need to purchase a new SSL certificate with a new expiration date.


Despite sometimes being referred to as renewing an SSL certificate, technically you are purchasing a new certificate with a new expiration date.  Although typically we are able to process SSL Certificate orders within 24 hours, due to the potentiality for complications, we recommend that you purchase a new SSL certificate at least 30 business days prior to the expiration of your current SSL certificate.


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