What is the difference between a free Let's Encrypt SSL certificate and a commercial SSL certificate? Print

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Let's Encrypt certificates provide the same level of security as most commercial certificates. They are also compatible with all major browsers i.e. a secure padlock will appear in the browser beside the web page URL.

What you do miss out on with the Let's Encrypt certificate is any type of 'dynamic site seal' or 'trust badge or logo' (usually an image with a padlock) which can be embedded in a page to display various information about the website owner and the status of the SSL certificate.

The site seal information displayed by commercial certificates issued by GeoTrust and Thawte etc can include additional information about the website owner i.e. business name, location and also display a warranty to re-assure the end user that the connection is secure. Site seals can be re-assuring for some website visitors and if you think it is worth it for your business we can supply you with most SSL certificates at reasonable rates and install them for you at no additional charge (as long as your site is hosted with us).

If you are uncertain about whether you need a certificate that includes a site seal just ask yourself about your own on-line shopping habits. When you buy something on-line do you look for a site seal on a page with company information or do you just glance at the URL to check if the page is secure i.e. uses "https://" instead of "http://"? If you buy things without checking the page for a dynamic site seal you are like among the many web surfers who pay little attention to them. Check this 2013 survey: Which Site Seal do People Trust the Most?

If you like the concept of site seals and information being displayed on a page re-assuring the end user of the validity of your website you should purchase a commercial SSL certificate or even a premium EV SSL certificate which will also display your organisations name in the address bar of the visitor's browser in a more prominent green colour.

Contact us if you would like us to install a free (free forever) Let's Encrypt certificate for any of your websites or if you would like to purchase a suitable SSL certificate that displays a site seal and/or EV information.

Note that there are no 'wildcard' certificates available from Let's Encrypt however we are happy to install a Let's Encrypt certificate on any number of your computerjazz.net hosted sub-domains at no charge.

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