What is SSL Certificate

What is SSL Certificate

What is SSL Certificate

What is SSL certificate and how does it work?

Friends, if I go straight to Technical Definition, then SSL Certificate is a data file which is hosted on the web server of your website. This file makes the communication between your web server and your website user’s web browser secure through encryption.

In simple words, SSL certificate makes the exchange of data between your web server and website user secure.

Whenever you go to a website, you see either HTTP or HTTPS written next to the name of the website in the address bar of your web browser. For example, you see HTTPS written next to the name of my website.

This is HTTPS and the green lock next to it indicates that my website is an SSL Secured website. If I do not use SSL Certificate on my website, then you will see only HTTP written next to my website name which will mean that my website is not SSL Secured website. What is SSL Certificate

SSL Secured Website means that whatever data you enter on the website will reach the web server of that website in an encrypted form. And in the same way the data reaching you from that web server will also be encrypted.

Encrypted means that all the data we exchange will be in a code language so that no other person can read or steal it.

Friends, I think that now you must have understood what is SSL Certificate and what is its function. But before I start telling you how SSL Certificate works, before that I would like to tell you some basic things so that it will be easier for you to understand the further content. What is SSL Certificate

  • What is the difference between HTTP and HTTPS?
  • What is the full form of SSL?
  • What is Cryptography?
  • What is Public Key and Private Key?
  • What is CA?

What is the difference between HTTP and HTTPS?

Friends, the full form of HTTP is Hypertext Transfer Protocol. It is a protocol used to exchange data. You can consider Protocol as a kind of Guidelines or Rules.

As there is a rule in our country that you have to drive on the left hand on the road. Similarly, a web server also has to use the HTTP protocol to exchange data properly.  What is SSL Certificate

The HTTP Protocol Application Layer is the Roland wilds Network Architecture Top Most Layer. This protocol uses Port 80 for communication. It does not contain any kind of encryption, due to which it is not considered secure.

What is the difference between HTTP and HTTPS?

Friends, the full form of HTTPS is Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. This protocol is also used for communication like HTTP, although encryption is used in it, due to which it is considered secure.

HTTPS works on the Transport Layer which is located centrally in the Network Architecture. While HTTP uses port 80 for communication, HTTPS uses port 443.  What is SSL Certificate

HTTP does not require any type of certificate to work, whereas HTTPS requires an SSL certificate to work.

SSL Full Form 

The full form of SSL is Secured Socket Layer.

Friends, we also call HTTPS :-  HTTP Over Secured Socket Layer.

What is Cryptography?

Cryptography is a method through which we convert any text message into the code language before sending it and when that message is reached, we change it back to its old form so that it can be read.

In this process, we use two types of keys, one is Private Key and the other is Public Key.

What is Public Key and Private Key?

Private Key:

Friends, it happens in Private Key that we have only one key to code and decode the message.

Think of it in this way that you bought a lock from the market and you got 2 keys of that lock. You took one and you gave one to your friend.  What is SSL Certificate

So if you have to send an important item to your friend, then you will put it in a small box and lock it and give it to the postman. Since your box is locked, neither the postman nor any other person will be able to open your box.

What is Public Key and Private Key?

When the postman delivers your box to your friend, he will open it because he will also have a key to that lock.

We also call this cryptographic technique as Symmetric Key Cryptography because in this the same key is used for coding and decoding.

Public Key:

Friends, in this cryptographic technique, 2 keys are used to code and decode the message. One of which is Public Key and the other is Private Key.

Public Key is a key that is known to all, whereas Private Key is a secret key that only you (the receiver) know.

Let us understand this with an example.

You must have an email account. So in that your email address is a public key which is known to everyone or you can give it to anyone. Whereas your password is a private key that only you know and through this you are able to access your email account.  What is SSL Certificate

Suppose I want to send you a message and send it in such a way that no one else can read it except you. For this, I will ask you for your email address i.e. your public key. You will give me your email address.

Now I will send that message to your given email address. As a result of which you will access your email account using your Private Key ie Email Account’s Password and read that message.

So friends, even in this method, your message will be completely safe.

Because 2 different types of keys are used in this method, so we also call it Asymmetric Key Cryptography.

Public Key Cryptographic Method is slightly slower than Private Key.

What is CA?

The full form of CA is Certificate Authority. Friends, Certificate Authority is an organization that validates that this domain name, website, organization or business is yours and it provides you a digital certificate which we call SSL certificate.

These institutions do their digital signatures on the digital certificates provided by them, through which it is ascertained whether the digital certificate is valid or not. What is SSL Certificate

In other words, these organizations validate your public key.

Let us understand this also with an example.

Suppose you have to send me a message for which you have asked me for my public key, then I have given you my email address, but what is the guarantee that the email address I gave you is mine.
In this case, a Certificate Authority will verify you that the email address I have given to you is mine. So overall it also enhances the security.

How do SSL certificates work?

Friends, how SSL works, this is a little technical concept, but I will try to explain it to you in very simple words. I hope you understand this.

Suppose you have to visit my website which is an SSL Secured website. So for this you will enter the URL of my website in the address bar of your web browser which is https://dishcoachingcentre.com/

Now as soon as you press the Enter button your web browser will request to send an SSL Secured Webpage from the web server of my website.

In response, my web server will send its public key and SSL certificate to your web browser. This SSL Certificate will have a Digital Signature of a Certificate Authority. What is SSL Certificate

As soon as your web browser will get the SSL certificate sent by my web server, it will verify the digital signature present in it. If he finds this Digital Signature correct then he will consider my SSL Certificate as valid and along with this he will also know that the Public Key which my web server has sent to him is from my web server only.

As soon as the verification is complete, a green colored padlock will appear in your web browser.
After the verification process is completed, now your web browser will create two Secret Keys (Private Keys) which will be the same. One of which he will keep with him and the other he will send to my web server.

In order not to see this sent Secret Key in any way, your web browser will send that secret key through the public key of my web server.  What is SSL Certificate

Now your web browser and my web server will have a secret key each, using which now both will exchange data. In other words, now both will encrypt and decrypt the data using their respective Secret Keys.

Types of SSL Certificate:

There are three types of SSL Certificates:

  • Domain Validated Certificates (DV SSL)
  • Organization Validated Certificates (OV SSL)
  • Extended Validated Certificates (EV SSL)

Domain Validated Certificates (DV SSL)

Friends, this is the most basic type of SSL certificate. While providing these types of certificates, Certificate Authority only sees whether you have control over the domain or not. They do not verify your identity and business.

This is the reason that these certificates are issued very quickly. Usually these certificates are issued in a few minutes. Sometimes it takes a day to issue them.

Many web hosting companies like Bluehost, HostGator, FastComet, A2 Hosting, SiteGround etc. provide these types of SSL Certificates to you for free with their web hosting plans. What is SSL Certificate

Apart from web hosting companies, there are many such companies that provide you SSL Certificates for free like Cloudflare, Let’s Encrypt etc.

Friends, it is very easy to identify these types of SSLCertificates. When you visit a website that is using this type of SSL certificate, you will see a green lock before https in your address bar. When you click on this lock you will get very limited information about that website.

However, this does not affect security. In this type of certificate, your website remains as secure as it is with any other type of SSLCertificate.  What is SSL Certificate

Domain Validated SSL Certificates are sufficient for any basic website or blog. However, if you create an eCommerce website or a website where you want to verify your Identity or Business Ownership, then you will have to use other types of SSL Certificates.

Organization Validated Certificates (OV SSL)

Friends Organization Validated Certificates are those certificates in which Certificate Authority verify your Identity and Business Ownership. Such certificates are usually issued within a few days.

These certificates are also very easy to recognize. These certificates also appear in the browser like DV SSL certificates where you see a green lock next to https. As soon as you click on this lock, you start seeing the information of the company whose domain it belongs to. What is SSL Certificate

This is basic information such as company name, address, country, etc.

OVSSL Certificates are also very secure like other SSL Certificates. However, because the Certificate Authority verifies your identity and business, as well as your company name, address, etc. appears in the certificate in the web browser, due to which the trust of the people increases in your website. This is the reason that most of the eCommerce websites use this type of SSL Certificates. What is SSL Certificate

You do not get Organization Validated Certificates for free. For these you have to pay some Annual or Monthly Fees.

These certificates are more reliable than DV SSL Certificates because in this people know who is behind that website and to whom they are giving their information.

Extended Validated Certificates (EV SSL)

EVSSL Certificates are the most expensive type of SSLCertificates because in this the Certificate Authority investigates very deeply about the individual, company or organization.

While issuing these certificates, CA checks whether that company or organization is the owner of that domain name, whether that company exists legally or not, does that company physically exist or not?, and if it does then Where is his address? And so on.  What is SSL Certificate

Because very in-depth investigation is done to issue these types of SSL certificates, therefore certificate authorities sometimes take several weeks to issue these certificates.  What is SSL Certificate

It is also very easy to recognize Extended Validated SSL Certificates. When you go to a website where EV SSL Certificate is used, half or the entire address bar of your web browser turns green in which you see a lock and https with the name of that company.  What is SSL Certificate

These types of certificates are good for those website owners who want to assure the users of their website that they are on a safe website and their business is a Legitimate Business.

Friends, apart from the size and scope of the website, there is also another factor on the basis of which we divide SSL certificates.

This Factor is the Number of Domains on which we want to use SSL Certificates.

So let us also know about the types of SSL Certificates on this basis.

Types Of SSL Certificates:

Friends, on the basis of how many domains we have to use SSL Certificate, there are 4 types of SSL Certificates:

1. Single-Domain SSL Certificates
2. Wildcard SSL Certificates  What is SSL Certificate
3. Multi-domain SSL Certificates
4. Unified Communications Certificate

Types Of SSL Certificates:

Single-Domain SSL Certificate:

As you would know from the name itself. Such SSL Certificates are issued for only one domain. This means that you can use this SSLCertificate on only one domain.  What is SSL Certificate

This SSL Certificate secures all the pages of your website. You get these types of SSLCertificates for all three levels of Validation. Which means that if you want, you can take DV SSL, OV SSL or EV SSL Certificate for your single domain. 

Wildcard SSL Certificates

Friends, you can use this type of SSL certificate for your single domain and all its subdomains. For example, if I want, I can use this type of SSL Certificate for my domain “ http://dishcoachingcentre.com/ ”. Also I can use this type of SSL certificate with all my subdomains like ‘https://endishcoachingcentre.com/ etc. What is SSL Certificate

This type of SSL Certificate is available only at DVSSL and OVSSL level. You do not get EVSSL Certificates in it.

Multi-Domain SSL Certificates:

As you would know from the name. We can use this type of SSL Certificate for up to 100 Domains, including Subdomains.

Unified Communications Certificate:

These certificates are also like Multi-Domain SSL Certificates which can secure 100 Domains and Subdomains.

However, these types of SSL certificates are used where Microsoft Exchange and Office Communication are used. These certificates use Subject Alternative Name (SAN) Extension instead of IP Addresses to secure the domains.

Advantages of SSL Certificate:

Friends, there are many benefits of using SSL Certificate on yourself like:


The biggest advantage of using an SSL certificate is that it makes the communication between the web browser and the web server secure.  What is SSL Certificate

Because communication is secure, no hacker can read your data.

Confirms Your Identity:

As I have told you above that SSL Certificate is issued by a Certificate Authority which verifies the identity of the owner of the domain and its business. This makes it easy for you to know who is behind that website and whether they are doing a Legitimate Business.

Improves Search Engine Ranking:

Friends, whenever you create a website, your first target is to rank well on Search Engines. In today’s time, Search Engines rank above those websites which are using SSL Certificates.  What is SSL Certificate

So if you also want to rank your website above on Search Engines, then you will have to use SSLCertificate.

Increases Customer Confidence:

Friends, SSL Certificates increase the trust of your website visitors on your website. Whenever a visitor or customer comes to your website and he sees a green lock, he feels secure.  What is SSL Certificate

Also, because some SSL certificates also verify your identity and business, it lets people know with whom they are going to do business, this also increases their trust in you and your website.  What is SSL Certificate

Warning does not appear on web browsers:

In today’s time, when data security is being given a lot of importance, so it becomes imperative that you use SSL Certificate on your website.  What is SSL Certificate

All modern web browsers of today force you to use SSL certificate. They warn users before going to all those websites which are not using SSL certificate. In this case, most visitors avoid visiting websites that do not have an SSL certificate.

So if you use SSL Certificate on your website then Web Browsers will consider your website as safe and will not give any kind of warning on it which will be good enough for your website.  What is SSL Certificate

We should use Free SSL Certificate or Paid SSL Certificate:

Friends, many people have this confusion that we should use Free SSL Certificate or Paid SSL Certificate. So I want to tell all those friends that whether you use Free SSL Certificate or Paid SSL Certificate, in both the cases you get the same level of security.

Encryption is encryption whether it is for free or paid. However, in Paid SSLCertificates, companies verify your Identity and Legitimacy of your business so that people’s trust in you increases.  What is SSL Certificate

If you are a simple blogger like me who has a blog then only a Free SSL Certificate is enough for them. However, if you are creating an eCommerce website or are creating a website where you take sensitive data from your customers or do money transactions, then you can take a Paid SSL Certificate because they are in your customers. Increases trust which will be good for your business. What is SSL Certificate



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