Should You Choose Free or Paid SSL Certificates? Here’s an Expert Guides

SSL Certificates

These days, search engines like Google are giving preference to that website that have installed an SSL certificate. Google is encouraging it because of safety concern. Some search engines have updated their search algorithm to secure websites. Google has also taken a step further updating its Chrome browser to clearly advise visitors when they visit an unsecured website. With such stern steps of search engines, unsecured websites have a lot to lose.

Why SSL Certificate?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. When you install an SSL certificate to your site, the information becomes encrypted to every person other than the server that you are sending it to. This encryption makes sure the data of visitors on your website is safe and secure from prying eyes. So, no matter whether you’re associated with an e-commerce business, blogging, or a payment gateway, you should choose to shield your website with an SSL certification.

In the market, you can get different types of SSL certificates, both free and paid to install on your website. Although the level of encryption is the same for both, free SSL certificates are available with a few limitations.

Difference between free and paid SSL Certificates

If you are wondering whether to choose free or paid SSL certification, here are some differences between the both. Know them to make an informed decision.


  • Free SSL Certificate – Though you don’t need to pay the price of SSL certification if you choose the free one, it’s essential to know that this certification comes with only Domain Validation which lets you have a very basic level of authentication. The Certificate Authority that issues the certification automates the process of verifying whether or not the applicant owns the domain. If you are a blogger and have a personal website, then a free SSL certificate is ideal for you.


  • Paid SSL Certificate – Unlike with the free option, the Certificate Authority with the paid certificate is accountable to verify the identity of the website manually of the website owner before issuing the certificate. Paid SSL is available with provisions for Extended Validation (EV) and Organization Validation (OV) certificates. Aside from the owner identity, EV and OV certificates call for an in-depth verification of the businesses. The Certificate Authority is responsible for the verification. If you’re a business or a payment gateway or want to increase the trust of your customers, then choosing a paid certificate is the right option for you.


In general, the validity of SSL certificates ranges between 30 to 90 days. So, you need to renew it regularly. And this is a hassle task. In contrast, paid SSL certificate is issued for a period of one to two year. So you don’t need to get it renewed very frequently.


A paid SSL usually comes with a warranty. It means when you go for it, you will get the certificate which is covered by a warranty. The role of warranty is to cover your insurance against any damage to the business caused by any errors or flaw in the certificate. The range of warranty level differs depending on the kind of SSL certificates you have purchased. Unluckily, you can’t avail any warranty with a free SSL certificate.


With the paid SSL, you can get premium support from certificate authorities and their resellers who have issued you the certificate. Unfortunately, there is no such facility with free SSL certificates.

Server Compatibility:

Free SSL certificates are not compatible with every hosting service provider. You can only install it if the hosting provider makes provisions to support it. On the other hand, paid SSL certificates are compatible with every hosting service such as dedicated servers. Also, they are easier to set up.


With SSL certificates, you can get visual indicators such as a green address bar or lock sign bar for better site seals. These indicators make sure whether these visitors are safe for your website and you can build trust with them. No doubt, free SSL certificates do also come with ‘https://’ but the visual indicators are missing. To know more details about Secure Your Website, follow the given link.

Bottom Line

Now that you have understood all key differences between free and paid SSL certificates. It’s up to you to decide which of the two options you should go for. Do you think it makes any sense to pay for SSL certificates when free versions are available in the market? Your decision may largely depend on the types of website you have. If you have a personal website or for blog purposes only, then you don’t need to pay anything for the SSL certificate. On the other hand, if you are a business and have a payment gateway or associated with e-commerce business, then choosing the paid version is essential.

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