Just like a private or "paid" certificate, a FREE SSL CERTIFICATE encrypts or converts information into a code before it (data) begins its journey across the Internet. In many cases, a free SSL Certificate is all you need to host your Web Property (website), but there are some differences in using a "paid" certificate and a "free" certificate. This article covers these differences to give you a better idea of your domain security.
At GriotSites, we offer custom and self-service Web Hosting services. Custom Web Hosting Clients are those who have a GriotSites Custom Web Property currently being hosted on our server space. Web Property Owners are highly encouraged to install a private SSL Certificate and Dedicated IP Address for extra security. Those who do not have a Private SSL Certificate and Dedicated IP Address will receive a free SSL Certificate.
What can I expect with a Free SSL Certificate?
+CPanel users share with other cPanel users who do not have a private SSL Certificate installed. Back in the day, free certificates would cause error messages to alert the Site Visitor that the "website" may be unsecured due to the fact that the certificate was being shared.
Free Certificates are temporarily assigned to your domain name and will not cause any warning messages. Keep in mind that this is different than a registered or private certificate.
How long does a Free SSL Certificate last before a renewal is needed?
+Free Certificates are issued on a short-term basis, not like private certificates with longer terms such as 1 or 2 years.
It appears that many current Sites are using free certificates, but they are still failing the security test. This could be because those who are maintaining their own Web Property do not know that they have to "force" these "free" certificates for them to work. Unfortunately, "forcing" the code may have to be done every time the certificate is renewed.
At GriotSites, you won't have that issue with our free certificates because we are taking on the responsibility for updating your them for you every 90 days.
Note that an assigned "free" certificate will automatically renew every 90 days.
+Do I need to submit a ticket to renew my FREE SSL Certificate?
No. Our Web Techs will handle this for you. The only time you need to submit a ticket is if your certificate is having issues, or you wish to update to a private SSL Certificate.
+Can someone be able to tell that I am using a "free" certificate?
a Web Property Visitor cannot tell that you are using a free certificate unless they look it up in tools such as SSL Shopper.
+Free Certificates do not carry any warranties or insurrances if something goes wrong
What is the difference between a Free SSL Certificate and a Private SSL Certificate?
A "free" SSL Certificate is one that is installed on all Custom Web Properties that do not have one. These types of SSL Certificates work just as well as the paid or "private" ones, but there are a few things we must point out the pro's and con's when using "free" certificates.
A "private" SSL Certificate offers a few more features than the "free" one, including warranty assurance. Read this article for more details.
FREE SSL certificates are not recommended for e-commerce Web Properties
SSL Certificates are security systems or "virtual security guards" that manage data between your Site Visitors and your Web Property. Free Certificates will get the job done, but there are some reasons why we recommend installing a private SSL Certificate instead.
-Added security. A Private SSL Certificate also uses a Dedicated IP Address (sold separately).
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