SSL Certificates are selling like hotcakes nowadays. As more and more websites become secure, the entire online landscape is changing right in front of our eyes. With half of all web traffic now being encrypted, you obviously don’t want to be left behind. When you finally decide to add an SSL certificate to your website, you would expect it to be a quick and smooth process. But, unfortunately, what appears to be a straightforward action can prove surprisingly complex and time-consuming for inexperienced users. No need to panic though, as this article will show you the 5 most common ssl mistakes to avoid when buying, installing and managing your SSL Certificate.
1. Choosing the wrong SSL Certificate for your site
SSL Certificates come in different forms and prices. You can pay as little as $7.99 to secure your website, or spend thousands of dollars on a single certificate. The sheer choice can be overwhelming at first, but there’s no need to rush. Go through the entire list of SSL brands and analyze the specs and features of each product. More expensive isn’t always better for your particular project, just like cheap isn’t often good enough. You need to know exactly what type of SSL your website requires.
Tip: We’ve got SSL Wizard, a useful tool that helps you choose the perfect SSL certificate for your site. Use it to your advantage.
2. Failing to check server compatibility
When you find the ideal SSL Certificate for your site, don’t buy it immediately. First, make sure you can install it on your website’s server. Every hosting provider has different in-house rules regarding SSL Certificates. This mainly concerns shared hosting plans, so if you’re on a VPS or dedicate server, you shouldn’t face any compatibility issues. Still, it’s always better to contact your hosting company and double check with them.
Additional Reading: SSL on Shared Hosting – Why It Might Not Work
3. Coming unprepared for the validation process
The validation process is done via CSR (Certificate Signing Request) available on our site. You won’t be able to obtain your SSL Certificate unless you provide correct and up to date information about your domain/company to the Certificate Authority. If you need to validate your domain name, make sure you submit its exact name, without any typos. To validate an organization, you’ll have to provide additional company documentation. If you accidentally put some wrong information in the CSR, the Certificate Authority may decline your request. Pay close attention to this step, as it’s here users usually make the most common SSL mistakes.
4. Installing the SSL Certificate without prior experience
If you’ve never installed an SSL before, and don’t have any experience in managing your hosting account, better leave this step to a seasoned developer. Although all Certificate Authorities offer step by step guides on how to install their products on a specific server, you don’t want to risk messing with your server configuration. A small mistake can lead to a big problem. Ask a developer friend, or hire us to install the SSL Certificate, and spare you the stress and hassle.
5. Ignoring post-installation actions
Many users erroneously think that installing the certificate on the server is all it takes to activate the HTTPS and the green padlock. However, the reality is different. You still have to go through a couple of important steps and add the finishing touches. Remember to test your installation for errors, and make the necessary SEO adjustments, for a proper HTTPS transition.
Finally, don’t forget your renewal date. Even the likes of Google and Yahoo have made the same mistake. Your website may become temporarily unsecured or unavailable. Now that you’ve learned about the most common SSL mistakes, you’ll be able to manage your SSL Certificates like a pro.