It’s 2023, and the online world is now a much more significant and accepted part of our lives. Digital transformation is ubiquitous, making the Web more accessible and secure. Most industry analyst firms conclude that 80-90 percent of network traffic is encrypted today.

SSL certificates have become an essential element of any website, regardless of size and niche. Today, it’s easier than ever to encrypt sensitive data and protect it against cyber thieves. With HTTPS being a requirement, SSL certificates are selling like hotcakes, but who is offering the best deal?

In this article, we’ll talk about SSL prices and where to get affordable SSL products. But first, let’s find out what factors determine the price.

How is the SSL price determined?

The cost of an SSL certificate can be a tricky subject. Most novices mistakenly believe that more expensive certificates provide better encryption. However, the price has nothing to do with the encryption level because the SSL industry follows the universal TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocol to secure sensitive data. So, all SSL certificates, from the cheapest to the premium, offer the same protection, which is impossible to break with current technology. Now that we’ve got this out of the way, let’s see what elements influence the cost of SSL certs.

Validation type

SSL certificates have to secure the entire Web, but not all websites are identical. A regular blog has different security needs than a large e-commerce platform. For this reason, SSL validation is the first thing to consider when choosing a certificate. 

Domain Validation (DV SSL) verifies domain ownership only and provides essential customer trust and features. Hence, it’s the most common and cheapest option. It’s the perfect choice for blogs, online portfolios, and informational sites.

Our cheapest DV SSL certificate is just $7,66 per year.

Business Validation (BV SSL) verifies the legal status of your company on top of the domain ownership. It provides a greater assurance that the website is safe and belongs to a genuine organization.

At SSL Dragon we offer a wide range of BV SSL certificates starting at $37,33 per year.

Extended Validation (EV SSL) checks the physical and legal existence of the organization, in addition to DV and OV. It is the most rigorous level of validation and thus carries the highest degree of trust, credibility, and cost.

The most affordable EV SSL certificate costs $75 per year.

What the SSL certificate secures

SSL certificates can secure anything from a single domain or subdomain to multiple websites and an unlimited number of subdomains under one installation. Of course, the more versatile the certificate is, the more it will cost. Then we also have Email SSL certificates and certs that can protect an IP address. These types have their own price ranges. Finally, digital certificates like Code Signing protect software and applications and are a must for code publishers.

Single-domain SSL certificates are the most affordable because they encrypt just one domain or subdomain.

Wildcard SSL certs are pricier as they encrypt unlimited subdomains along with the main domain. Get a Wildcard SSL certificate today for as low as $56,33 per year.

Multi-domain SSL can secure up to 250 additional SANs (Subject Alternative Names) under one certificate. Their price depends on the validation level and Certificate Authority (brand). Multi-Domain certificates start at just $21,66 per year.

Multi-Domain Wildcard is a hybrid certificate that can secure all your subdomains on multiple domains. It’s more expensive than regular Wildcard or Multi-Domain certs, but you can still get at just $150 per year from us.

Email SSL certificates digitally sign and encrypt email messages and their attachments and have different prices for individuals, small-to-medium businesses, and enterprises. The cheapest Email certificate is just $11.66 per year.

IP Address SSL Certificates are available to both regular websites and officially registered organizations that need to protect a public IP address. Depending on your needs, you may request a DV certificate to secure multiple SANs or a BV certificate to encrypt one IP address. IP Address SSL certificates start at $44,43 per year.

Code signing adds a digital signature to software and applications and verifies that the included code has not been altered after it was signed. The cheapest Code Signing certificate is just $68.66 per year.

Brand Image

Every SSL brand targets specific users and niches per its business model. No one illustrates it better than Sectigo and Digicert, the CAs with the highest market share in the industry.

Sectigo (formerly Comodo) offers a wide range of SSL products for every need and budget. No one matches their affordable prices, and they even have budget EV and Multi-Domain Wildcard products.

On the other hand, DigiCert focuses on high-assurance markets, providing BV and EV solutions for larger organizations and enterprises. The difference in price between Sectigo and Digicert certificates is enormous, but both companies thrive.

Extra Features

Commercial SSL certificates come with extra features like site seals and SSL warranties. An SSL site seal is a visual indicator that lets visitors know that your company values online security and privacy. 

Site seals can be static or dynamic; you can place them anywhere on your site, including the checkout pages, sidebars, and footer area. The more popular the brand is, the more effective the site seal will be. Certificates with dynamic site seals cost more than similar products with static seals.

SSL Warranty

SSL warranty protects users against potential data breaches. While it’s highly unlikely that an attacker will break the SSL encryption, a CA can fraudulently or mistakenly issue an SSL certificate to the wrong recipient.

Entry-level certificates usually have smaller warranties than premium ones. SSL warranty can range from $10,000 to $2,000,000 depending on the validation type and Certificate Authority. 

When two SSL certificates offer similar options, often the level of SSL warranty determines the price. Certificates with higher SSL warranties are usually more expensive.

The seller

You can buy an SSL certificate from different places, but the cheapest is a specialized SSL vendor like SSL Dragon. Also called an SSL reseller, a company like ours has platinum partnerships with the leading CAs that allow us to buy certificates in bulk at highly discounted prices. We then pass the savings onto our customers and offer regular deals, to keep their spending to a minimum.

Unlike SSL resellers, hosting companies, for example, sell SSL certificates as an upsell to their main product. They offer a competitive price for the first year, but the renewal is way more expensive. Here’s a comparison table between SSL resellers and hosting providers. Buying directly from the CA is also not a good idea as the price is steep. 

Final Thoughts

As you can see, many factors determine the cost of an SSL certificate. Moreover, the same cert can sell for less or more depending on where you buy it. To choose the right certificate for your website, set your budget, then decide on the validation type, brand, and extra features you may need. As long as you buy and renew it from an SSL reseller, you will get the best price, no matter what type you purchase.

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