How Much Does an SSL Certificate Cost in 2023?

In today’s digitally-driven world, website security has become a paramount concern for businesses and individuals. Sensitive data such as login credentials and credit card details are the constant target of cyber thieves. Thankfully, SSL certificates encrypt confidential information and help establish trust between a website and its visitors.

However, many website owners are often left wondering how much does an SSL certificate costs? This article provides an overview of the different SSL certificates, their respective value, and factors that may affect the price.

Table of Contents

  1. How Much Does an SSL Certificate Cost?
  2. How Is the SSL Price Determined?
  3. Final Thoughts
SSL Certificate Cost

How Much Does an SSL Certificate Cost?

The SSL certificate price varies depending on several factors, including the validation type, what it can secure, and the extra features like site seals and SSL warranties. But these internal specifications aren’t the only attributes to establish the SSL price. 

Certificate Authorities‘ brand image and the seller itself also determine the SSL certificate pricing. Moreover, the same SSL product will cost more if you buy it directly from the Certificate Authority instead of a certified SSL vendor.

Next, we’ll examine how the SSL certificate cost is determined and answer how much SSL certificates cost.

How Is the SSL Price Determined?

The cost of SSL certificates 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. It’s also one of the main factors that determines the SSL cost. 

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 a Multi-Domain Wildcard cert 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 must 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. The most affordable DigiCert Standard SSL certificate costs $216.66 per year, while the most expensive DigiCert Secure Site PRO Wildcard is $3,333.33 per year.

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 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. For instance, Sectigo Essential SSL ($16,66 per year) and Thawte SSL 123 ($36,66 per year) are DV certificates. But the latter is twice the price of the first one because of its dynamic site seal and brand reputation.

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. That’s the case with Comodo Instant SSL and GeoTrust True Business ID. The first certificate is $37,33 per year, while the second – $91,66. Both are Business Validation certs, but the latter’s warranty is $1,250,000 compared to the first’s $50,000.

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. Buying directly from the CA is also not a good idea as the price is steep. Thawte Web Server EV is just $170 per year at SSL Dragon. The same certificate costs $398 per year on Thawte’s official website.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, many factors determine the SSL certificate price. 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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Frequently Asked Questions

Do SSL Certificates Cost Money?

Not all SSL certificates cost money. Some public Certificate Authorities issue free SSL certificates destined for entry-level sites and static content. A free SSL certificate verifies domain ownership only and can’t protect multiple websites under a single SSL installation. It isn’t suitable for officially registered businesses, e-commerce platforms, non-profit organizations, and financial institutions.

On the other hand, paid SSL certificates offer all three validation levels and secure anything from a basic website to public IPs and multi-network sites.

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Why Do SSL Certificates Cost Money?

SSL certificates cost money because they are issued by trusted third-party organizations called Certificate Authorities. These entities verify the website’s owner identity and maintain strict security standards and infrastructure to ensure the integrity and authenticity of the SSL certs they issue. On top of that, CAs keep track of certificate revocations and offer robust customer support. All these processes require financial and human resources, which are ultimately reflected in the price.

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What Is the Average Cost of an SSL Certificate?

The SSL certificate cost varies depending on the validation type and the Certificate Authority (CA) that issues it. Generally, a Domain Validation (DV) SSL certificate can cost as low as $10-15 per year, while a more advanced Extended Validation (EV) SSL one can cost several hundred dollars. SSL cert costs roughly $60 per year, but you shouldn’t worry about the average. We offer affordable SSL certificates for any budget and needs.

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