What is SSL Certificate & How it Works? – Definition and Complete Guide for Beginners

What is SSL certificate?” This is one of the most commonly asked questions on the Internet. Are you also concerned with this same question? So let’s talk about today what is SSL certificate and how it works.

What is SSL certificate?” This is one of the most commonly asked questions on the Internet. Are you also concerned with this same question? So let’s talk about today what is SSL certificate and how it works. It is the backbone of our secure internet and it keeps your sensitive information safe because it travels on the world’s computer network. SSL is essential for the security of your website, even if it does not handle sensitive information like credit card. It provides privacy, important security and data integrity for both your websites and users’ personal information.

What is SSL?

SSL actually stands for Secure Socket Layer. It is also known as TLS, which is stands for Transfer Layer Security. It is (Secure Sockets Layer), also called Digital Certificate, creates a secure link between a website and a visitor’s browser. By ensuring that all the data passed between the two are private and secure. Its encryption prevents hackers from stealing personal information such as credit card numbers, names, and addresses.

Generally, any certificate is posted on a website – its most common use. While browsing the internet, you may have noticed that some sites say HTTPS while some HTTP says. You would have thought that there is a difference between the two. Well, there is an SSL certificate difference.

The ‘S’ in HTTPS is for security. It secures communication between your PC / smartphone and web server of an HTTPS-enabled website.

Definition of SSL

Secure Socket Layer is a protocol developed by Netscape to set up an encrypted link between the web server and the browser. Secure Socket Layer is an industry-standard that transmits private data securely over the Internet. Most websites use SSL to protect the online transactions of their customers. Web security is essential for website security. It ensures security and strengthens network security. Many e-commerce websites increase customer trust by purchasing an SSL certificate.

During the Secure Socket Layer process, visitor data is encrypted. For example, a user goes to a website. Websites servers and the user then exchange a handshake and set an encryption format. Data received is encrypted and unencrypted when received by the server.

Types of SSL Certificate

On Validation Levels

  1. Extended Validation Certificates
  2. Organization Validated Certificates
  3. Domain Validation Certificates

Under Number of Secured Domains/hostnames

  1. Let’s Encrypt SSL
  2. Unified Communications Certificates (UCC)
  3. Wildcard
  4. Multi-domain

1. Extended Validation (EV) Certificates

The highest-ranking and most expensive certificate type is an extended verification certificate. This type of certificate, when installed, will be displayed on the browser address bar, padlock, HTTPS, business name and country. Displaying website owner information in the address bar will help separate the site from malicious sites.

In order to obtain this type of certificate, the website owner must go through a standardized identification verification process of the website. To confirm that the legal rights of the exclusive rights of his domain are legally authorized. EV certificates are used in high profile websites. Which requires identification assurance such as collecting data, logging or processing online payments.

2. Organization Validated (OV) Certificates

The main purpose of organization verification certification is to encrypt the user’s sensitive information during the transaction. This version of Certificates has given a high assurance similar to the EVSL certificate. Which is used to validate a business ‘credit’. This type displays website owner information in the address bar to help distinguish them from malicious sites. OV certificates are second in the price. Commercial or public-facing websites need to establish an OV certificate. To ensure that any shared customer information remains confidential.

In order to obtain an OV certificate, the website owner must complete an adequate verification process. A Certifying Authority (CA) will check the owner of the website to see if they have the right to their specific domain names. Once the certificate is installed, business information will be displayed in the browser address bar. If you are new and don’t know how to choose the Domain name than you must read our article on How to Choose the Best Domain name.

3. Domain Verification (DV) SSL Certificate

Domain Verification SSL Certificates usually have less assurance and basic encryption for blogs or information websites. The validation process for obtaining this type is minimal. By answering the email or phone call, only the owners of the website need to process the process to prove ownership of the domain.

This type is the least expensive and fastest to achieve. The browser address bar will display only HTTPS and a padlock. The business name will not include If you do not need additional assurance for your website visitors, then you will install a Domain Verification SSL certificate.

4. Let’s encrypt

Let’s encrypt a new Certificate Authority (CA) which provides a free SSL certificate which is as secure as the current payment certificates. This project is leading the entire Internet to make the default standard for encrypted connections.

It is an open and automated certificate authority that uses ACME (Automated Certificate Management Environment) protocol to provide a free TLS / SSL certificate to any relevant customer. These certificates can be used to encrypt communication between your web server and your users. There are dozens of clients available, written in various programming languages. And there are many integrations with popular administrative tools, services, and servers.’ Let’s Encrypt’ project is a big step for security and privacy on the Internet.

Anyone that owns a domain can get a trusted certificate for that domain at zero cost. However, ‘Let’s Encrypt’ certificates only provide Domain Verification (DV) certificates. Let’s not support the encrypt ‘Certificate Organization Validation (OV) certificate’. Delegate Hosting is supporting the one-click installation of Let’s Encrypt global initiative to create an SSL certificate for everyone.

5. Unified Communications Certificates (UCC)

Unified Communications Certificate (UCC) is also considered as a multi-domain certificate. UCC was originally designed to protect Microsoft Exchange and Live Communications servers. Today, UCC certificates can be used by website owners. This type of certificate allows multiple domain names to be stored on the same certificate. UCC certificates are organizationally valid and display a padlock on a browser. UCC can be used as an EV certificate so that website visitors can be given the highest assurance through the green address bar.

6. Wildcard

Wildcard certificates are protected with an unlimited number of subdomains for a single domain. Buying a Wildcard is cheaper than buying multiple SSL domain certificates. Here, OV(organization verification) wildcard certificates or DV(Domain Verification) Wildcard certificates are available for purchase.

In addition, The wildcard will be an asterisk * in the SSL certificate as part of the common name. An asterisk * will represent any valid subdomain that is the same base domain. For example, the generic name can be * This certificate can be installed for, and more.

7. Multi-domain

Multi-domain certificates can save up to 100 different domain names and subdomains using the same certificate that helps save time and money. You have control over the Subject Alternative Name (SAN) field to add, change, and delete any SAN as needed. Domain valid, organization valid, extended valid, and wildcard SSL types are also available. Here are some example domain names that can be secure with just a multi-domain certificate:,,,

How SSL Certificate Work?

The following is the step-by-step approach of the SSL connection process:

  • A user requests a web address with https: // using their Internet browser. The browser requests that the server identifies itself.
  • The server replies by sending a copy of its SSL certificate, which contains its public key.
  • The browser checks the certificate root to see if it relates to a trusted CA. It also checks whether the SSL certificate is uninstalled or not. In addition, it checks if its common name is valid for the website.
  • Once the browser confirms that it can trust the website, it creates, sends a symmetric session key using the server’s public key.
  • Now, the server decrypts a symmetric session key using its own private key.
  • In return, the server sends an acknowledgment encrypted with the session key to start the encrypted session.
  • Now, all the data transmitted between the server and the browser is encrypted.

Importance of SSL Certificate

  • Increasing site security

First and foremost, Certificates will protect sensitive data transmitted to you and your website. Such information may include login details, signups, addresses, and payments or personal information. SSL will encrypt the connection to the certificate and will help protect your visitors ‘data from abusers’ abuse.

  • Credibility and trust for your customers

One important advantage of certificates is the fact that they will help you gain the confidence of the visitors. So, Your website will be shown in a browser address bar with a security padlock. This will indicate that the connection is secure and will show visitors to your website that you take their privacy very seriously. If there is no certificate on your website, then some browsers may call it “unsafe”.

  • Safety for all your subdomains

A typical SSL certificate known as wildcard allows you to secure your main site and all its subdomains (such as or with a single SSL certificate. This is particularly useful if you are a business owner or if you keep large websites with many sub-domains. With a standard SSL, you have to set up a separate certificate for each of your subdomains.

  • Improves SEO

Another benefit of establishing SSL certification is the SEO improvement in ranking that your site will get. With its HTTPS initiative everywhere, Google promotes a small ranking of websites with an encrypted connection. Although this boost cannot be enough, with SSL, you will benefit from your competitors who do not yet have the certificates.

  • SSL Encrypts Sensitive Information

The primary reason for using SSL is to keep sensitive information sent to the Internet encrypted so that only the desired recipient can access it. This is important because the information you send over the Internet reaches a computer to the computer to reach the destination. Any cybernetics between you and the server can see your credit card number, username, and password. And also can see other sensitive information if it is not encrypted with it. When an SSL certificate is applied, the information for everyone except the one sending the information to you is unreadable. It protects it from hackers and identity thieves.

Who issues SSL Certificate?

It is issued by a Certificate Authority (CA), together with other digital certificates. Certificate Authority confirms the identity and ownership of the business or company applying for the SSL certificate. These issued certificates are chains of a trusted root certificate owned by your chosen CA. Trusted root certifications are inserted in a “certificate store” in popular web browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer and Safari.

Whenever you visit a website that uses an SSL certificate, your browser verifies that it is signed by one of the trusted roots in its store. If it is not, it will warn you that the connection is not secure. Anyone coming to your site will also see an error message. This is the reason that we recommend buying an SSL certificate only from a trusted CA.

How do I implement SSL on my site?

The best thing about SSL is simple to install. Installing HTTPS on your website is very easy, just follow these 3 simple steps:

1. The purchase of certificates issued by a reliable CA(Certificate Authority)

Trusted certificates can be purchased from your web-host or purchase directly from reliable CAs like Comodo. Certificates from a trusted CA recognize by all the popular internet browsers used by your visitors (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc).

2. Activate and install the certificate

If you purchased your certificate from your web-host then they can take this action for you. If you are managing the site yourself. Then the two steps you need to complete are a Certificate Signature Request (CSR) and then to install your certificate. Comodo provides a series of documents to help complete the two tasks on various webserver software:

3. Turn your entire site into HTTPS

After installing your certificate on your targeted pages, why not modify your site so that all content can be safely served? The Internet is rapidly heading towards a default HTTPS for every page. And if a website serves more than HTTPS, then Google is also giving better search ranking to websites.

Why Do I Need SSL?

There is a lot more reason to use SSL, with many day-to-day transactions and plenty of communication online. SSL supports these information security principles:

  • Encryption: Protect data transmission (such as from browser to server, server to server, etc.
  • Authentication: Make sure that the server you are connected to is actually the correct server.
  • Data Integrity: Make sure that the data requested or submit is really distribute.

What Are The Benefits of Using SSL?

There are many benefits to using SSL certificate.

  • Use HTTP, which gets a strong Google ranking
  • Create a safe experience for your customers
  • However, Build customer trust and improve conversions
  • Protect both customer and internal data
  • Encrypt server communication from browser-to-server and server to server
  • Moreover, Increase the security of your mobile and cloud apps

Final thought

You can see above all, there are we discuss several types of SSL available and benefits of SSL to cover the entire host of different requirements. There are some who provide a high level of protection to consumer trust. And others who cover more than one domain. The requirements for each type of certificate are different. And also they can be cheap from cheaper to cheap (DVSL) and for more stringent business verification such as EVS SSL certificates.

Before choosing SSL to buy, consider your business and budget. This is a business safety idea, so when it comes to the SSL solutions for your website, we recommend not to compromise.

On another way, if you’re looking for a Ready Made website with an SSL certificate. Delegate Studio comes with a Ready-Made Website. Ready-Made Website includes Top-level Domain, Managed Hosting, SSL certificate, SEO Optimization, and 24/7 Support.

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By Alan Franklin

Alan Franklin is a professional Web Developer and a WordPress Blogger at Delegate Studio. He has a huge passion for WordPress and using his experience from over a decade.

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