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I am trying to make my site HTTPS due to SEO and integration support with websites such as facebook. For this, I need to purchase an SSL certificate. But I saw control panel & WHM gives me option to have free SSL certificate (AutoSSL), issued by cPanel, Inc. Certification Authority.

Now, I have to decide whether to use the free SSL (AutoSSL) or use a paid certificate.

One major difference I could see is that AutoSSL have shorter validity where as paid one can have more validity. I don't think this is an issue, as the free SSL auto renews near expiry. As i understand, same encryption is provided by both AutoSSL and paid SSL. But AutoSSL may not have warranty, which I don't feel as an issue.

As my intention is just to make one website secure using https, primarily for SEO and integration with websites like facebook, I believe AutoSSL is fine for me as it saves money.

Is my understanding wrong or any negatives in using AutoSSL over paid SSL?

Note: mine is not something like an ecommerce website where Organisation Validation and Extended Validation may be desired which paid ssl may only offer. I am ok with domain validation which AutoSSL offers.

  • "Now, I have to decide whether to use the free SSL (AutoSSL) or use a paid certificate." Your options are wider than that. Let's Encript is a valid global Certificate Authority and its provides certificates for free. There are others also. And "AutoSSL" may just be a reseller of it. – Patrick Mevzek Jan 20 at 15:50
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I would say this depends on what is going on the website along with your ability to implement the solution, also whether you have subdomains.

Gauging by your question, you seem to have the ability to do any of the solutions.

Your websites content. I would suggest using a paid SSL if you are an e-commerce site or is a multi-site. Mainly due to the warranty and it allows you to add branding to the certificate. There is another factor of having an extended period for which you can keep the SSL. Most people won't look into the company too much if you're already successful with a bountiful amount of glowing reviews, if thats not the case - this may also help your credibility slightly.

Free SSL created through a Certificate Authority (CA) such as Let's Encrypt, is good for sites that are more informative than sensitive information (sites you're not requesting credit card information on). Along with not having the option to AutoSSL.

So your options would be to create your own through a CA. Where you upload a file to your server validating ownership, then you can get the keys required to pop into your cPanel.

Second option would be to use AutoSSL. It basically does it for you. If I have the option to do this and it is not a sensitive website, I would just choose this over Free CA SSL Certificate pretty much just for the simplicity.

Lastly to purchase an SSL or a WildcardSSL(for validating subdomains).

Depends on the server, website content, ability to implement each solution.

Any more questions pop them down, Jason.

  • thanks, this is what I was also thinking – Kiran Jan 20 at 17:10
  • Glad I could help out, feel free to request help installing! Happy safe browsing! – Jason Is My Name Jan 21 at 9:04
  • " Let's Encrypt, is good for sites that are more informative than sensitive information" I feel that to be highly subjective and not backed by any factual technical arguments (all certificates work at the end exactly in the same way). Also as for the guarantee part sold by some CAs, often as argument while their certificates are "better", AFAIK that was never actioned by anyone for any case and some doubts it would be actionable anyway the way they are written. – Patrick Mevzek Jan 22 at 20:48
  • Also I am not sure to undertand, but I may have read things incorrectly, of the relationship you seem to draw between the certificate validity length and the website credibility. – Patrick Mevzek Jan 22 at 20:50
  • @PatrickMevzek but they don’t work at the same level. Paid SSL certificates don’t just validate the domain (DV), it is also paired with Organisation Validation (OV) and Extended Validation (EV) - of which you cannot get with Let’s Encrypt. Your second comment is drawing attention to only the second part of what I was speaking about Paid SSL’s. I am saying all of these factors the DV, OV, EV, multisite cover & being able to brand your certificate will all ‘slightly’ improve your sites credibility. – Jason Is My Name Jan 22 at 21:06

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