What SSL Do I Need?

Posted on by Patrick Hawkins
Reading Time: 2 minutes

So you have come to the realization that you need an SSL Certificate. But there are different types. Which one do you really need?

Basic Usage

If you only have one site or one subdomain of a site that you wish to secure with an SSL certificate, a Standard SSL is your best fit. For example, say you decide to add a store to your site at shop.example.com, but you do not have any other secure login areas on your site. A Standard SSL for shop.example.com will secure that area.

SSL Certificates Available from Liquid Web

Multiple Subdomains

A standard SSL can secure both the www and non-www versions of your domain name (provided you generate your Certificate Signing Request, or CSR, with the “www.” prefix). But what if your site has multiple subdomains that need to be secured? shop.example.com, forums.example.com, apply.example.com… a single Standard SSL will not cover all these subdomains. For these, you will need at least a Wildcard SSL. Wildcard SSL’s cover every subdomain that you can possibly come up with.

Levels of Validation

Standard SSL and Wildcard SSL certificates not only secure your site but also demonstrate that you have the right to use a domain name, as far as the certificate authority that issues the certificate can tell. (Liquid Web sells certificates that have been validated by Globalsign®, a highly-respected certificate authority.)

But say that you also want to demonstrate that your company has been vetted beyond just your right to use the domain name. An Organizational SSL shows that your organization has been reviewed by the certificate authority. The verified details are visible in a browser when a user clicks on the Secure Site Seal, should you choose to add it to your site.

If you want a more thorough validation that is more visible in the browser, an Extended Validation or EV SSL certificate is just the thing. In addition to the benefits of an Organization SSL, an EV certificate both turns the address bar of your browser green and displays the organization’s name on the right side of the address bar. This is the only way to get your company name so prominently displayed in the address bar.

Multiple Domain Names

Finally, your organization may need to administer multiple domains with one SSL certificate. Perhaps you have the .com, .org, .net, and .biz domains for your organization, and use different ones in different contexts. A Unified Communication SSL can be added on to your Standard, Wildcard, or Organization SSL and let you manage multiple domains with one SSL certificate.

If you have any questions about which SSL certificate is right for you and your organization, do not hesitate to talk to Liquid Web’s Heroic Solutions Team using the contact information below.


Liquid Web’s Heroic Support is always available to assist customers with this or any other issue. If you need our assistance please contact us:
Toll-Free 1.800.580.4985
International 517.322.0434

About the Author: Patrick Hawkins

Patrick Hawkins is a former Test Engineer and Managed WordPress admin with Liquid Web

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