How Much Does a SSL Certificate Cost?

Written by: Staff

SSL, which stands for Secure Socket Layer, may sound like a complex term, but in reality, it’s not.

These certificates will validate your website’s identity and encrypt the information your visitors send to or receive from your site, keeping thieves from spying on anything that’s exchanged on your domain.

When you have this encryption, your visitors can be assured any information they share on your website is private and can’t be viewed by others.

How much does an SSL certificate cost?

The cost of an SSL certificate will greatly depend on the type of certificate you’re buying and which company you’re purchasing from.  In most cases, the company issuing your certificate will only validate that you own the domain and won’t identify your identity to the user, meaning the people who visit your website will know your domain has an SSL certificate; however, it doesn’t mean the person is a scammer.  This is why one SSL certificate may be more than the other.  The same can be said about a brand.  People online, just like a store, often don’t trust a name they haven’t heard of, and the same can be said about an SSL certificate.  If your website was secured and signed by Joe’s SSL, most people may not trust this company, but they would trust a large, reputable organization such as VeriSign.  When all of these factors are considered, the costs can range from $50 to $250+ per year.  

Refer to our table below to see what popular SSL organizations are charging:

CompanyPrice Range (per year)
Comodo$49 to $199
DigiCert$175 to $475
Entrust$122 to $500+
GeoTrust$149 to $599+
GeoTrust$149 to $499
GlobalSign$249 to $599+
GoDaddy$69 to $299
HostGator$31 (domain validated) to $270 (extended)
Let's EncryptFREE
Network Solutions$55 to $500$36 to $299+
Symantec SSL$399 to $999+
Thawte$149 to $299

NOTE:  These prices were gathered in 2017 and are subject to change.  Use these as an average only.

SSL certificate overview

All of your reputable companies will offer some sort of warranty, often up to more than a million dollars, customer support, a certain number of licenses, 128/256 bit encryption, a verification seal, extended validation and daily website scanning.

An SSL certificate can either be “EV,” which means it’s an extended validation, whereas a non-EV is provided for security purposes.  Unlike a non-EV, an extended validation means the website will actively be pinged by the Certificate Authority on the provided IP of the domain, then a script, located on the server, compares the address of the ping to the response of the Certificate Authority and the IP you’re visiting.  This ensures the website you’re visiting is the same one the CA sees.  As for a non-EV, no authority will actively check the domain against a logged IP for security purposes.  Lastly, a wildcard SSL will often be used by those who use a multitude of subdomains that always changing and need SSL encryptions.

What are the extra costs?

The prices quoted above are often for a single domain only.  If you were to need to add additional domain names, they may be available for a slight upcharge.

How can I save money?

Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated and open certificate authority, created by the Internet Security Research Group and is also sponsored by well-known companies such as Google Chrome and Mozilla.  In order to use the service, you just need to verify you own the website.

In some cases, if you were to buy for more than one year, a company may offer a discount of up to 30 percent.

A domain validated certificate will be much cheaper than an EV-certificate because, with a domain validated, the domain only has to be checked, whereas the EV certificate requires more information about the owner of the domain, which could take more of an administration effort.

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Average Reported Cost: $0

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