Why expensive SSL certificates aren’t worth it

Let’s set the scene: you’ve been browsing SSL vendors to secure your site, and one store offering affordable single domain and multi-domain SSLs or cheap wildcard SSL certificates catches your eye. You’re tempted to end your search right there and then and just buy one of these cheap options, but you hesitate. Other sites charge far more for SSL certificates; what if these cheap low prices are too good to be true? Is there a catch?

The short answer is no. For the most part, you’re likely to have a good experience with your SSL no matter what price you pay for it. However, there are other elements beyond the price you should consider. Read on to find out more. 

The truth about encryption strength

SSL marketing is full of statements about certain stores’ certificates having the most powerful encryption strength. Sounds great, but it isn’t true. All modern SSL certificates offer the same level of encryption, whatever the price you pay. The standard across the industry is 256-bit encryption, cheap and expensive stores alike. The only way to make your SSL even stronger is by optimizing your server settings, but that has nothing to do with the digital certificate itself. 

So what is the deal between these price differences, then? Why do some stores charge more if what they offer is essentially the same as cheaper stores? The answer is simple but perhaps a little depressing. It’s because they can. 

Fortunately, there are some things you can think about when purchasing an SSL to ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth.

What to look for when buying an SSL

First, look into the vendor’s partner Certificate Authority (CA) and whether or not they are considered trustworthy. The difference between a trusted CA and a less trusted CA means the difference between your website working and not working. Because if major web browsers like Chrome don’t trust the issuing CA, it won’t load your site. Simple as that. 

Next, read the reviews for the store. Have people had good experiences? Do they tend to like the service they offer? Lastly, check out their customer service and instructional content. SSL can be a bit tricky if you’ve never used it before. A good knowledge base that guides you through every step of the way is vital, as is a responsive customer service team that can step in if anything goes wrong.

No matter what price you pay for your SSL, these three things are the gold standard for SSL stores.


You can buy a more expensive SSL if you want, but the truth is that you’re unlikely to find it any more valuable than a cheaper equivalent. Save yourself some money and don’t settle for anything less than a trusted CA, stellar customer service, and great reviews.

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