Learn how to install an SSL certificate in Hostgator
If you visit websites and blogs regularly or have an eye for details, you may have noticed that some URLs start with “http://” and others with “https://”. If you haven’t seen it yet, this article will enlighten you about what this is all about and the benefit of one over the other. In simple terms, the additional “S” means that your connection to the site is secure, and the data entered can’t be acquired by unintended parties. The technology behind the additional “s” is called SSL, and today, we will tell you how to install an SSL Certificate on HostGator– a hosting platform.
What is an SSL Certificate, and why is it important?
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer; it refers to a digital certificate that encrypts connections between a server and a client.
After knowing what an SSL certificate is, you may be wondering, why is it important? An SSL certificate ensures that the data submitted through websites such as credit card details, personal details, medical records, legal documents and contracts, and login credentials are secure. The encrypted data can only be decrypted by a specific server meaning third parties cannot see or access the data.
An SSL creates trust in the customers with the assurance that the information is safe. This is crucial if you are running an online business; with a secured website, customers will feel safe filling in their credit card details and making the purchases. Securing your site with an SSL certificate also prevents data attacks. You may have had of information being weaponized and used against the owner; those are not myths. When you install SSL, it prevents data visibility and accessibility by third parties and, in consequence, wards off possible manipulation for malicious gain.
A breakdown of how SSL Certificate works
Usually, when you submit data between a browser and a server, it is sent as plain text. If the website is not secured, hackers can sniff and collect the details, and from that level, they can use the information as they deem best, which most times are harmful ways. However, if you visit a website encrypted with SSL Certificate, your browser connects with the server through a process called SSL Handshake, scans the SSL certificate for a key pair: a public and a private key, and binds the two. The connection is so secure that no one will be able to see or access what you have typed on your browser or submitted for processing.
How to Install an SSL Certificate on HostGator?
Before installing the SSL certificate, one common question that arises is, what do I need? Generally, there are three types of SSL certificates, and each offers a different level of security.
Important tip: For maximum data protection, define the purpose of the website and choose the most suitable certificate. Note that if the website hosts in multiple platforms, you may need different certificates.
This type of certificate offers the lowest level of validation; it is used to verify the identity of the owner. Here, the Certificate Authority, which is a trusted entity that manages and issues the certificates and public keys, will send you an email via the address that registered the website. The certificate has a domain name supplied to the Certificate Authority. Once the domain ownership is validated, the certificate authority issues the certificate.
Certificates in this category have a moderate level of security. To receive this certificate, the Certificate Authority must verify some business details such as the presence of your organization, location, and the domain name as confirmation of legal registration and accountability. The certificate shows the domain name and company name of the certified owner. The option is suitable for websites that wish to show the credibility of their business over the web.
3. Extended Validation
This certificate offers the highest level of security, and it is a must-have for websites that deal with sensitive information such as legal documents, business registration documents, log in details, and third-party directory confirmation. To get the Extended Validation Certificate, the CA performs an extensive assessment of the website, identity, corporate documents, and the database. It shows that the company has gone through the highest validation process.
After selecting the certificate, the next phase is to install an SSL certificate on HostGator.
The main advantage of using HostGator is that it is a popular hosting platform. To encourage you to secure your website using the HostGator SSL certificate, here is a step-to-step guide.
- First, purchase the SSL certificate through ClickSSL.net.
- After purchasing, fill the details correctly in the provided CSR form on HostGator website, and a certificate signing request will be generated along with the private key.
- Once a CSR and private key is generated from the given form, you need to submit it to SSL provider and complete the SSL configuration process.
- After the domain validation process is completed, the certificate authority issues the certificate that you need to upload to the HostGator form for SSL installation.
- In the form, you will have installation fees ($10) bracket that you need to select.
- The last step is waiting for the installation to be completed.
How can you tell if your website has an SSL Certificate installed?
After the installation of the SSL Certificate, a difference will appear on the browser. First, the URL will show “https://” and not “http://” and the site flagged as secure. Second, a padlock icon will appear in the URL bar as a sign of security either on the left or the right side depending on the browser you are using. To know more about the website and the company that offered the certificate, click on the icon. The third sign of a website having an SSL is the validity of the certificate.
With many people migrating to online transactions, securing the website is a sound way of pulling traffic your way and protecting your business from attacks.