Looking for guide to renew SSL certificate? This article is for you.
Website owners often fail to renew SSL certificate, leading to grave consequences such as data theft, non-compliance, loss of website traffic, and the list goes on. Sadly though, quite a few website owners assume that the SSL is a one-time affair.
This no longer comes as a surprise because most website owners are non-techies who hire freelance developers. As these website developers take care of the SSL installation for their clients, website owners fail to keep track of its expiry.
The lack of continuous communication is often the culprit, and so you need to know how to check it on your own and renew it before the expiry date.
An SSL certificate remains valid for 13 months only. Those which come bundled as freebies usually remain valid for a trial period ranging between 30 to 90 days only and then expire.
So, we decided to discuss everything you need to know to keep a tab on your SSL certificate’s validity.
What Happens if My SSL Certificate Expires?
Websites Owners who do not renew SSL certificates periodically end up exposing their website users to various forms of network-based security risks. This could be in the form of man-in-the-middle attacks, packet sniffing, financial details being stolen, or identity theft. When any of this happens, your business bears the brunt of it because no one trusts a website that fails to protect user and customer data.
Besides opening the floodgates to security risks, it lowers SEO rankings, causes loss of traffic, data theft, and online reputation loss. In 2014, Google clearly stated that the HTTPS is a ranking signal, following which there was a rush for SSL certificates.
After that, many browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Explorer started flashing security warnings to users browsing websites without a valid SSL. If you don’t want any of that, consider renewing your SSL certificate periodically.
Moreover, not renewing the SSL can put you (the website owner) in conflict with the existing laws and regulations. Data security and privacy laws worldwide expect website owners to protect the best interests of their users or customers.
This is possible with an active and valid SSL because it activates the HTTPS protocol, which ensures secure exchange of data between the server and the client. On the other hand, an invalid SSL results in the data being transmitted as plain text, which can be easily intercepted and understood.
How to Renew SSL Certificate? – Step by Step
SSL certificate renewal is not a lengthy process as a renew is like a customer is purchasing a new certificate so, a customer has to follow the same process as followed during the new purchase of an SSL certificate.
Step #1: Generate CSR (Certificate Signing Request)
The initial step will be creating a Certificate Signing Request (CSR). Generate the CSR on the server where you wish to install SSL certificate. Remember to store the private key on your server or desktop securely. This step ensures the integrity and security of your SSL certificate.
Step #2: Select SSL Certificate
Select the SSL certificate that suits your website’s security requirements and budget. You can choose from a variety of options that we have listed below.
Step #3: Purchase SSL Certificate
Proceed to purchase the SSL certificate that best meets your needs after making your selection. You will receive an email about the SSL setting procedure after finishing the purchasing process.
Step #4: Complete SSL Configuration
Complete the configuration process by clicking on the link received in your email. Follow the instructions provided to finalize the SSL configuration.
Step #5: Validate Domain Ownership
Prove domain ownership by completing the domain validation process. This may involve using methods such as:
- Email Verification
- CNAME records
- File Method
You can select any method depending on your choice and suitability.
Step #6: Verify Business (OV or EV)
For organization validation and extended validation certificate renewal, the certificate authority will ask for business-related documents to verify the legality of a business. In case any details are changed before the renewal, you need to resubmit the documents.
Step #7: Receive Issued Certificate
After the verification of documents, the certificate authority completes the validation process. At this stage, the SSL certificate is issued. You can download it from your registered email or your ClickSSL dashboard.
Step #8: Install SSL Certificate
At last, install the SSL certificate on your server by following the instructions carefully. This ensures the security of your website and provides a safe browsing experience for your visitors.
It is to note that you can renew your SSL with any SSL provider as it is not compulsory to stick to the present SSL provider. Many SSL providers offer discount on renewal of SSL certificate.
Why do SSL Certificates expire?
Due to security concerns, SSL certificates remain valid for a maximum of 13 months. The renewal process provides Certifying Authorities (CA) an opportunity to reconfirm the website’s credibility or business on which their trust seal appears.
For example, a company that was successfully validated and granted an EV SSL may have ceased to exist or been involved in unlawful activities. Through periodical re-validation during renewals, CAs ensure that they have issued the certificate to legitimate websites and businesses.
How to Check the Validity of an SSL Certificate?
You can easily check your SSL certificate‘s validity by opening it in the browser and clicking on a secured padlock. Then click on ‘Certificate,’ and you will be able to see the period for which the SSL certificate is valid.
Conclusion for Renew SSL Certificate
We have discussed everything you need to know about tracking your SSL certificate’s validity, so make it a point to renew your SSL certificate before it expires. This simple process can keep your traffic inflow steady and save you from some serious trouble if done promptly.