Shared SSL Certificate vs Dedicated Certificate

Using a Shared Certificate vs Dedicated Certificate

Shared SSL Certificate

I personally do not recommend using a shared SSL certificate because if you have an online store, it does not provide the type of security your shoppers will expect. When you use a shared-SSL certificate, your customer may experience a website name change in the middle of their shopping experience. This will be troublesome to most shoppers and they may leave your website. There is no way around this if the SSL certificate is shared and this is irregardless of what shopping cart you use. An experienced shopper may also look at the properties of the SSL key and see that it is not YOUR store. A shopper frightened by the use of a shared SSL is a big price to pay for SSL certificates that can now be obtained for less than $100/year.

The main downside to the shared SSL certificate is that your business name is not usually on the certificate. The person who bought the certificate (and you are sharing it with) usually appears. For some online shoppers, this might raise red flags. Another problem is that if the person who bought the SSL certificate lapses, you lapse as well, leaving your Web site vulnerable. Many ecommerce Web hosts provide shared SSL certificates for their clients. This is an easy way to get SSL protection initially. You pay a regular (usually small) fee, and you can make use of your Web host’s SSL certificate.

Dedicated SSL certificate

This is an SSL certificate that you buy on your own. Your identity is independently verified, and your domain name is what appears on the certificate. A dedicated SSL certificate is much more expensive than a shared certificate. However, you are in charge of your protection, and your SSL certificate can come with you if you switch Web hosts. Customers see your company’s name when the check the SSL certificate, and that bolsters your credibility. Another advantage is that you are able choose the level of security you receive, rather than simply taking whatever the SSL owner of a shared certificate offers.

In the end, you have to weigh cost against other considerations. If you do not do a lot of business, and if you are comfortable with your ecommerce Web host, it might be fine to simply get a shared SSL certificate. This is also true if you are concerned with spending time getting the SSL certificate or if you want everything taken care of for you. Many people go with the shared SSL certificate because of immediate convenience. The less costly shared certificate could leave money free to use for other things. On the other hand, if you want to build your company to something that is high profile and does a lot sales, it might be worth it to spend the extra and get the SSL certificate. It all depends on your specific needs, as well as how much money you have to spend.


SSL, Secure Socket Layer, certificate security is a must for any ecommerce website. SSL benefits to you and your customers are vital. This article contains information on SSL benefits to your online store web site and SSL benefits to your customers.

If you are involved in online business, you have probably heard of SSL. SSL is an encryption method, short for Secure Sockets Layer. SSL is very important for someone involved in an online business. It provides a way for retailers to be trusted by their customers, and a way for them to make sure that sensitive information is kept safe. Here are some of the main benefits that come with making sure that you have SSL protection on your ecommerce Web site:

1. Server authentication. When you have SSL, you are protected as well as your customer. The server – which is basically another name for a computer that stores information about your Web site for viewing by customers and others – must have a digital certificate. SSL provides these certificates, and is able to read them. Certificates come from a trusted third party that can guarantee encryption. The certificate is proof that the server is what it says it is. SSL makes it harder for fraudsters to pretend to be another server. Customers feel safe, knowing that you really are legitimate, and they are more willing to do business with you. You are protected as well when you engage in business to business transactions with others that have valid SSL certificates.

2. Private communication capability. Another advantage of SSL protection is that it makes conversations private. The encryption used by SSL turns useful data, such as credit card numbers, addresses and other payment information, into useless bits of information. Random characters appear. Only the right recipient – one with the encryption key – can decode the messages. This means that you have a private communication channel. If someone else tries to intercept the information, it will appear to be useless.

3. Customer confidence. This is an extremely important benefit of having SSL certification. It assures customers that you are taking the proper steps to protect their personal information. A well-informed and seasoned Internet shopper knows that SSL protection is a necessity. Many savvy online shoppers will not buy from ecommerce merchants who do not encrypt transactions using SSL. If you want loyal customers, it is a good idea to purchase some sort of SSL certificate so that buyers feel confident in engaging in business with you.

SSL benefits for Web hosts

For Web hosts, having SSL provides another layer of benefit. SSL will protect private information and do what is expected of it. It can encrypt payments from clients. But it is also possible for a Web host to use SSL to earn a little extra money. If an ecommerce Web host buys an SSL certificate that allows them to share with others, it is possible to get a source of income. The Web host can provide more services for its client, and charge money for etailers to use their shared SSL certificate. The online business gets SSL certification for less money, and the Web host is able to bring in a little more income. Many Web hosts wrap this cost up into monthly charges.

Customers benefit from SSL

Customers also benefit from SSL. When looking for a company to do business with, it is important for online shoppers to favor ecommerce Web sites with SSL certification. It protects personal payment information. As a customer, you want to know that your information is as safe as it can be. By shopping on a site that has been verified, you know that you are dealing with a reputable and legitimate company, and you know that your information is not going to intercepted enroute and stolen for other – unapproved – purposes.

There is no way to completely protect from identity theft. However, with SSL, the likelihood of information being stolen is dramatically decreased. It is important for Web business owners and customers alike to pay careful attention to SSL certificates and make sure that they are as secure as possible before engaging in online business transactions.


  1. Further to my comment earlier. I think in today's fast expanding online world, the only certificate an ecommerce site can get is a dedicated ssl certificate. I use thawte ssl certs and they are about half the price of verisign and easy to install and do the job masterfully. Food for thought for people still using shared ssl services - i for one would leave the site when it switches domain.