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SSL Certificate: Definition, Functions, and The Types

Last updated: Jul 09, 2024

What Is SSL?

A secure Socket Layer or SSL is a security protocol used to protect data on the internet. In general, this protocol serves to secure the process of exchanging personal data of website users, such as email addresses, credit card numbers, and other sensitive information.

SSL works by encrypting data so that third parties cannot steal information during the data exchange process. SSL requires a private key and a public key to create a session key which is used in the encryption and data decryption process. The existence of an SSL certificate is proof that a website has guaranteed security.

SSL Function

One of the most important functions of SSL is to support the security of your website data and visitors’. Some of the functions of SSL are as follows:

Reinforce Website Identity

Websites that have used an SSL certificate have a good reputation in the eyes of users and search engines. The existence of the certificate can also minimize user concerns about the security of the personal data they enter on your website. That way, your website will be more trusted by the target audience or leads.

Protecting Important Website Data and Information

SSL certificate is useful for protecting websites from cybercrimes. If your website requires an email, password, or other sensitive data to log in, you need to protect that data using an SSL especially if you use a trusted certification authority. It will increase user trust in your website.

Optimizing Website Performance on Search Engines

The use of HTTPS which is characterized by ownership of an SSL certificate is one of Google's ranking factors. Therefore, a website that already has this certificate will certainly have a better performance in organic search. In addition, maintaining data security on the website can also provide a better user experience.

Comply with Online Transaction Rules

For e-commerce websites that provide online payment systems, SSL is a must-have item. Because there is a Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard rule that requires websites to use an SSL certificate.

Seeing the vital function of an SSL certificate, you can use the SSL checker to check the validity of the certificate used on the website. This tool is available for free and you can check whenever you want.

SSL Types

This kind of certificate type on websites is divided into two, certificates according to the validation process and the certificate based on the number of domains.

SSL Certificate Based on Validation Process

According to the validation method, SSL certificate types are divided into three, namely domain validation, organization validation/individual validation (OV/IV), and extended validation. The division of the type of SSL is as follows.

  • Domain Validation: SSL type with the lowest encryption level that validates the domain name whether it matches the entity requesting the certificate. Web owners can validate ownership via email, phone calls, or changing DNS (Domain Name Server) records.
  • Organization Validation / Individual Validation (OV / IV): A certificate with a medium level of encryption, most suitable for individuals and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). For validation purposes, it is usually necessary to submit the authenticity of the business name, physical address, telephone number, and legal status to the certificate authority (CA).
  • Extended Validation: SSL type with the highest encryption level and requires a certificate authority (CA) to validate. The validation process is carried out through a thorough background check and the CA will contact the registrant to confirm the physical location, legal status, and order details.


SSL Certificate Based on Number of Domains

Based on the number of domains, the types are as follows:

  • Multi-Domain SSL: also known as Subject Alternate Names (SAN) which allows you to configure the security of multiple domains and subdomains under the same certificate. In terms of price, this type of SSL is more affordable than buying a single domain certificate for each website.
  • Wildcard SSL: a type of SSL that can protect one primary domain and many subdomains at once. Wildcard certificates are usually more expensive than single domain certificates but are a good choice if you have multiple sub-domains.
  • Single Domain SSL: SSL type that only protects one domain or subdomain in one Certificate Signing Request (CSR). This type of certificate will protect all the pages contained in the domain, but cannot secure the subdomain.
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