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What is the difference between a commercial (paid SSL) and a free one?

Is paid the SSL certificate better than the paid one? In this article, we will explain the difference between them.

Most paid certificates are promoted and targeted by big hosting companies and domain registrars for additional security on customer websites and big profits.

Usually, they are pricey and cost a lot in terms of what they give.

The only real advantage of using a paid certificate is for recognition — a certificate issued by a reputable Certificate Authority makes a website seem more reliable to any customer and is, of course, trusted by all major browsers.

The other advantage would be with providing different options — paid SSL Certificates are issued in all three validation options — Domain, Business, and Extended Validation meaning that they last much longer than free ones.

Free SSL Certificate.

Free SSL Certificates are great mainly because you do not pay anything for them.

The main advantage here is the lack of price, and availability and recently more and more hosting providers offer them with their plans.

The downside of the Free SSL Certificate is the Certificate Authority that issues them – is it trusted, and of course the validation period. They are short and often need to be renewed manually which is a hassle for customers since they need to track when they will expire and do it beforehand.

One of the greatest perks here depends on whether or not the Free SSL Certificate comes from the hosting company.

As an example here at WPX, the Free SSL Certificates that we offer are from Let’s Encrypt and they are trusted by all major browsers.

Since they are free you can guess that they expire every 3 months, however, we take care of that by automatically renewing them, meaning that our system does that instead of the client doing it manually.

Is the paid SSL certificate better than the paid one?

There isn’t a correct answer to that question. It would depend entirely on the type of certificate, the Certificate Authority, and the validation period.

These points are all essential and there are a lot of examples where the Paid and Free certificates cover them, which means that there aren’t any differences except the price since the customer has paid for one of them.

As an example, here at WPX, we cover all these points with our Free SSL certificates from Let’s Encrypt and their renewals are done automatically without any hassle for our clients.

That being said, in our example, there is absolutely no difference between the quality of a paid certificate and the free one that we offer. We recommend our clients to use our certificate when they are thinking about switching to paid.

To use a paid certificate means that you need to have an advantage using it by promoting or having a contract with the specific Certificate Authority, otherwise there will be no point in spending additional money for something that can be free of charge.

If the Free SSL Certificate is not provided by your hosting provider and you want to use one, we recommend that you check its Certificate Authority and if it is trusted by the major browsers, otherwise it will simply cause downtime on your site.

If you have any other questions on the topic, don’t hesitate to contact the WPX Support Team via live chat (use the bottom right-hand widget) and they will respond and help within 30 seconds or less.

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