Yet another new service announced at LittleBizzy this year as we roll out dedicated SSL certificates today. The truth is that, despite tons of talk regarding SSL in the past few years, the topic is still a big source of confusion among website owners and developers, and thus continues to be one of the biggest causes of support tickets for us here!
Putting aside most of the technical aspects of SSL (i.e. TLS ciphers, Certificate Authorities, etc), the best way to understand “dedicated” SSL is that when a web browser or application “checks” your domain’s SSL certificate, it seeks to know which domains are being certified with that unique SSL certification…
For example, if you click on the padlock icon in your browser bar above, and scroll through the various metadata that is stored on this website’s SSL certificate, you will see that our SSL cert’s “common name” is called:
To the average user, this means nothing. However, to web-savvy users, or high-tech applications, it looks… ugly.
Although the TLS ciphers being issued by CloudFlare/Comodo are top notch, it simply looks a bit “cheap” perhaps, that the website doesn’t maintain its own domain certification. Digging further into the SSL profile, you might see:
COMODO ECC Domain Validation Secure Server CA 2 Certificate Subject Alternative Name DNS Name: sni28057.cloudflaressl.com DNS Name: *.12457.net.tf DNS Name: *.adammonsen.com DNS Name: *.bizzy.in DNS Name: *.gamefantasy.org ...
Whoa! What are all those domains? Well, they are all the various websites sharing the SSL certificate!
While this should usually never matter, theoretically it can reduce privacy as “nosy” users could try to guess what other customers are perhaps using the same hosting company as you, same datacenter, or etc. Although this isn’t really a security risk most of the time, and although a lot of similar metadata is available publicly on the web, a dedicated SSL cert is undeniable “preferable” when it comes to domain reputation, overall privacy, and so forth.
Okay, but what about SEO? Currently, dedicated SSL has 100% no effect on SEO performance. However, it is one of those things that some of us “in the industry” believe could soon become a ranking factor within search engines like Google, because of the inherent reputation factors that dedicated SSL bring to your homepage. Remember when Google said that SSL was not a factor in search rankings, right before they said it was? You get the idea :)
If you are ready, order dedicated SSL today. Cheers!