People who are not experienced in broadly understood web development have a lot of trouble understanding certain concepts. As it turns out, knowing them is very useful. This will eliminate any communication errors between the client and the webmaster or service provider.

All this will result in a much more efficient and comfortable work, the purpose of which can be, for example:

  • creating a modern, functional website,
  • improving its visibility in search engines,
  • coverage of a large group of recipients offered products or services,
  • increase the importance and popularity of the company.

Before this, however, it is necessary to understand some basic concepts to understand what we are talking about. Three of the most important issues that cause the most difficulty can be identified. We are talking about website, domain and hosting. These terms are often confused and used interchangeably. Understanding them fully is the perfect way to deal with any understatements.

There is no point in juggling professional terms that can make the entire definition difficult to understand for people with no industry experience. A website can be defined as a set of graphics and text files that together make up what appears on the screen when you type in the correct address.

So, it consists of graphics, text, individual modules, documents and links that we navigate between. A website may consist of several sub-pages or just one main page, in which case it is referred to as a “single page”. However, each time it will be a set of files created by an agency or a single developer.
What is an Internet domain?

In order for a page to be accessed by internet users, it needs a domain – this is the key element of the internet address that we type into the browser. It consists of two parts – the main name, which usually indicates the name of the company, and the extension after the dot.

What is hosting?

Finally, we come to the last concept. Hosting is nothing but the resources of the server on which the website is hosted. So this is the part that has been set aside for the aforementioned files. It’s not just about data storage, but all the resources thanks to which the site can function properly.

Important: hosting and server are not the same thing! A server is a device, a computer that must be fully connected to the internet. To create hosting, which is an integral part of it, you need to allocate available resources and space on the server.

Now that we have already learned the key information about the issues discussed, let’s move on to summarize. Thus, we can consider a website as a set of files containing everything we see on the screen. To get to the site, you need a domain, which is part of the Internet address – it is entered by the user in the browser. The functioning of the website is possible thanks to the hosting, which uses the server resources allocated to it.

What is an SSL certificate

In many URI addresses of websites, the letters http are followed by an s sign. This set of characters means that the resource is protected by the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protocol and has received the corresponding certificate. This is a special method of cryptographic coding that ensures confidentiality and increases the security of communication. Attackers can hack into the system and gain access to the data exchange. However, the stolen information will be presented as a chaotic set of characters, which requires certificate keys to decrypt.

SSL-protected sites are indicated by a lock icon in the address bar. Browsers warn users when they access platforms without such a certificate. For example, in Firefox these resources are indicated by a crossed-out padlock, and in Chrome by a text message about an unsecured connection.

Using cryptographic encryption will give a site these benefits:

  • Privacy assurance.
  • Connection security.
  • Protection of important information, personal data.
  • Increasing user trust.
  • The presence or absence of SSL is taken into account during the indexing of the resource by search engines. The use of encryption, increased security positively affects the rating, place in the issuance.

Even in the case of hacking, fraudsters will not be able to use the information obtained. For example, it will not be possible to find out contact information, bank account numbers, cards, change the recipient when making financial payments.

Types of SSL

The certificate can be issued and serve to protect several domains at once. Such protocols are called multidomain. If they have a wildcard option, then their effect extends to all declared subdomains.

Certificates are also differentiated by the level of verification:

  • DV. Basic Level. With this option, only sites are validated. The application for issuance is completed in a time from 15 minutes to several hours.
  • OV. Not only the resource is verified, but also the organization that owns the site. The certificate contains information about the company-owner. It is issued within 3 days.
  • EV. Advanced level of verification. Not only domains, the company, but also its activities – direction, founding, tax documentation – are confirmed. In the address bar of the browser is marked in green font with the name of the organization-owner. Issued in a period of up to 2 weeks.

Certificates are issued by several official centers. At the same time, their protocols differ in terms of security level and the presence of various additional options.

Free certificates

In most cases, SSL certificates that do not require payment belong to the basic level of DV verification, confirming only the website. Such protocols are suitable for protecting resources that do not need important information about the user, such as bank accounts and credit card numbers. Usually these are small projects of different directions – personal blogs, information and entertainment portals, one-page business cards. For online stores, payment systems, banks and other platforms where financial transactions are performed and personal data of customers are stored, it is necessary to choose protocols of a higher level of verification and protection.

SSL Certificate Issuance Centers

Among the official issuing centers, centers issuing certificates of different levels and types, including free ones, are popular:

  • Let’s Encrypt. Here you can get free certificates of the basic level with the function of subdomain support and validity period of 3 months.
  • Free SSL Space. Here you can also get free basic level security protocols for 90 days, but without wildcard. At the same time they are compatible with all operating systems, electronic devices.
  • Zero SSL. This center issues free entry-level certificates without subdomain support for 90 days. The protocols are compatible with all operating systems, browsers, servers, electronic devices. Here you can also get certificates of a higher level of protection, but at paid rates.
  • CloudFlare. The service issues free basic certificates for an unlimited period of time for small, personal projects of non-commercial direction. At the same time, it provides services to speed up downloads and protection from DDoS attacks.

In addition to official centers, free certificates are provided by many hosting providers and domain registrars. However, this service is usually an additional bonus to a paid subscription.