If you plan on taking payments on your site or storing sensitive user information that you want to keep protected, you’ll need a security certificate to handle the encryption. The good news is you can write your own for no cost – and the bad news is that most browsers don’t trust certificates that aren’t from “trusted authorities.”
Then there’s more bad news: Most “trusted authorities” want as much as $100 a year for the certificate. Don’t worry, I’ll end this cliche string of sentences with some good news: Dreamhost is now selling these trusted certificates for just $15 a month.
Hilarious – and mostly over my head!
To fully understand the offer, the criticisms, and the resultant debate, you’d better head to Dreamhost’s original post – a lot of the technical nuances of this discussion are right over my pay grade. This stuff is essential if you’re directly dealing with confidential & sensitive user information – but I don’t mind taking a bit of a commission cut as long as I can direct that job to the companies with a web security team.
Cheaper than ever – and still overpriced?
A big point the post makes is that these security certificates can be written up by anyone who knows how – and theoretically, it shouldn’t cost anything to build and implement one for your website. For $15 though, that sounds better than learning how to implement the thing from scratch. Ah, I’d probably have to follow one of those incredibly easy web tutorials – and that sounds like a few minutes of actual work.
Not available on shared IPs yet
Currently, you’ll still need a dedicated IP address before you can enable these trusted encryption certificates. This may change in the future, but protocols can be slow to change…
You can get a dedicated IP with Dreamhost as well, and the usual cost is $3.95 a month. If you use the Dreamhost coupon PROMOIPUNIQUE you’ll get the IP for free and an additional $20 discount on the account which you can apply to one of their new discount priced SSL certificates and still have a few bucks knocked off the regular price. How about that deal! A unique IP, a secure SSL certificate, all for five bucks less than the regularly listed retail price!
Alright, I’m done here – apparently I need to do some more research on how web encryption is done. Maybe one day I’ll need a job on one of those web security teams.