Website owners around the world have understood the significance of the green padlock symbol and “https” in the URL of their interfaces. These symbols indicate to users that the website they are visiting has been secured by an SSL certificate service and is safe to access. People prefer interfaces with the security feature as it gives them an assurance that the exchange of information taking place between their device and the website server is encrypted and protected from breaching. This inspires trust in users by establishing the genuineness and legitimacy of the interface. Google also considers the feature as a ranking factor while finalizing search results. This influences website owners and managers to approach SSL certificate providers to acquire one for their interface.
These certificates do not come with lifetime validity and need to be renewed at specified intervals. A failure to do so results in their expiry and displaying of a warning to users. A lot of people refrain from accessing the interface after reading the warning message that the connection is not private. This will prove to be harmful for the website’s reputation and cause the traffic to drop considerably. Let’s see what steps owners must take when they encounter such a problem.
1. Ensure That The SSL Certificate Is Causing The Issue
It is not that the problem will be caused by an expired SSL certificate and there can be various other reasons. Check the URL of the website and if “http” is showing instead of “https”, then the certificate has expired and you will have to renew it immediately. The green padlock will be visible if the certificate is working fine. Users can also conduct an analysis of their licenses with the help of online services. They need to provide their domain name and can get a comprehensive evaluation of their certificate. Users are usually notified by their SSL certificate provider through email before the end of the validity period. Even if they have missed the emails, they can check the expiry date on these online services.
Other Possible Reasons For SSL Error
- Name Mismatch
There are numerous reasons which lead to the displaying of connection not secure message. One of them is the name mismatch error which occurs when the domain name on the license does not match the one in the browser address bar. This error can also be caused when more than one website is hosted on the same IP address.
- Invalid Server Authority
The license must link to a root or authority which is trusted by the user’s browser. Many people generate and sign a certificate themselves with the help of some software. This leads the browser to mark the interface as unsafe.
- Intermediate Certificates Not Installed
Intermediate certificates connect the license to the server authority trusted by the browser and if they have not been installed, an error will definitely show. Most of the reputed certificate authorities provide the intermediates along with the SSL certificates.
2. Acquire A New SSL
Once the cause of the problem has been identified as an expired certificate, the next step is to renew it. For this, the issuing authority has to be contacted and checked with if it provides renewal facility. Conducting the process will be easy if the SSL certificate service agency does offer the feature but if it does not, then a new license will have to be purchased.
In order to acquire a new SSL, a suitable vendor has to be found. Many people use the same service which issued them the old license but it will be sensible to do some research before selecting an agency. Asking other owners for referrals or searching the internet to look for reliable vendors can be helpful in this regard.
Essential Qualities Of SSL Certificate Providers
- Variety Of Packages
Most reputable services offer a range of packages targeting all types of clients. Right from an individual to a large enterprise can get a suitable certificate with necessary features from these vendors.
- Availability Of All Types Of Certificates
Extended Validation, Organization Validated, and Domain Validated are the three types of certificates which have the same encryption level but different verification processes. A good agency will offer all the three types to clients.
- Client Support
All efficient service providers will have round the clock support for their clients. This feature will be helpful in getting assistance for installing, configuring and renewing certificates or for resolving any issue.
- Clear Refund And Warranty Policy
Most vendors have a clearly-worded refund and warranty policy that clients should read before signing up for a license.
3. Install The New SSL Certificate
The new certificate now needs to be activated and installed. A Certificate Signing Request (CSR) needs to be generated. For this, the control panel of the web hosting service needs to be accessed. Locate the SSL/TLS admin area and find the field for generating the CSR. Once the information is provided, the CSR will be generated which will then need to be given to the SSL issuing agency.
After the submission of CSR, the license will be activated. It will now need to be installed. Once again the SSL/TLS admin area of the web hosting service cPanel will have to be accessed. An option for installation will be present there. Provide the certificate details in the given field and submit it to complete the process. The owner must now update all the URLs of the website from “http” to “https”.
Engaging an SSL certificate service to enable the security feature on a website is not a luxury but necessity in today’s world where security concerns force visitors to avoid unprotected websites.