Account features: SSL FAQ
- What is SSL?
- How secure is it?
- How do I set it up?
- Can I use my domain own domain name for my secure area?
- Is having my own SSL certificate more secure?
- Can I take credit card orders safely and securely using your SSL service?
What is SSL?
SSL or Secure Sockets Layer is a service we provide for an administrative charge of 50 GBP+VAT per year. This provides you with a seperate dedicated SSL directory in your web space to put HTML forms and CGI scripts. By using the SSL option your scripts will become secure using certified industrial strength encryption.
From your site visitors point of view, their web browser will indicate a secure connection (a key or padlock symbol will appear) and any data they send from their machine to your web site will be secure. This is especially useful for web forms requesting contact or credit card details. The SSL option will not however work with your own domain name (see below), and will only be accessable via a URL related to your login name.
For example with a login username of superweb, the secure area would be accessed with the web address:
Note: only those scripts and forms which require a secure connection should be put in the SSL directory, and that these would normally be linked from within your main site, so your website viewers would never be expected to type this URL directly into their browser.
How secure is it?
This is industrial strength encryption, certainly adequate for taking sensitive information from your users such as credit card information. The exact encyption strength is also dependent on the client browser itself. If your browser supports 128bit encryption, so will the server.
How do I set it up?
Simply request the service from us via an email to firstname.lastname@example.org stating your login name and that you accept the annual charge of £50 + VAT for standard SSL services, and we will create a new directory in your account called secure_html into which you would publish your secure site.
Any HTML pages, forms, scripts and other files placed in this directory will be automatically secured and encrypted on transmission to your web visitors. Furthermore, any details submitted by your web visitors via forms in your SSL area will also be encrypted.
Once set up your SSL area will be accessable via a URL related to your login name.
For example with a login username of superweb, the secure area would be accessed with a web address such as:
Note however that only those pages, scripts and forms which require a secure connection should be put in the SSL directory, and that these would normally be linked from within your main site, so your website viewers would never be expected to type this URL directly into their browser.
We also advise that you don't put too many graphics on any web pages inside your secure area, as these are also encrypted during transmission and encrypted pages naturally deliver slower than normal pages and too many graphics would slow your secure pages right down.
Can I use my domain own domain name for my secure area?
Yes, we will need to issue you with your own SSL secure certificate associated with your domain in order to use a URL such as:
With our standard SSL costing £50 + VAT it is not possible to use your own domain name, since you are using a dedicated area of our own secure server, and to this end you are not required to have your own digital certificate.
If you do wish to use your own domain name in conjunction with SSL, you will require your own SSL certificate, which costs £150 + VAT per annum (inclusive of digital certificate). All you normally need to provide for us is a copy of the Certificate of Incorporation (usually obtained from Companies House) of the company who own the domain to which the SSL certificate will apply. If you are not a limited company, we have different proceedures depending on your organisation type.
If you would like to arrange your own SSL certificate, please call or email us for more information.
Is having my own SSL certificate more secure?
No, all our SSL services use the same maximum strength 128-bit encryption. Having your own SSL certificate for your domain is equally secure to using our standard SSL service. The difference is largely cosmetic, since having your own certificate allows you to use your domain in your SSL area, rather than our domain. For many branded E-commerce sites this is a distinct advantage and makes the dedicated SSL certificate well worth purchasing.
Can I take credit card orders safely and securely using your SSL service?