It's a bit late but for other like me searching the web to find what SSL Certificate to buy and here is the outcome of my research:
On the technical side the expensive SSL Certificates offer dynamic seal which means a dynamic image displayed on a website that shows the current time and date of when the web page was loaded which indicates that the seal is valid for the domain it is installed on and is current and not expired. When the image is clicked, it will display information from the Certificate Authority about the website's profile which validates the web site's legitimacy. This will give visitors of the website increased confidence in the site's security.
A Static Seal is simply an static graphic image that can be placed on the website to indicate where the digital certificate was obtained from, however there is no click-through validation of the website and the image does not show the current time and date.
Also if you are buying more expensive SSL you will get more money in fraud warranty for your visitors, but only in case if the Authority issued a certificate to a fraudster and a visitor lost their money believing the website is legit. If you are not a fraudster there is no reason you should go for expensive certificate unless you want to show green address bar and increase the confidence in your visitors.
Technically there is no other difference
There is 3 main types of SSL Certificates
- Secures both www and non-www versions of your domain
- Examples: RapidSSL, Comodo Esential etc.
- Secures all subdomains for a single domain including www and non-www versions
- Examples Comodo Wildcard SSL, RapidSSL Wildcard etc.
- Most of Certificate Authorities give 3-5 domains with their basic price plan
- You need to pay per additional domain. Typically arround $15-$20/year per domain
- Examples Comodo Positive Multi Domain SSL
Also 3 types of domain verification
In order to get your SSL Certificate issued the Certificate Authority has to verify that you are who you said you are when requested the certificate with them. The following are 3 of the verification processes you have to go through when getting an SSL
1. Domain Validation
You have to validate your domain. Typically this happens through URL link sent to one of the emails on your domain or with file upload to your server. By far this is the quickest, simplest and cheapest SSL. The warranty against fraud with this type of validation is up to $10,000.
2. Organisation Validation
You have to provide supporting documentation about your organisation in order to get one of this certificates. This process is a bit slower and can take up to couple of days. This type of SSL security is required for large e-commerce websites or organisations that store sensitive user data. Typically this certificates offer dynamic site seal and offer higher warranty of up to $1,500,000 depending on the issuer.
3. Extended Validation
This are most trusted Certificates and will turn the address bar in your browser in green containing the name of your organisation. By far the slowest validation process of up to a week, depending on the external body verifying your details. You will have to provide the SSL Authority supporting documents like company incorporation etc. and they will pass this onto third party to verify it's validity. Once this process is successfully complete you will have the highest trust and warranty of up to $2,000,000 depending on the issuer.
What certificate to buy
This is all up to you. There is plenty of Certificate Authorities offering a lot for each need. For me the leading point is do not spend unless you have to. Basic SSL Certificate will do pretty much the same as the most expensive SSL on the market.
Here is some usefull links
Some of the cheapest resellers