What to Know Before You Order Your SSL Certificate

Before You Place an Order - The Basics

Although we can't get too far into the specifics of what goes on behind the scenes in our validation process, there are a few things that we can say that will provide you with a good guide of what to expect when placing your order.

Because most of the verification work is done on our end, getting your organization verified is probably going to be easier than you might think. We generally ask for very little help from our customers, and certificates can almost always be issued in under an hour.

That being said, our validation standards are very stringent, and occasionally customers will have to contribute a particular document, respond to a specific email, or follow some simple online instructions before we can finish the certificate validation procedure.

Usually these requests can be completed within a matter of minutes.

What to Expect After an Order Is Placed

The first time an order is placed for a particular company or domain, there will always be an authorization email that gets sent out automatically to the email contacts listed in the whois record. If you have access to that email, you can follow the included instructions to approve that certificate in just a few seconds.

If you do not have access to that email, there are several simple alternatives available. Probably the easiest thing would be to contact our support team to quickly find an alternate resolution.

While that is happening, our validation department will verify your company behind the scenes, usually with little or no involvement on your part. If our team does need something, they will contact you to let you know what we need before we can issue your certificate.

What Happens Behind the Scenes When You Place an Order

Regardless of the kind of certificate that you purchase, there are two parts to the validation process that will happen, to varying degrees, every time that an order is placed.

Company Validation - There are several parts to our company validation process. First, we will verify that the company requesting a certificate is in good standing. This can include confirming good standing and active registration in corporate registries as well as fraud, phishing, and government restricted entities and anti-terrorism databases.

Additionally, we verify that the organization requesting a certificate is, in fact, the organization to which the certificate is being issued. This is especially true with Extended Validation SSL Certificates, which require series of extensive identity verifications.

Domain Validation - The aim of our domain validation process is to ensure that the individual requesting a certificate does, in fact, have authority to request a certificate for the domain in question.

Domain validation can include emails or phone calls to the contact listed in a domain's whois record, as well as emails to default administrative addresses at the domain. For example, we would be able to send an authorization email to administrator@domain.com or webmaster@domain.com, but not tech@domain.com. In cases where a domain is controlled by a party other than the party requesting a certificate, simple methods are in place to quickly complete the process of getting approval to issue a certificate from the actual domain owner.

Certificate Setup & Installation

In addition to our SSL Certificate Installation tutorials and video walkthroughs, we have a number of tools to help you get your certificates installed and working on your server.

  • If you are installing a certificate in a Microsoft Windows environment, try our Windows Cert Management Tool
  • For help troubleshooting your certificate installation, regardless of your server type, try using our SSL installation checking tool.
  • Additionally, our system will automatically check your publicly available certificates to make sure that they are installed correctly.

Please Note (a Disclaimer)

Although we will always do our best to get certificates issued in the shortest amount of time possible, and certificates are generally issued in less than an hour, we do urge all of our clients to request their certificates as far in advance of when the certificates are actually needed as is at all possible.

There are exceptions to every rule, as well as unforeseen circumstances, both on our part and on the part of a client, that could delay the issuance of a certificate for a period of several days. In very extreme cases, there may be an even greater delay while certain issues are resolved prior to the issuance of your certificates.

In those extenuating circumstances, we hope that our clients will be patient while working with us to get their certificates issued in the most timely manner possible.