Knowledgebase: Using cPanel
What is the difference between shared SSL and private SSL?
Posted by Rex Boyd on 22 January 2013 12:28 PM

SSL (secure socket layers) encrypts information as it is transferred across the Internet.  Our shared and reseller packages automatically include a free, shared SSL certificate you can use to secure data as it is being accessed over the Internet.  You may also purchase a private SSL certificateh which is associated with your domain name.

Here are the differences between shared SSL and private SSL:

Shared SSL

Shared SSL uses a PacificHost domain instead of your own domain name. 

If you attempt to use it with your domain name, certificate warning messages will pop up on your site.  There are no browser warnings if you use the secure server name for your account instead of your domain name when using the shared certificate. Shared ssl is already enabled on shared and reseller hosting services. To use this, you simply need to visit https://serverhostname/~usernameofaccount/

The server hostname will be visible in the left hand side of your cPanel account. A direct link to your account through shared ssl is already provided in your Hosting Welcome Email, just search for "Shared SSL".

The shared SSL certificate is intended to be used in situations where you wish to have a secure connection to the server that is not typically seen by the general public.  For example, when logging into the administration area of your website. 

Shared SSL is not recommended for e-commerce sites, because customers expect to see your domain in the URL.  And if you attempt to use your domain name with the shared certificate, the shared SSL warnings will cause many visitors to be uncomfortable submitting their credit card information through your website.

Private SSL

Private SSL uses your own domain name and will not cause any warning messages. 

Private SSL is intended for situations where the general public needs to access your site securely. Private SSL is preferred for protecting credit card information for e-commerce websites, since customers see your domain name in the URL instead of PacificHost's, allowing them to feel more secure submitting their data.

To obtain a private SSL certificate, you can purchase one here.

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