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  1. #1 SSL Certs - Alternatives?

    I'm upgrading a web site for a small non-profit and they want to keep it hosted on, whom they've used for 10 years now. Ok, no problem, they offer 90% of what I need to make the site.

    So now I'm adding in the ability to do logins, and the site is not SSL-secured. For my testing, the logins are being sent in plaintext. I haven't gone live yet, though. My greatest fear is that one of the admins logs in over wifi at a starbucks and someone is sniffing the packets and gets their login info. So... SSL is a necessity.

    However, I see that is offering SSL certs *STARTING* at $150/yr, and they are barebones. The organization is not going to be happy at that price. So I was wondering how realistic it is to be able to buy an SSL cert from another vendor and apply it to the site? I see StartSSL offers "free" certs, though I have to wonder what the catch is. And RapidSSL is $50, much more reasonable.

    Does anyone know if it is A) possible to get a 3rd party SSL cert, and B) can you recommend a good place to get a cheap certificate? I don't need a wildcard cert, by the way, we won't use subdomains for anything that needs to be secure.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    A. I suppose they will let you install your SSL certificate
    B. Try ... very cheap certs..
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  3. #3
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  4. #4
    Thanks for the suggestions! I went ahead and bought a 48-month "RapidSSL Standard" certificate from, and I clicked on "Generate", and it's asking me for a CSR before they can give me the certificate. This is running on IIS by the way, so apparently I need to go through my host to get it.

    So I asked for a CSR... and they say there's a $75 fee for generating it. Ugh. I feel like they're ripping me off here. Anyway, I guess a followup question would be:

    How often will I need to request a CSR from my host? Since I bought a 48 month SSL cert, does this mean I won't need another CSR for another 4 years? Or will I need to renew it each year? Or is it a one-time thing that I'll never need to perform again?

    Sorry if these are noob questions; I've never really dealt with production details before; I'm used to building sites and handing them off to my company's deployment division and they take care of these details for me; this is my first solo project. Thanks again!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    You are correct - If you are buying a 48 Mth Cert, you only need the CSR to get the cert.

    You basically just hit the limitations on your hosting - The cost of add-on's kill you!

    To generate a CSR, it literally takes a few minutes, But as this is a custom request, they hit you up for a high price...
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Just for future reference is actually free for a basic SSL certificate, only problem I have had so far is that it ain't valid on Windows Phone 7.1 (Should be on 8+ and up)

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