What’s the Difference Between Let’s Encrypt and Purchased SSL?

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

 

Having secure encryption is a top priority for website owners, and the usual route is the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). Now there’s a free alternative to SSL called Let’s Encrypt. It may be free, but does it actually deliver like a paid SSL service?

 

Certificates

 

The main idea of Let’s Encrypt is to simplify the process of getting a certificate. These are presented by web servers when you request a new SSL connection. There are a variety of different types of certificates, including Domain Validation, Organization Validation, Extended Validation, and Wildcard certificates. Basically, they specify how thorough the validation is. If the Certificate Authority can verify that someone owns the website and confirms the location and existence of the legal entity, they will issue an EV.

Let’s Encrypt will only issue Domain Validations, the simplest form of certificate. The DV is still very useful for legitimizing a website, but it won’t work for every business. For example, an e-commerce business of larger enterprise will probably require the more thorough EV certificate. That being said, DVs are great options of smaller businesses without the need for a more specialized certificate.

 

The Process

 

Even though Let’s Encrypt is has a limited certificate selection, the process of applying for and receiving a certificate could not be simpler. It does this by automating the issuance and renewal process than can be a hassle with other DV services. There are also no yearly renewal fees since the service is completely free. Unlike many CAs, many web hosts will actually offer to set some things up for you. Although Let’s Encrypt requires your certificate to be renewed every 90 days, this process can be completely automated. Paid services don’t automate renewal, but they typically offer longer certificate periods of up to 3 years.

 

The Price

 

Obviously, the main thing that makes Let’s Encrypt unique is its zero dollar price tag. It’s a great way to get a certificate in the easiest and quickest way possible as well. That being said, the higher prices of other services to come with added benefits, like insurance, which LE does not offer. If you’re not too worried about a breach in security, then insurance shouldn’t be a problem. Plus, other Domain Validation services can cost up to $50 per year, so LE will spare you some significant money in the long run. That being said, companies with bigger websites and more to lose will require an insurance plan for peace of mind.

 

Security and SEO

 

Let’s Encrypt’s security is actually pretty good considering the service is completely free: It comes with the industry standard HTTPS protocol. This protocol is relied on by large businesses like banks that require the utmost security for their customers’ information and transactions. HTTPS makes the web browser check the website’s security certificate to verify that it was issued by a legitimate certificate authority. While the system isn’t perfect, it’s a big step up from the inferior security of the HTTP protocol.

On top of security benefits, HTTPS will aid your site’s search engine optimization. Google now prefers websites that have HTTPS, which means that a site with identical specifications to your own will be ranked lower on the search engine. Increased visibility and adequate security are essential for a growing site, so LE’s service is totally worthwhile and effective for most users.

 

In Conclusion…

 

While many larger businesses will need to obtain a more thorough verification from a CA, there are plenty that will benefit from Let’s Encrypt’s free service. The lack of a price tag gives smaller sites and those who are new to encryption some breathing room to get into the Internet space. The added benefit of simplified and automated issuance and renewal processes makes LE unprecedented in accessibility.

That being said, other paid SSL services will not go away any time soon. LE’s free service is effective but only provides the bare minimum requirements for obtaining decent website encryption. Larger sites will want the added security and insurance of a paid service, even if it means more hassle to deal with.

For more help on choosing the right encryption for your website, visit Mightweb. Our web hosting plans can provide you with everything necessary to find a space and curate it to your needs.

Why Small Web Hosting Companies Offer the Most Value

Sunday, June 10th, 2018

 

If you’ve found us here at MightWeb, the odds are good that you’ve already come across a number of our largest competitors. The major web hosting companies pour a tremendous amount of resources into their paid ads and affiliate marketing programs, and they make a lot of lofty promises about what their services have to offer. Can small web hosting companies really hope to compete?

The truth of the matter is that large hosting companies simply aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. They can talk the talk, but seldom do they walk the walk — and when they do, it’s usually only for their largest customers. Small business owners tend to get taken advantage of and left behind by major web hosts, and we’re out to change that. Here are a few reasons why small web hosting companies are better than their larger counterparts:

Small Hosts Allocate Infrastructure More Logically

For large web hosts, every customer who uses a shared service is nothing more than a number. After all, why would a company with hundreds of thousands of clients, many of which may be enterprise level, worry about appeasing every low-level customer? The result is that large web hosts tend to cram as many sites as possible onto each server, resulting in poor speed, reduced security, and more instances of downtime.

Small hosts tend to take the opposite approach. Shared hosting is our bread and butter at Mightweb, and we work our hardest to contribute to the success of every site that utilizes our service, regardless of what plan they might be on. We would never compromise the quality of our reliable shared hosting experience, because the customers who pay for shared hosting are the backbone of our business.

Small Hosts are Priced for Small Businesses

Because many larger hosting companies are focused on landing clients for dedicated servers — or even enterprise clients with multiple managed, dedicated servers — they tend to raise their prices on a fairly regular basis. (Why waste server space on your least profitable customers? From their point of view, anyone who isn’t willing to pay for consistent price updates isn’t worth having as a client!)

Small hosts, on the other hand, usually work with smaller clients on a nearly exclusive basis, which means every price change they make has a profound impact on their clients. Rather than looking for ways to raise prices, most small hosting services are more likely to find ways to make special offers to accommodate potential customers with unique needs.

Smaller Hosts Mean More Responsive Customer Service

By this point in the article, you should be catching onto the fact that we don’t like the way large hosting companies treat their customers. What we have yet to share is the fact that they oftentimes treat their employees in a similar fashion. This can make communication difficult for a few reasons:

  • Rotating employee schedules can make it difficult to maintain a single point of contact with the company, which means you end up re-explaining your issue to a number of different people every time you need help.
  • Because employees are given little to no decision-making power, it’s easy to feel like you’re talking to a robot when you contact major hosting companies. You are unlikely to have a true employee advocate working on your behalf.
  • As per human nature, employees who aren’t treated well in their jobs are going to stop doing as good of a job, which only compromises your customer experience further, while perpetuating a cycle of negativity.

Smaller Hosts Have Your Back

We work hard to give you the most fair and honest treatment as a customer of MightWeb — even when that means making sacrifices ourselves. For example, we offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee for every customer who hosts their site with us, and we back that guarantee up by issuing credits to anyone affected by a lack of service. Unlimited free SSL certificates, an automated backup process, and free, seamless migration should you ever need it.

Learn More about MightWeb Hosting!

Being a customer-oriented company is part of our core philosophy at MightWeb, and this value is reflected in every aspect of how we run our business. From investing in the best hardware, to providing unparalleled uptime, to offering a well-rounded set of solutions intended to grow alongside our customers, we have stayed true to our roots, even as we’ve added an increasing number of happy customers each and every year.

We’d love for you and your organization to be our next success story. If you’re looking for more information on our affordable web hosting services, we encourage you to check out MightWeb’s pricing and hosting offerings, read the MightWeb story, or contact us to get answers to all your questions, no matter how large or small. We look forward to hearing from you!