Don’t Let SSL Certificate Errors Harm Your Web Traffic

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) Certificates help keep sensitive information like passwords and payment information safe. They are a standard security protocol that encrypts data transferred between a visitor’s browser and your website. However, when a web browser can’t verify the SSL Certificate installed on a site, a SSL Certificate error will display onscreen instead of the website. This error warns users that the site may not be secure. In this blog post, we’ll explain SSL Certificate errors, what causes them, and how to fix them so your website and visitors stay safe.

SSL Certificates Explained

SSL Certificates are digital certificates used for encrypting information between a browser and a web server. They help keep sensitive information like passwords, credit card numbers, and personal details safe from hackers and malicious software.

SSLs establish an encrypted connection between a user’s browser and the server hosting the website which prevents attackers from intercepting the data during transfer. SSLs contain the website’s public key and domain information, which the browser and the server use to verify each other’s identity and authenticity.

The browser sends a request to a web server to identify itself. The server sends the browser a copy of its SSL Certificate in response. The browser checks the certificate to confirm its validity and trustworthiness. Once the SSL passes the checks, the web server then returns a digitally signed acknowledgment to start an SSL-encrypted session and access the website. This process is called an SSL handshake, which appears to happen almost instantly to humans.

SSL Certificates are issued by a Certificate Authority (CA). A Certificate Authority is a trusted outside organization that confirms a website owner’s identity, and that the domain name belongs to them. Once the CA has authenticated the information provided by a site owner, it issues an SSL Certificate to the website.

Once it has been issued, the site owner will need to install and configure it on their web hosting server. When you sign up for Web Hosting with, not only do you get a free SSL, but we will also take care of the installation for you.

When a user visits a website with an SSL Certificate, their browser checks the certificate to ensure that it was issued by a trusted CA and that the website is who it claims to be.

There are several different types of SSL Certificates available and the type you need will depend on the level of security you need and the kind of website you have. Some of these include Domain Validated (DV) SSLs, the most affordable and easy to obtain, and Wildcard SSLs for multiple sub-domains.

Image of a Padlock - Ensure User Trust and Maintain Visibility with a Valid SSL

Why Your Website Needs a SSL Certificate

We’ve explained that SSL Certificates encrypt and help protect sensitive information. Now we will look at why having a valid SSL is so important.

First, visitors feel safer on sites that are encrypted with a SSL. Users can tell your website has an SSL installed when they see a padlock icon next to the address bar and the URL has the “HTTPS” prefix. It shows they can trust your site and that their information is protected.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the safe version of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). Web browsers tend to tag sites with the “HTTP” prefix as unsecure or unsafe. Those same websites are tagged also by search engines like Google as untrustworthy, and probably won’t rank high on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

Those factors combined result in sites that aren’t protected by SSLs potentially seeing drops in traffic and sales as 85% of people who shop online will avoid sites that are tagged as unsecure.

All of’s cPanel Web Hosting & WordPress Hosting plans include a free SSL Certificate so your customers can feel safe shopping on your site while keeping search engines happy.

Types of SSL Certificate Errors

SSL Certificate errors happen when a web browser can’t verify the SSL installed on a site and its hosting server. Without this verification, the browser will block the website and display an error message warning you that the website is untrustworthy, and your data is not secure.

As we explained previously, when a user’s browser attempts to connect to your website, the web server hosting your site is on will respond to that connection request with the website’s SSL Certificate, called an SSL handshake.

The browser then performs the required checks on the SSL Certificate to ensure it is valid and trustworthy. Only when all the checks pass, will the browser consider it safe to navigate to and access the website. This entire process happens almost instantly.

This is done to verify that your website’s domain name and information are authentic, and that the data transferred between users’ browsers and your server is encrypted and safe from prying eyes.

However, when a browser detects that there is something wrong with your SSL Certificate, an error message is displayed when you try to access the site from your browser. You may also receive email notifications from the CA that issued it. This message is usually accompanied by a warning visible to the visitor that the connection is not secure, and that they should not proceed.

There are several reasons why this might happen. Here are some of the most common reasons for SSL Certificate errors:

Expired Certificate

SSL Certificates have a shelf life of 1 year, when a certificate has passed its expiration date, browsers will pick up that it is no longer valid and cannot secure the website. This happens if the website owner forgets to renew it.

Generic SSL Protocol Error

This error occurs when the SSL Certificate is not installed on the server or hasn’t been configured for the domain correctly. Another reason for this error is outdated encryption algorithms or firewall settings blocking or disrupting the SSL connection.

SSL Certificate Not Trusted

When a browser cannot verify the SSL Certificate returned by a server, it will block the website and warn the user that the website cannot be trusted. This can happen if the certificate is not issued by a trusted CA or if the certificate has been tampered with. If the web server generates a self-signed certificate, this error could potentially pop up too.

Domain Name Mismatch

If the SSL Certificate issued for a domain does not match the domain name of the website it will trigger a Name Mismatch error. The error will happen if the certificate is issued for a different domain or if the website has changed its domain name and the DNS records have not been updated.

Revoked Certificate

The CA. can revoke an SSL Certificate. This happens if fraudulent owner or website information is given to the CA, the wrong type of SSL is issued, or the certificate has been tampered with and compromised.

Untrusted Certificate Authority

Web browsers have lists of built-in trusted CAs (Certificate Authorities) that they use to verify SSLs. If a browser can’t verify the CA that issued the SSL Certificate, it will tag it as untrustworthy. This error can also occur with self-signed and expired certificates.

Mixed Content Error

This error occurs when a website is loaded over HTTPS, but some of the content on the page is loaded over HTTP. This can happen if the website owner has not updated all the links on the page to use HTTPS or if some of the content is being loaded from a third-party website that does not support HTTPS.

How To Check Your SSL Certificate For Errors

If you suspect there is an issue with your certificate and make sure it is working correctly, here are several online tools available to help you. Some popular ones are:


Offers free tools that test your SSL for validity, authenticity, and security. It also checks for fraudulent CAs, expiration dates and changes to certificates.

SSL Certificate Checker

A free tool that checks your domain name for SSL certificate validity and that it is installed correctly. It also provides information about the SSL Certificate, like its expiration date, and the CA that issued it along with a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) generator.

SSL Server Test

This tool performs a deep analysis of the configuration of any SSL web server on the public Internet. It provides a detailed report on the SSL certificate’s security, including its key size, signature algorithm, and encryption strength.

How To Fix SSL Certificate Errors

As you can see there are several possible reasons for SSL Certificate errors. If you suspect a problem or are receiving notifications that your SSL isn’t working as it should there are a few ways you can remedy them to help keep your reputation intact, your traffic flowing and sales coming in.

Before troubleshooting your SSL Certificate error, the first step is to check that your SSL is installed and configured correctly by accessing your website on your browser and looking at the address bar. If you see the HTTPS prefix and padlock icon are missing, you can proceed with the following fixes.

Once you have diagnosed the problem with your SSL certificate you can take the necessary steps to fix it. Here is a breakdown of how you can fix each of the errors mentioned above:

Expired Certificate

This is one of the easiest errors to fix. All you need to do is renew the certificate or purchase a new one and install it on your server.

SSL Certificate Not Trusted

To fix this, you can try reinstalling the certificate on your server or purchasing a new one from a trusted CA. You can also add the certificate to your browser’s list of trusted certificates.

Domain Name Mismatch

Ensure that the domain name on the certificate matches the domain name of the website. If not, replace the certificate with one that matches the domain name. You can also configure your server to redirect traffic from the old domain to the new domain by updating Domain Name System (DNS) records.

Keep in mind that updating DNS records can take time, so until the update is complete, you may still have this error appearing.

Revoked Certificate

You can purchase a new SSL Certificate from a trusted certificate authority. You should also investigate why the certificate was revoked and take steps to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Untrusted Certificate Authority

If the Certificate Authority is not trustworthy or is not widely recognized by browsers, you will need to generate a new CSR to replace the SSL Certificate that is causing the error. This will allow you to obtain a new SSL Certificate from a trusted Certificate Authority.

A CSR is a standardized method used to send your server’s public key to CA when applying for an SSL Certificate. This request also includes essential information about your organization and domain name, which is crucial for the proper validation and issuance of any SSL certificate.

Browsers like Mozilla provide a list of reputable CAs for you to reference if necessary. Generating a new CSR can also be used for Domain Mismatch and Revoked Certificate errors.

Mixed Content Error

To fix this, you can update the URLs of your site’s content such as images, videos, etc. to use HTTPS or remove the resources that are served over HTTP. You can also configure your server to redirect HTTP traffic to HTTPS.

Finally, if none of these work, it’s time to contact’s Support Team.


  1. An SSL Certificate is a security protocol used to encrypt data transferred between a browser and a server. They help keep sensitive information from being read and intercepted by attackers.
  2. SSLs are necessary to protect sensitive information, maintain user trust and help with SEO and website visibility.
  3. Types of SSL errors include expired, untrustworthy, and revoked certificates along with ones caused by mixed content, untrustworthy issuers and domain names not matching the certificate. 
  4. Site owners can fix errors by using online tools to diagnose the issue, ensuring it doesn’t expire, and reinstalling it. A new SSL may need to be generated for more severe issues.  


What are the most common SSL certificate errors?

Some of the most common SSL certificate errors include “SSL certificate expired,” “SSL certificate not trusted,” “SSL certificate name mismatch,” and “SSL certificate revoked.”

How can I fix an SSL Certificate error?

Fixing an SSL error appearing on your browser depends on the specific error message. Some quick fix solutions include checking the date and time on your device, clearing your browser cache, disabling browser extensions, and contacting your certificate provider to verify the integrity and validity of the certificate.

What is a self-signed SSL certificate?

A self-signed SSL certificate is created and signed by the website owner instead of a trusted third-party certificate authority (CA). Self-signed certificates are not recommended because they do not provide the same level of security and trust as certificates issued by a trusted CA 1.

How can I check if my SSL certificate is valid?

There are a number of online tools available, that you can use to check the authenticity, security and validity, of your SSL Certificate. xxx

Other Blogs of Interest:

What Is a Multi Domain SSL Certificate?

How To Renew SSL Certificates For A Website

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