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SSL Site Seals - GeoTrust and Thawte
MarkOly




msg:4645003
 3:45 am on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

I've been using GeoTrust True BusinessID for several years now. I'm thinking about switching to Thawte's SSL Web Server Certificate option. Both options are $200/year and both options verify the organization that owns the domain.

The reason I'm thinking about switching is the site seals - and the resulting certificate you view after clicking the site seal. For one thing, Thawte's certificate is much cleaner and more professional looking. GeoTrust's certificate looks like an amateur threw it together. It's kind of a mess. They've had ten years to clean it up, make it look decent. You have to wonder why that's never happened. That's one issue.

The other issue is the live GeoTrust site seal. It actually resides on GeoTrust's server. So you pull it in with their Javascript. The problem is that you're relying on their server to be up 100% of the time. If you display the seal on your home page and GeoTrust is having a bad server day, your home page doesn't finish loading until the GeoTrust seal loads. The way I've worked around this is by loading the seal in an iframe. Then if GeoTrust is having their bad server day, the page loads, but you get a blank where the seal should be.

My question to anybody using Thawte's site seal, does their seal behave the same way? Does it ever cause problems with pages loading? I'm guessing 'no' because I've looked at a few live examples. I didn't see what would be the telltale sign in Firefox - the Noscript plugin listing the thawte.com domain as a domain I might want to whitelist or blacklist. Geotrust.com does appear in the domain list in Noscript. If I don't whitelist geotrust.com there, the Geotrust site seal doesn't load - and I get a security warning from Noscript, warning me about the iframe. That made me think that maybe an iframe is something I'd like to avoid when possible. I don't know how many other security apps red flag iframes. I bet it's 1% of the population or less that's affected. But I really don't know.

Thanks! If anybody has any opinions on these site seals, I'd like to hear it.

 

lorax




msg:4645228
 2:02 pm on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

You may want to look at:

Do various trust seals improve conversion?: [webmasterworld.com...]

Trust Seals: [webmasterworld.com...]

Hacker Safe, TRUSTe, BBB and Trust Guard Seals: [webmasterworld.com...]

Truste or Verisign or. for Site Verification Trust Seals?: [webmasterworld.com...]

MarkOly




msg:4645284
 4:35 pm on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

Thanks lorax. It's interesting to see the mixed results people have had with A/B testing. I think it has alot to do with the product line and how professional the site looks and feels. I've seen really nice sites that didn't display any seals at all - and it was the last thing you would have ever thought of. You were too busy using the site.

The threads you linked there provide plenty of discussion on the merits of site seals. So I wouldn't want this thread to turn into a continuation of those topics. Right now, I'm interested in the actual functionality of the seals. Mainly, does the Thawte seal cause any issues with page loading?

MarkOly




msg:4645330
 6:38 pm on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

My question to anybody using Thawte's site seal, does their seal behave the same way? Does it ever cause problems with pages loading? I'm guessing 'no' because I've looked at a few live examples. I didn't see what would be the telltale sign in Firefox - the Noscript plugin listing the thawte.com domain as a domain I might want to whitelist or blacklist. Geotrust.com does appear in the domain list in Noscript. If I don't whitelist geotrust.com there, the Geotrust site seal doesn't load - and I get a security warning from Noscript, warning me about the iframe. That made me think that maybe an iframe is something I'd like to avoid when possible. I don't know how many other security apps red flag iframes. I bet it's 1% of the population or less that's affected. But I really don't know.


It looks like I wrong about this. Thawte's site seal does reside on Thawte's servers - and thawte.com does appear in Noscript's domain list.

The reason I was fooled is that alot of people display a "non-live" version of the seal on their pages. Then when you click that, it takes you to a dedicated page, which then displays the real live site seal. At that point, if you use the Noscript plug, and you haven't whitelisted thawte.com yet, you would need to in order to see the site seal.

So I think that's what I'm going to do. Make the switch to Thawte and put the live site seal on its own dedicated page, in order to minimize interference with page loading.

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