Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Would like to know if there is any difference between 'site certificate' and 'signing certificate' if any?


share|improve this question

A site certificate encrypts the data between your browser and the website. It also ostensibly signs who the data is coming from.

A signing certificate "signs" a message or other data to ensure that the sender is who they say they are. Things that can be signed are are emails, code, etc.

share|improve this answer

Yes, they are different. In very simplified terms, a site certificate is used to validate the identity of a site or organization. A signing certificate is used to validate the indentity of a person.

share|improve this answer

If your talking about the difference between using Signed and Self Signed for https then you, might want to check out this article Signed vs. Self-signed Certificates basically in this context its about reasuring the user.

share|improve this answer

In the process of creating a self-signed SSL cert, you first generate a signing cert, and then use that to sign the site certificate. You can re-use the signing cert to sign other site certs: in effect, the signing cert is your personal/organizational "seal of approval", and then each machine/service will have it's own site certificate, which is signed by you.

These type of site certs are known as "self-signed certificates", and are often regarded as dubious (since there's no way for an end user to validate that the signer is actually who they say they are.) Refer to the article linked above for more information on that. They're often useful for internal purposes (i.e. encrypting a tunnel between machines) but should be avoided for sites that end users interact with.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.