If you stumbled upon this post, you probably already know that you need an SSL certificate. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! In this article, I’ll walk you through the steps to get a free SSL certificate and show you why it’s absolutely vital for your website’s security, credibility and SEO. Let’s get started!
The main purpose of an SSL certificate is to provide security to your visitors. “SSL” stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and it’s a digital certificate that encrypts the data exchanged between your website and its visitors.
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3 Reasons You Need an SSL Certificate
1. Shield Your Users’ Data 🛡️
Imagine you’re sharing personal information on a website – your name, address, or even your credit card details. Without an SSL certificate, this data is like a postcard anyone can read. However, when you have an SSL certificate, it’s like sealing that postcard in an impenetrable envelope. Your visitors’ data remains private and secure, building trust and credibility for your website.
2. Boost Your SEO 🚀
Google is all about user safety and privacy. So, they reward websites with SSL certificates by giving them a boost in search rankings. By securing your site, you’re not just protecting your users; you’re also improving your chances of being found online. It’s like hitting two birds with one encrypted stone!
3. Say Goodbye to “Not Secure” Warnings 🔒
Ever seen that alarming “Not Secure” message in your browser’s address bar? It’s like a red flag for visitors, warning them to stay away. An SSL certificate ensures that your website is marked as “Secure.” So, you’ll no longer scare potential visitors away with that ominous message.
Learn About Free SSL Options and How to Get Them
Now that you’re sold on the idea of SSL certificates, let’s explore how you get one for!
From Your Hosting Company
Almost all hosting companies these days offer SSL certificates as part of their hosting plans. Sometimes on the lowest price option, you need to go into your hosting company’s panels and add the SSL certificate to the hosted domain manually. On higher level hosting plans usually a Free SSL certificate is added for your automatically. Check out our guide to the best hosting companies for beginners.
Here is a list of popular hosting companies that offer free SSL certificates and which is the lowest plan that offers automatic free SSL certificates. :
BlueHost, Choice Plus Plan, Starting at $5.45 per month
DreamHost, Shared Unlimited Plan, Starting at $3.95 per month
SiteGround, StartUp Plan, Starting at $2.99 per month
GoDaddy, WebHosting Economy Plan $5.99 per month *Free SSL for the first year.
Hostinger, Premium Plan, $2.99 per month
HostGator, Hatchling Plan, $3.75 per month
All of the above hosting companies offer free SSL certificates on
From A Third Party
Let’s Encrypt 🌐
Let’s Encrypt is the Oprah of SSL certificates, “You get an SSL certificate, and you get an SSL certificate!”. They offer free, automated, and open certificates for everyone. Many hosting companies actually use Let’s Encrypt for their automatic SSL certificate options.
If your hosting plan doesn’t offer a free SSL certificate you can still get one form Let’s Encrypt by visiting their website and following their easy-to-understand instructions. And voilà! You’ll have a shiny new SSL certificate in no time.
Cloudflare provides a range of web security services, including a free SSL certificate. By using their content delivery network (CDN), you can not only get a secure connection but also improve your website’s performance.
To get a free SSL Certificate with Cloudflare follow these steps:
- Sign up for a free Cloudflare account.
- Add the domain to your Cloudflare account.
- Soon after adding your domain, Cloudflare will add their universal SSL certificate to your domain.
Securely Set Up Your SSL Certificate on Your Domain
Now, let’s set it up securely on your domain. Here’s a brief overview:
- Check with your web hosting provider for SSL integration instructions.
- Install the SSL certificate according to their guidelines.
- Make sure all your website links and resources use the “https://” protocol instead of “http://”.
- On WordPress you will want to go to your Dashboard > Settings > General and change the WordPress Address and site address to show https://
- Test your website thoroughly to ensure everything is working smoothly.
How to check if your SSL certificate is up and running:
1. Visit your website in a browser.
2. Look for the padlock icon in the address bar – it should be closed and green (or some other color depending on the browser).
3. Click on the padlock to view certificate details and confirm its validity.
And there you have it! Your website is now locked and loaded with a valid SSL certificate. 🚀
We’ve learned why SSL certificates are essential, where to get free ones, and how to securely set them up on your website.
Remember, online security doesn’t have to cost a fortune. With free SSL options readily available, you can protect your users, boost your SEO, and say goodbye to those “Not Secure” warnings without breaking the bank. Happy surfing, securely! 🏄♂️🔒