Every website small or big these days need to use HTTPS. Normally SSL certificate is required if you accept payments on your website as an SSL certificate protects your website data flowing to and from your site. But now almost all browsers now show visitors if your website has HTTPS or not and therefore tell visitors if your website is trusted or not.
What is SSL?
SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This secure link ensures that all data transferred remains private. It’s also called TLS (Transport Layer Security). Millions of websites use SSL encryption everyday to secure connections and keep their customer’s data safe from monitoring and tampering
Why Use SSL?
Every website on the Internet should be served over HTTPS. Here’s why:
- Performance: Modern SSL can actually improve page load times.
- Search Ranking Boost: Search engines favor HTTPS websites.
- Security: Encrypting traffic with SSL ensures nobody can snoop on your users’ data.
- Trust: By displaying a green lock in the browser’s address bar, SSL increases visitor’s trust.
- Regulatory Compliance: SSL is a key component in PCI compliance.
Google and Chrome now shows all non-SSL websites as “Not Secure”. This means that if you are not using a SSL certificate on your website or don’t have that HTTPS protocol in front of your domain, then you’ll lose customers’ trust. Furthermore, HTTPS simply makes you more professional.
To get HTTPS protocol on your website, you need to buy SSL certificates and it’s quite expensive. If you are just starting a blog or a beginner, then you likely want to keep costs low and avoid buying SSL.
How Much Do SSL Certificates Cost?
Cost of SSL Certificates differ from one certificate authority to another. Their pricing could be anywhere between $10-200 a year. Some hosting providers offer add-on services with their certificates which may also affect the cost of SSL certificate.
The thing is, its another way for these companies to make extra money. SSL certificate should be free for everyone. Some companies even make money off a guarantee with some premium SSL certificates. They charge up to $500 for SSL certificate. But i am going to show you how to get quality SSL certificate for free. You don’t have to buy SSL certificate anymore.
How to Get SSL Certificate for Free from Cloudflare
There are various free SSL Certificate options available on the internet today. Some sites like “Let’s Encrypt” has an open collaboration between a number of global organizations focused on making SSL certificates accessible to all website owners. Another major player is a CDN service called Cloudflare.
Cloudflare is originally a CDN service that protects your website from threats on the Internet and enforces policies that prevent valuable data from leaving your site. It provides secure, fast, reliable, cost-effective network services, integrated with leading identity management and endpoint security providers. In addition to that, it also gives you free SSL certificate for your website. Cloudflare has pro and free plans and we will be using the free plans to get our free SSL certificate.
Installing Free SSL Certificate from Cloudflare and Setting up WordPress
All you have to do is register on Cloudflare.com and choose the free plan. Enter your domain on the next page that you want SSL certificate. Your website will be scanned and you will be given some DNS to add to where you bought your domain name. Log in to where you bought your domain and go to “nameservers” and change the two DNS to the ones cloudflare gives you. Now all traffic goes from cloudflare and your website has the additional protection from online threats.
Cloudflare will issued you some origin server details to add to your hosting account in cPanel under SSL/TLS. In addition to the 2 origin server details, you also get Origin CA certificate signed directly in the Cloudflare dashboard. Origin CA certificate reduces much of the friction around configuring SSL on your origin server, while still securing traffic from your origin to Cloudflare. Lastly, you also need to redirect all traffic to the HTTPS version of your website inside your cloudflare account by creating a page rule.
If you are using WordPress, install the cloudflare plugin and establish a connection between your website and your cloudflare account. Once done, your website will get free SSL certificate that will last 15 years! Yes 15 years of free SSL certificate.
Getting an SSL certificate fro Cloudflare is easy and free. For full tutorials on this, you can watch this YouTube video and follow all the steps.
Now get started and get your own Free SSL certificate.