SSL certificates or Secure Sockets Layer is the security technology for establishing an encrypted connection between a web server and a web browser. Not only for the websites which collect users information but for the regular blogs also, SSL became an essential factor. Recently, Google announced the HTTPS as an advantage over the non-HTTPS in their search results. Moreover, it is a great security measure to funnel the important data from and to a web server and a web browser.
So, the need of SSL increased drastically over the time. But, the best SSL certificate providers in the industry usually charge you a considerable amount of money, which may not be favorable for the small businesses and personal website owners. Knowing this, many organizations put forward the idea of Free SSL and started distributing them for completely free of cost. This greatly helped the site owners to easily turn their website into a secure one without any extra charges and renewable cost.
If you want such a Free SSL for your website too, we have a helpful guide which lists almost of the possible ways to get an SSL certificate for completely free. Have a look.
Quick Note – Installing an SSL will not result in any downtime if done correctly. So, you don’t have to worry about downtimes.
How to get a free SSL from Let’s Encrypt?
Let’s Encrypt is a free SSL provider which launched last year and started providing free X.509 certificates for TLS (Transport Layer Security) encryption. It is founded and maintained by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG). In the sponsor list of the Let’s Encrypt, you could find out almost of the internet giants including, Google, Mozilla, Automatic, Cisco, Facebook, Shopify, Sucuri, etc. This clearly states the relevance of the Let’s Encrypt, even if it is a free service.
So, now you know why we chose Let’s Encrypt over many other free SSL providers out there. If you are impressed and wanted to install Let’s Encrypt on your website to make it HTTPS from the normal HTTP, follow the steps given below.
Steps to install Let’s Encrypt with Shell access
If your web hosting supports shell access (Most of the hosting providers support this, if you have doubt, just contact them), just follow these steps to install Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate –
- Go to the Certbot website.
- Choose your web server software and system (If you are not sure, just ask your web hosting support team).
- Follow the instructions given there based on the selected software and system. (It is hard to list each one of the system variations and software variations with their tutorial. That’s why we just pointed you there. If you face any problem, feel free to ask us.)
- If you follow all the steps correctly, you will see your website is accessible from the HTTPS version.
- If you are not automatically redirected to the HTTPS version, just follow the steps on our guide on redirecting HTTP to HTTPS.
List of hosting services with Let’s Encrypt support
Here are the list of hosting providers which support the Let’s Encrypt SSL installation. We listed most of them, but maybe something missing. You could always ask your web hosting guys about the Let’s Encrypt support. They will answer you.
- Apis Networks
- Brownrice Internet
- Certified Hosting
- Digital Ocean
- Domain & Webspace Tremmel
- Dwe Gruppe
- EDIS.AT, Austria
- Futureweb OG
- Hosting90 Systems
- Inertia Networks
- Krystal Hosting
- Mythic Beasts
- Neify Hosting
- Ngage Hosting
- TerraNetwork Hosting
- Tiger Technologies
- Top Host
- TrafficPlanet Hosting
- VentraIP Australia
- Vildmarksdata Sweden
- WebHostUK Limited
- World4You Internet Services GmbH
- WP Engine
How to get Cloudflare free SSL certificate?
Cloudflare is one of the best security layers chosen by many experts to protect the websites from malicious activities and hackers. They basically tunnel the connection between the ordinary web server and the web browser through their secured high-speed servers placed all over the globe. It not only drastically increase the website performance but also creates an extra layer of security. CloudFlare also provides free SSL certificates for the users.
Unlike the Let’s Encrypt, the Cloudflare Free SSL is incredibly easy to configure. Maybe due to the completely different process of installing SSL certificate. Just make sure that you correctly added and configured your website with Cloudflare. To install a Cloudflare SSL on your website, follow these steps –
- Login to Cloudflare.
- Go to the Crypto tab.
- Now change the SSL section to Full (You can also choose any of the options as per your requirements.)
- That’s it. Now, wait until your certificate getting issued. In most of the cases, it will be over within 24 hours. Check back later.
- After the certificate is live, you will see something like “Active Certificate” under the SSL option.
- Now, try to access your website at https://www.example.com.
- If it is opening correctly, you are done.
Also, try accessing the website using the non-HTTPS URL. If it is not redirecting automatically, do the HTTPS redirection by following the steps given in our article on HTTP to HTTPS redirection.
How to get free Trial SSL for 90 days from Comodo?
Comodo is one of the biggest names in the SSL industry. They provide various certificates including EV, Wildcard, UCC, etc. In addition, favorable for the users, they do also provide a free 3 months SSL for the websites. If you want to give it a try, follow these steps.
- Go to the Comodo free SSL certificate page.
- Click on the Free Trial SSL button.
- It will bring you to an SSL certificate issuance page like this.
- Just follow the on-screen instructions like adding CSR (certificate signing request) by reading the given text. (It is very easy to follow them.) Here is a guide that will help you to generate a CSR from cPanel.
- After filling the info and completing the steps, you will receive an email from Comodo with your certificate.
- Now, follow the instructions given here based on your server and software type, or in our article on installing SSL certificates.
Things to keep in mind after installing a free SSL
Whatever service you choose, make sure that you follow the correct instructions and do everything exactly as mentioned on the installation instructions. Incorrectly following outdated guides may result in SSL errors such as “Page contains secure and non-secure items“. If you are not interested in installing a free SSL certificate, you may create your own self-signed SSL.
After the free SSL installation is complete, do the following things –
- Visit the HTTPS version of your website and make sure that the “Lock icon” is showing up without any errors.
- Make sure that all the static assets are being served from HTTPS as well.
- If you are using a service like Let’s Encrypt, make sure to renew the certificates every 90 days (or the specific period set by the provider).
- Setting up an SSL monitor will also be a good idea to keep you notified if anything goes wrong with the SSL certificate.