How to get SSL for the free – complete guide

Security is a critical aspect that every website should consider since it builds trust and boosts website rating. It is, therefore, important to boost your website security with SSL certificate.

SSL is an acronym for Secure Socket Layer. As of summer 2018, Google Chrome started showing users websites as ” not secured” if they were not providing HTTPS connection.

If you not familiar with SSL and even don’t know how to get it then worry no more. This article is, therefore, tailored to help you understand how SSL works and how to get the SSL certificate implemented on your website free of charge.

What is SSL Certification?

SSL is shorthand for Secure Socket Layer. There is a high possibility that you have come across the end product of encryption tools.

While using different websites you might have seen websites starting with https:// or Http:// with an additional green padlock and this is basically the results of SSL.

SSL generates an encrypted link that connects your customer’s browser to your enhanced website. This, therefore, provides extra security and ensures that no third-party can access or steal your data.

If your website still doesn’t have SSL and is still under unsecured https:// or Http:// then your website security is compromised since any third-party can access and view the information of your website.

This is a very critical security issue since it can lead to breaching of data like username & passwords, credit card numbers which are used within your website.

Hosts that Offer Free SSL Certification

There are several hosts that can offer you a free SSL certificate for your website. You will agree with me that starting up a website is quite expensive, therefore in the attempt of cutting costs, people tend to ignore SSL.

Since Let’s Encrypt was established, there have been several SSL certificates accessible to the public. This not profit company changed the status quo by its objective of trying to make the internet a safer place for browsing.

Currently, it is very common to see WordPress hosting providers offer a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate to accompany their package. This is quite enticing and it is used to win new customers.

Basically, SSL certificate installation is not a game for an average internet user. The installation requires some coding knowledge and the ability to make some adjustments in server settings.

The following providers offer free SSL certification hence ensuring safe and secure browsing within your website.

1. Comodo

Official Comodo Website

Comodo will give you free access to an SSL certificate for your website for 90 days. This is very advantageous for those who are running short-term projects or those who are not yet prepared to commit to expenses of acquiring premium SSL.

To get the Comodo SSL certificate for your website kindly visit their official website fill in your details and get your encryption. All popular browsers recognize a Comodo SSL certificate.

2. Bluehost

Official Bluehost Website

If you prefer using Bluehost to get your free SSL certificate then it’s simple just follow the following steps

To enable the free SSL certificate:

  1. Log into your Bluehost control panel.
  2. Click the Addons tab.
  3. Locate SSL Certificates, and click on the learn more button.
  4. Click the get started button under WordPress Free SSL.
  5. Click the Install button.

3. SiteGround

Siteground Official Website

For you to get your SSL certificate for your website using Siteground you will have to sign up or log in to your Siteground account. After logging in click on the “My Accounts” tab then proceed to the ” Manage Account” button which is next to the SSL certificate installation domain.

This should take you to the cPlanel button.

Thereafter, scroll to the bottom and click “Let’s encrypt” option.

Depending on the option you prefer you can either choose a basic “Lets Encrypt SSL or Lets Encrypt Wildcard SSL  then you install.

After clicking on the install button, the installation message will pop-up on the screen which will change to a success message once the process is over.

With that, you have now installed the free SSL certificate on Siteground and you can now enjoy the benefits.

4. HostGator

Official Website for HostGator

HostGator also provides a free SSL certificate for websites. You can consider it to help you eliminate the dreadful “Not secure or Insecure ” notification that appears next to your domain in browsers. You don’t have to be a techie for you to install HostGator’s free SSL certificate on your website.

Kindly follow the steps below for assistance;

  • First, you will have to log in to HostGator cPanel or sign-up if you are a first time user.
  • After logging in or signing up scroll down to the security tab as shown bellow then proceeds to SSL/TSL.
  • After clicking SSL/TSL you will be able to unlock four options. Choose the fourth option “Install and Manage SSL for your site (Https)”.
  • The next step gives you the option of choosing the domain name that you want to install the free SSL certificate on.
  • After filling in your domain detail scroll down and click on install SSL button for HostGator.

If you have reached here and clicked on the button install certificate, congratulations. It means the SSL certificate has been installed on your domain.

5. WPEngine

Official Website for WPEngine

WPEngine is among popular SSL certificate service providers via Let’s Encrypt. It is easy to install, just follow the below steps to set it up.

  • Log in or signup so that you can access the WPEngine control panel.
  • Click on “Installs” in the control panel.
  • That will give you access to several buttons, then click on the “SSL” button so that you can access the available options.
  • Install the SSL by clicking on the ” Add certificate ” option.

Remember to choose the free Let’s Encrypt certificate. Lastly, if you want to secure more than one domain, just select all the domains and get the SSL certificate for them.

Then read and agree to the “Terms and Conditions”.

Lastly, click on the “Request SSL Certificate” option.

6. Dreamhost

Official Website for Dreamhost

If your preference for free SSL certificate provider is Dreamhost then below is a step by step guide on how to get the free SSL certificate from Dreamhost.

  • Sign-up or log in to DreamHost web panel
  • Accessing the free SSL certificate

After signing up or logging in, click on the “Add an SSL Certificate ” button which is located in the more options button.

That will direct you to a page that will allow you to choose the SSL certificate you want to use.

Remember to choose Let’s encrypt SSL because it is 100% free.

  • The next step will be choosing the domain where you want to use the free SSL.

Also, remember to click on ” No, thanks I’m good “under include a unique IP section.

The next step will be to agree with the terms and conditions. Then also click on the add button.

If you click the add button it will change the status to processing, wait until it finishes processing.

If the processing is over it means your free SSL certificate has been successfully been installed.

You will have to wait a bit for the SSL certificate to be fully implemented.

You can now enjoy a secure domain by using DreamHost free SSL certificate.

7. InMotion Hosting

Official Website for InMotion Hosting

InMotion also offers a free SSL certificate for any domain. To get the free SSL certificate provided by InMotion Hosting please follow the following steps

  • Sign-up or log in to your account management panel.
  • Then click the button written, ” Manage free SSL”.

  • Then click the “ON/OFF ” button and make sure it is in ON option.
  • Confirm the eligibility of your domains

After enabling the free SSL, your domain will be automatically assigned as SSL if they are eligible.

With that you good to go, enjoy a secure domain now.

8. GreenGeeks

Official Website for GreenGeeks

GreenGeeks is one of the best SSL service providers. Allow me to take you through the free SSL certificate installation in your domain by using GreenGeeks.

Kindly, follow the following steps;

  • Sign-up or log in to GreenGeeks Web Hosting
  • Secondly, from GreenGeeks screen click on the “security” button that is found on the left side of the screen.

  • Click on the button at the top page written “Add SSL Certificate”
  • Click on button written ” Select a service ” so that you can select your domain.
  • Enter the domain you want to secure.
  • The next screen that will appear will give you two options to choose from. The options are, install Alpha SSL Wildcard or Let’s Encrypt Certificate. Remember to choose Let’s Encrypt Certificate since its the free option while the Alpha SSL Wildcard has an annual premium.
  • Confirm that you have keyed in the correct domain and make sure Let’s Encrypt is your SSL provider.

Then you can click “Confirm and Create” to finish your installation.

  • On the next page click on the “Install SSL certificate ” button for auto-installer to launch.
  • In a few minutes, the auto-installer will finish adding the SSL certificate to your account.

Your website is now secured free of charge courtesy of GreenGeeks.

Conclusion

You will agree with me that there is a long list of hosting companies that can enable you to access a free SSL certificate for your domain. It is for that reason we can discuss all of them. But just to mention a few that we have not discussed in the article, other hosting companies are;

  1. Liquid Web
  2. iPage
  3. CloudFlare
  4. StartCom
  5. WoSign
  6. SSL for Free

The procedure for installing the free SSL certificate in your domain from different hosting companies is the same. The difference is very insignificant because of their different user interface but the process is the same. You will always need to login to your hosting company Cpanel and check the security option because that’s where the SSL installation option is located.

I hope this detailed and well-illustrated article with step by step guideline will be very useful to you so that you can get your free SSL certificate. Domain security is a very critical issue and should be taken seriously, therefore grab this chance and secure your domain.

Thanks for reading, you free to comment on what you think about the article and you are allowed to share with friends on different platforms.

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David Dimba