Security

Free SSL Certificate for WordPress Websites

Did you know that Google flags all websites that don’t use SSL as “Not Secure”? This means that if your website does not have an SSL certificate, you may lose the trust of your visitors.

It is essential to have an SSL certificate for WordPress websites, especially when accepting payments online, as it helps safeguard the data on your website.

Paid SSL certificates can often be expensive, but if you’re just starting a blog or building a DIY website for your business, you can keep costs down.

Fortunately, there are several ways to obtain a free SSL certificate and lower the cost of your website. In this article, we will demonstrate how simple it is to obtain and configure a free SSL certificate for your WordPress website.

SSL: What is it?

SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer, which is an internet protocol that ensures the safe transmission of data between a user’s browser and the website they are visiting.

When users visit websites, they transmit various information, including sensitive details like login credentials, payment information, and credit card details. Using the standard HTTP protocol makes it possible for hackers to intercept and steal this data. SSL or HTTPS is employed to address this vulnerability.

Websites require an SSL certificate from a trusted certificate authority. This certificate is verified and displayed in the user’s browser address bar as a padlock symbol and HTTPS instead of HTTP.

Is it necessary to have an SSL certificate for my WordPress site?

All websites on the internet should use HTTPS and SSL. It is particularly important for websites that collect user data such as login credentials, payment information, credit cards, and more.

If you run an online store, a membership site, or a website that requires customer logins, it is crucial to obtain an SSL certificate as soon as possible.

Most online payment services also require the use of SSL/HTTPS before accepting payments on your website.

In addition to enhancing security, an SSL certificate improves your business’s credibility in the eyes of your customers. Furthermore, Google recommends using SSL, and studies have shown that websites with SSL functionality tend to perform better in search results.

Last but not least, Google Chrome will alert users that your website is not secure if it does not have an SSL certificate.

What is the purpose of an SSL certificate?

After understanding the importance of SSL, you might wonder how an SSL certificate actually works.

SSL ensures the security of sensitive information by encrypting communications between a user’s browser and a server.

When connecting to an HTTPS/SSL-enabled website, the user’s browser first checks the validity of the SSL certificate. If everything is in order, the browser encrypts the information using the server’s public key. Before sending the data back to the server (website), it is encrypted with both the public key and a separate, secret private key.

Do SSL certificates cost a lot?

The price of SSL certificates can vary depending on the issuing certificate authority (CA). The cost can range from $50 to $200 annually, and additional extras offered by the issuing company can also affect the price of your SSL certificate.

Due to the added expense, many website owners hesitate to implement SSL, which leaves smaller websites vulnerable to data and information theft.

To address this problem, Let’s Encrypt, a charitable initiative, was created to provide free SSL certificates. The aim of this certificate authority is to make it easier for website owners to obtain a free SSL certificate. If more websites adopt SSL, the entire web will become safer for users.

Recognizing its significance, major companies such as Google, Facebook, Shopify, and WordPress.com pledged their support for this initiative.

However, installing the free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt can be challenging for new users who may lack coding knowledge and experience with server systems.

Fortunately, many top WordPress hosting providers now include a free SSL certificate with their hosting packages, some of which use Let’s Encrypt. This makes it easier to secure your website as SSL certificates can often be installed with just one click.

Free SSL Certificate Installation and Setting up WordPress

The process of installing your free SSL certificate and configuring WordPress to use HTTPS-only URLs is comprised of two separate steps.

You can accomplish this quickly and easily by utilizing the Really Simple SSL plugin on your site. For more information, refer to our detailed tutorial on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Once the plugin is activated, it will check the status of your SSL certificate. Subsequently, your site’s settings will be converted to utilize SSL/HTTPS, and the HTTP to HTTPS redirection will be enabled.

Ensure that all URLs on your website are loaded using the HTTPS protocol. The Really Simple SSL plugin takes care of this automatically by modifying URLs during page load.

Occasionally, you may need to wait for the browser to load SSL and route your website through HTTPS. If this is not the case, clearing the browser cache and website data should resolve the error.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading, and we hope this article has been helpful in addressing common SSL/HTTPS issues in WordPress. If you require further assistance, WordPressDevelopmentAgency is available to help. We are a reputable agency staffed with WordPress experts, specializing in WordPress site administration, bug fixing, and development.

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