Having your website is a great feeling. But do you know you will be sharing a lot of data and information with your users via your website?
How do you know that shared data is secured?
If your site performs monetary transactions, security is essential to secure the transaction.
Also, if your site has a membership (sign/signup) option, you need a good security measure to secure your visitor’s data.
One way to enhance the security of your website is by adding an SSL certificate.
Whether you know or not, but even Google has added an SSL certificate as a ranking parameter for a website. Google Chrome shows a website that does not have an SSL certificate as Insecure when you visit them.
So, what is an SSL certificate, why do you need an SSL certificate on your website, and How to get an SSL certificate for your website?
1. What is an SSL certificate?
SSL extends to the Secure Socket Layer. It is an internet protocol that encrypts the data transfer between your website and the server.
It converts the HTTP protocol to HTTPS – makes it secure for the visitors to access and exchanging information with the website.
The above picture demonstrates the site is secured with an SSL certificate.
Whether the data transmission takes place from server to server or browser to server, SSL encrypts the data communication.
It helps to secure the data from being accessed externally by hackers and spoofers.
2. Why do you need an SSL certificate for your website?
There are multiple reasons why you should have an SSL certificate on your website. Some of the important reasons are explained below:
i. To Accept Payment Securely:
If you sell products from your website and have an online payment method, your customers will make a payment using a debit/credit card.
It is essential to have an SSL certificate to protect the customer’s sensitive information such as card details, address, and personal details safe.
An SSL certificate encrypts the data provided by the customer and makes the payment secure.
ii. To Encrypt the Login Information of Users:
If your site is membership-based or has a registration or login option, an SSL certificate is a must to keep the user information secure and encrypted.
An SSL certificate encrypts the user login information during the exchange between browsers and servers, safeguarding it from potential hackers.
iii. To obtain the visitor’s trust:
Many times, we conduct surveys or research to know about visitor’s interest on the website and what type of content or product they expect on the website using different web forms.
In such scenarios, if your website is not secured with SSL, the chances are that the visitors won’t even provide their necessary information via the web forms.
Your site must be secured with SSL before you ask for any information from your visitors. It increases your website trust level to them along with safeguarding the information.
iv. SSL improves the SEO ranking of the website:
It was way back in 2014, Google announced that HTTPs will be a parameter for ranking a website in search engine results.
As of now, Google Chrome flags the website as “Insecure,” which does not have a valid SSL certificate.
Even WordPress has announced that it would only recommend the hosting which provides SSL certificate by default.
So, it can be concluded that a website must have an SSL certificate to be secured online.
3. Does my WordPress website need an SSL Certificate?
An SSL certificate is recommended for every website. An SSL certificate adds a layer of security to your website.
Though you do not sell anything or accept any payment via your website, still you may have an email subscription form or contact form which collects data from your visitors.
You would never like your visitor’s data getting intercepted by hackers or cyber thieves.
Hence, an SSL certificate is important whether your website is custom developed or with WordPress.
4. What is the Price of an SSL Certificate?
The price for an SSL certificate varies from one certificate authority to another. The average pricing of an SSL certificate is somewhere between 50-200 USD/year.
5. Can I get an SSL certificate for free?
Yes, you can get a valid and working free SSL certificate for free. There is no catch or hidden charges.
There is some SSL Certificate authority who provides Free SSL certificate to keep the web and data security.
These are the authority who provides SSL certificate for free:
i. Let’s Encrypt
Because of the high price of SSL certificates, many website owners were ignoring to use an SSL certificate on their website. This made their website vulnerable to data stealing.
To fix this situation, a project named Let’s Encrypt was started by collaboration with the Linux Foundation.
Seeing the importance of the project, it got sponsored by giant companies like Facebook, Google Chrome, Siteground, Mozilla, and many more.
Let’s Encrypt is a free and open SSL certificate authority that provides you an SSL certificate for your website to keep it secure and safe.
Comodo provides a free and fully functional SSL certificate for your website, which will be valid for 90 days.
The SSL certificate issued by Comodo is trusted and recognized by all major browsers and immediately secures your website once installed.
The SSL Certificate provided by Comodo is free for 90 days only; you can continue its usage by paying its fee or can go with other options.
Cloudflare is a CDN and security company that provides Comodo SSL certificate to its clients. You can get an SSL certificate with their free services without paying any charges.
The SSL certificates offered by Cloudflare are installed on their caching server rather than your website server.
Along with securing your website with an SSL certificate, Cloudflare also provides free CDN and other security features.
6. What is the Best Way to get Free SSL for my WordPress website?
The best way to get a free SSL certificate for your website is by choosing the WordPress hosting companies that provide free SSL certificates with their hosting plans.
These hosting companies save you from a lot of hassle of getting and installing an SSL certificate on your website.
The list of the WordPress hosting companies who provide free SSL certificates with their hosting plans are listed below:
- Inmotion Hosting
If you already are a client of these hosting companies and do not have SSL installed on your website, then you need to enable it from your Cpanel.
If you don’t find an option to do so, you can ask your hosting provider to enable your website.
If your current web hosting provider does not provide free SSL certificates, you can easily switch to the above-mentioned companies.
They provide free website migration along with a free SSL certificate.
So, among all the mentioned methods choosing a WordPress hosting company that offers free SSL certificate with their hosting plan is the best way to get a free SSL certificate for your website.
It saves you from various hassles of obtaining and installing the SSL certificate.
If you are yet confused about which hosting company to choose for your website, then we recommend you go with Bluehost. Bluehost provides web hosting at the cheapest rate with free SSL to every website hosted with them.