Have you recently come across a website that wouldn’t load because it was marked as “Not Secure” in your browser? Worse off, are we describing your website? If so, you are missing the SSL certificate necessary to reassure your visitors and maintain their trust.
An SSL Certificate protects all the data on the website, including the data submitted by your visitors. And in this day and age, feeling secure while browsing the Internet is invaluable.
If you have an online store or do any sort of transactions or subscriptions on your website, having an SSL certificate is absolutely mandatory. However, an SSL certificate can be a big investment if you’re only running a company blog or are just testing your first business website.
Fortunately, there are several ways you can obtain a free SSL certificate and reduce the cost of your website. In this article, we are going to share a few ways to get a free SSL certificate on your WordPress site.
What Is An SSL Certificate?
The term SSL is short for Secure Sockets Layer. This is an Internet protocol that makes sure any data exchanged between the user and the website are secure. This includes various sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords or other payment or login details.
When users visit any website, a certain amount of data is exchanged between them. Sensitive information listed above can easily be intercepted by hackers if the website isn’t protected.
This is the main function of the SSL certificate. Regular HTTP protocol makes it easy for hackers to hijack personal information. SSL or HTTPS protocol ensures no such dangers can occur. A website protected with the SSL protocol will be marked with a padlock symbol on the left side of the navigation bar.
Do I Need An SSL Certificate?
As of recently, all websites are required to have an SSL certificate. If you don’t, not only will visitors be alerted that your website is unsafe, but your search engine rankings will go down as well. Furthermore, all websites that require login details, payment or credit card information need to have an SSL certificate.
This includes online stores, websites offering a membership or ones that have a user login section. Major payment services also require having an SSL certificate if you plan on making transactions on your website.
If you don’t install an SSL certificate, your visitors will easily be deterred by the ominous text message advising them against proceeding to your website. This could cost you a lot of visits and conversions.
How To Get A Free SSL Certificate
A lot of business owners cannot afford an SSL certificate or don’t see how it benefits their business. This leaves their websites vulnerable to various forms of cyber-attacks and directly endangers their visitors. Fortunately, there are a few ways to obtain a free SSL certificate. We list some of the most popular options below:
Let’s Encrypt is a product of a collaboration between Internet Security Research Group and the Linux Foundation. It offers a free domain-validated certificate that can be automatically renewed. This means that once installed on your website, you won’t have to worry about going through the process again in a year.
Cloud Fare is a company that provides free SSL certificates. It offers a user-friendly interface that lets you set up your free certificate in less than five minutes. A lot of popular websites like Mozilla, Reddit, Yelp and others use Cloud Fare. After you make an account all you need is to choose the website you want to add the certificate to, click on the Crypto icon and wait for the change to be live.
If you run a blog or a personal website, you can get a free SSL certificate for your website at StartCom. All you need to do is to prove that you own the website. This might take a few minutes or hours, but can be done via email. Once you activate it, you’ll have a year of free SSL before you have to renew the certificate.