To prevent your website from being considered insecure, you will have to deploy an SSL certificate on it. Overall, they turn out to be very expensive. Fortunately, there is a way to obtain a free SSL certificate and thus reduce costs related to your website.
Next, we’ll show you how to obtain, generate, and install a free SSL certificate on your WordPress site, among other things.
What is an SSL certificate?
An SSL certificate (whether free or paid) is a digital certificate that will allow a domain name and a hostname to be linked to an organization’s identity.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. SSL is a protocol that secures data transfer between a visitor’s browser and the visited website.
Using an SSL certificate on your website will help secure the connection between visitors and your site. It results in the use of the HTTPS protocol, which is the unsecured version of the protocol.
How to get and generate a free SSL certificate?
These days it is effortless to obtain and generate a free SSL certificate. So, you have no excuse for not ensuring the safety of your site visitors.
It was democratized for free through a project called Let’s Encrypt. The only minor problem is that it is not easy for a novice to deploy and install it on their site.
Fortunately, many web hosts have started offering a free SSL certificate with all of their plans.
Free SSL Certificate Installation Tutorial
Once you have been able to obtain your free SSL certificate, the only thing left to do is install it and configure the use of the HTTPS protocol (and not HTTP) for all the pages of your website.
If you are on WordPress, we recommend you to use a plugin. There are various plugins available in the market, so choose which seems to be the best.
The plugin will help you ensure that your free SSL certificate is activated and that all HTTP to HTTPS redirects are done. This check is important because if a single page on your site is not secure, your entire site will be considered safe by Google. And that’s precisely what you want to avoid, believe us!
If you have any problems installing your free SSL certificate, do not hesitate to call your host’s technical support.
Reasons you need an SSL certificate.
The main reason you should want to install one (both free and paid) is to ensure the safety of your site visitors.
Especially if you need to collect sensitive information such as identifiers, payment information, or banking data.
The second reason concerns the impression left. Imagine that you are not using an SSL certificate on your site. As soon as visitors arrive, they will see a message stating that your site is not secure.
If this were to happen, you could ensure that the visitor in question would look elsewhere without delay. To gain your visitors’ confidence and future visitors, you must secure your website at all costs by using the HTTPS protocol.
Finally, the third aspect that should convince you to buy or get a free SSL certificate is that Google pays great attention to its use. Without it, your site could be penalized. It will result in significant position losses on the queries you are targeting.
So, there is no need to think about it; you need an SSL certificate at all costs! Do not skimp on the means at this level.
The different types of SSL certificates
Now that you know how to obtain, install, and most importantly, why to use an SSL certificate, we will show you the differences between the types that exist. Because yes, there are some nuances.
It explains why the price can vary greatly (we will come back to this later).
DV Certificate (Domain Validation)
Domain Validation is the most used type on the Internet.
It is currently the current standard, and you will be able to obtain this type of SSL certificate for free from web hosts like HostGator. However, be aware that it is not the most secure on our list. Indeed, the validation will be done automatically and will only verify that the domain name is registered and that the administrator approves the SSL certificate request.
The # 1 provider of this entirely free SSL certificate is Let’s Encrypt.
This type of certificate will especially be suitable for people who want to create a small personal site, a blog, a site allowing them to present their CV, etc.
OV certificate (Organization validation)
The OV (Organization Validation) certificate is also widely used on the web. The validation process is much stricter than in the previous case. To have everything validated, you will have to provide more information about your organization: its name, address, country, etc.
As a result, the validation time is also longer than if you opted for a certificate by domain validation. Companies are the ones that use this type of SSL certificate the most.
EV Certificate (Extended Validation)
As the name suggests, this extended validation certificate is the most secure of all. Its validation process is also the most demanding among those we have mentioned.
For example, you will need to provide information and documents proving that you are the domain owner or that your business exists legally. The validation process will generally take a few days.
This type of SSL certificate is not free and will mainly be used by e-commerce sites. It helps give your site visitors even more reassurance before they make a purchase.
How much does an SSL certificate cost to purchase?
Buying an SSL certificate can cost more or less. In short, everything will depend on the type of certificate you are looking to use. If you only need domain validation, it is possible to get an SSL certificate for free. All you have to do is subscribe to one of the hosting plans from a provider like DreamHost. In this specific case, the cost is therefore 0 €.
On the other hand, opting for the two types listed above (OV and EV) can cost you between 30 and 200 € per year. It is an estimate, and it will be possible to find prices a little lower or even much higher.
In any case, remember one thing: do not pay for a DV-type SSL certificate (domain validation). Why would you do this when you can get the same SSL certificate for free from the free hosting provider?
We hope that you can now see more clearly about the cost to buy.
As seen in our article, you must use an SSL certificate on your website at all costs. Without this, your site will not be secure, which will scare your visitors and give Google a bad image of your site. Indeed, the search engine takes this aspect into account to establish its rankings. This aspect should, therefore, not be neglected. You have everything to gain, so if, in addition, it is possible to get a free SSL certificate with all DreamHost’s hosting, it would be silly to go without.
If you are planning to develop an SSL certificate website, reach out to us!
SSL Certificates Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the benefits of an SSL certificate?
The main benefit of having an SSL certificate installed on your site is that you will keep your users safe. Their connection to your site will be fully encrypted, allowing them to avoid many threats.
How will people know that my site is safe?
In the address bar of their browser, once on your site, they will see a padlock appear (on the left), guaranteeing them that your site is indeed secure. If this ever happens, be aware that they will get a warning message telling them that your site is not secure. It may scare a lot of people and therefore cause you to lose visitors. That’s why you must install an SSL certificate on your website.
Do I have to buy an SSL certificate?
No, it is not necessarily necessary to purchase an SSL certificate. Many web hosts offer free SSL certificates with Let’s Encrypt with their web hosting. It is the case, for example, with DreamHost, which is a benchmark in the market.
Which web host to choose to get a free SSL certificate?
If you do not want to pay for the SSL certificate necessary to protect your site and visitors, we advise you to opt for the free host. No matter what hosting plan you sign up for, you’ll be eligible for free SSL certificates.