Running a secure (HTTPS) website improves security, trust and Google will love you for it. Let us show you how you can easily add a free SSL certificate to your website using LetsEncrypt.
Last time out we explained what HTTPS is and what advantages it brings. This week we’ll show you how you can get a free SSL certificate and install it on your web site.
Aren’t SSL certificates expensive?
They can be, as they often come with financial guarantees and you can be sure the largest sites on the internet spend many thousands of pounds on security and the certificate is just one part of this. If you are reading this the chances are you don’t need this level of cover and a more basic certificate will do.We love LetsEncrypt as a great free solution – there really is no reason not to run SSL on your site nowadays. Of course, you can choose to purchase an SSL certificate from a provider, but we’ll be focusing on doing it with LetsEncrypt in this article.
From their website:
Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority (CA), run for the public’s benefit. It is a service provided by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG).We give people the digital certificates they need in order to enable HTTPS (SSL/TLS) for websites, for free, in the most user-friendly way we can. We do this because we want to create a more secure and privacy-respecting Web.
How to install through your hosting provider
Hopefully, you’ve chosen one of the many hosting providers that have chosen to support LetsEncrypt, as this makes it trivial to set up and automatically renew your SSL certificates. The full list of providers can be found here. Log in to your hosting control panel and look for the setting in and simply follow the instructions there – a few clicks later and you’ll be all set.If there is an option to “enforce” SSL then select this to automatically redirect site visitors to the secure version of your website.
How to install on your own server
If you maintain your own unix-based web server, then there is a simple command line application called CertBot that looks after certificate generation and installation. Head on over to the CertBot Website and enter your details for configuration instructions specific to your setup. Although CertBot was primarily designed for linux / unix, there is also a port for Windows Server / IIS called LetsEncrypt Win Simple that reportedly works well.
Need more help?
If you’d like help with this or any other areas of website security, or to find out more about our hosting and site management services that include SSL and other benefits built in, then please get in touch below.