In this step by step guide, I will show you how to get a free SSL certificate without spending a single penny or writing a line of code in less than ten minutes.
We will use two simple plugins to get free Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate for your WordPress website.
Whilst most of the web hosting companies will charge you a small fortune in order to provide you with SSL, we will achieve this without spending a dime. You will save a ton of money if you follow this insanely easy 11 steps procedure.
You must be thinking who is foolish enough to give us a free SSL?
Well! The answer is. A universally reputable company called Let’s Encrypt which is sponsored by companies like Facebook, Shopify & Digital Ocean provides free SSL Certificates to website owners. Just like WordPress is free to use, Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificates are also free to use.
The problem, however, is you need technical knowledge to implement that SSL onto your website.
Not anymore my friends.
The good news is, we can make use of Lets Encrypt Certificates by using two simple plugins which I have demonstrated below, without needing any technical coding knowledge.
What is SSL?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. In the non-technical jargon, It means that the visitors coming to your website can securely use your website for financial transactions or other activities without the threat of their credit cards, user names or passwords getting hacked by criminals. It provides safety and security to your customers.
How To Verify If A Website Contains An SSL Certificate Or Not?
All modern browsers show warning signs if the connection is not entirely secure. In order to secure connection, you need an SSL certificate.
Here is an example to check if SSL is protecting the page or not. Can you see the image above of my website URL start with and without SSL certificate?
The top screen shot with grey lock and URL starting with http:// means that my website has no SSL.
The bottom screenshot with green lock and URL starting with https:// means that my website does contain an SSL certificate.
Now you must be wondering why do you need an SSL certificate?
Here Are Few Of The Benefits Of SSL Certificate:
- It will boost your website ranking in search engines. SSL is one of the important factors Google takes into consideration whilst ranking websites.
- It authenticates your website
- Gives your site a professional look.
- Your website visitors will trust your website more especially if you have an e-commerce business which will result in increased sales.
- It increases visitors loyalty.
- It also protects your own information.
- It provides safety and security to you and your customers.
Step By Step Guide For Installing SSL Certificate Using These Two Simple Plugins:
Without SSL Certificate this is what my URL bar looks like.
After we have installed the certificate I will show you what it will look like at the end of this guide.
In order to get this certificate and install it, we will use two plugins.
1- WP Encrypt. This plugin will register and generate SSL certificate for your website.
2- Really Simple SSL. This plugin will activate SSL certificate on your website.
First of all, you will install WP Encrypt plugin which will register your website and generate SSL certificate for your website using these steps.
1- Step One:
Go to your WordPress Dashboard, Click on Plugins and click on Add New.
Now in the search bar write WP Encrypt as shown in the image below.
The plugin will most probably be first in search results. If not please match it with the image in red box as shown above. Click on Install now.
2- Step Two:
Click on Activate button of the plugin.
As soon as you will activate the plugin, it will take you the screen where all your plugins will be displayed.
Find the WP Encrypt plugin from the list and then click on the Settings tab.
As soon as you will click on the settings you will see a screen where you will have to fill in your website Information.
Now fill the following sections.
- Organization Name: Write the name of your blog or company here.
- Country Name: Write name of your country eg: The United States or The United Kingdom
- Country Code: Remember this is not your countries phone code but a two letter code eg: IN for India, SE for Sweden or UK for The United Kingdom.
- Auto-generate Certificate: Tick on the check box. (Very important do not miss it.)
- Expire warnings: Tick on the check box. I will explain why at the end of this article.
Once you click on Save Changes button and you will come across the screen below.
Click on Register Account button. This action will register your website with Let’s Encrypt using the details you have provided above.
Now it is time to generate SSL certificate. But hey, do not worry all you have to do is click a single button and the plugin will do every thing for you.
Go ahead and click on Generate Certificate button.
And Congratulations! you have successfully generated an SSL Certificate for your website.
OK OK, I know you are extremely happy and jumping up and down the room with joy but hold your horses for a second, we have not finished yet. We have only generated the security certificate. Now we will have to implement it on your website.
It’s easy peasy though. You do not have to do much. There is a plugin called Really Easy SSL, and this plugin will finish implementing it on your website.
Just follow these easy steps.
Go to your WordPress dashboard. Click on Plugins and then click on Add New.
You will come across the following screen. In the search bar write Really Simple SSL as shown below.
The plugin will appear as the first search result. If not just match it with the plugin image in the red box.
Click on Activate button as shown below.
As soon as you will activate the plugin. You will be automatically taken to the page where all your plugins will be listed. Find the Really Simple SSL plugin and click on the Settings tab as shown below.
Once you click settings, you will notice that this plugin has automatically detected an SSL certificate on your website.
You will come across the following options as shown below. Go ahead and click ‘Go ahead, activate SSL’ button.
You will come across the following screen which will tell you that your SSL certificate is active now.
This is your last step. Click on Settings tab which is located in between Configuration and Debug tabs.
Important note: As soon as you will click settings tab WordPress will log you out for security purposes. You will have to log in again using your user name and password.
After logging in you will come across the following screen.
Check following options if not already checked.
- Auto replace mixed content.
- Enable WordPress 301 redirection to SSL.
Now click on the Save button.
That’s it. Finished. Done and dusted. This is what your website URL bar will look like after you have followed the above steps. A green padlock and https:// before the start of your URLs
Congratulations! Give a pat at your back. You have just bagged yourself an SSL certificate without spending a dime. Go and treat yourself, saver 🙂
And please do not forget to share this article with your friends as a token of thanks. Sharing is caring eh!