How to Setup a Free SSL In WordPress

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Written by Shakeel Anjum
Last updated on Mar 25, 2020

Before we start setting up a free SSL in WordPress, it’s important to know that what is SSL, what does it mean and Why is it so important?

What is SSL?

SSL stands for “Secure Sockets Layer”, but in simple terms, SSL indicates a green padlock at the start of your domain in the browser’s address bar.

If SSL is enabled for your website or blog then you should see a green padlock like this (like below screenshot) at the start of your website address in the browser’s address bar.

Moreover, if SSL is enabled on your website or blog then your website address also starts with HTTPS instead of HTTP.

what is SSL?
Green Padlock indicates that SSL is activated.

Why SSL is Important?

There are many reasons which indicate the importance of SSL for a website, and I’ll list a few of them below and I believe they will be more than enough for you to consider SSL and set up a free SSL for your website today.

  • First of all, SSL (or HTTPS) improves the security of your website.
  • SSL increases your website trust and boosts conversions.
  • SSL will help you in SEO because google discourages websites that don’t have SSL.

Do I need SSL?

Yes, of course. Due to the reasons I mentioned above, I think every website should have SSL activated, be it a social media website, a forum, an e-commerce store, a membership site or a simple blog.

Having an SSL certificate will create a positive impression of your brand among your users and audience.

Moreover, Your users will feel safe and secure when they land on your website and if you require users to log in or accept payments on your website then they wouldn’t hesitate to input their important information if SSL is enabled on your website.

But if your website is not using SSL, then the popular web browsers like Google Chrome and Opera will show “Not Secure” at the start of your website address in the address bar.

SSL Certificate not active
This “Not Secure” sign will hurt your brand image and it will also reduce the user’s trust on your website.

How to Get a Free SSL Certificate?

Due to the high demand for SSL, almost all popular web hosts started providing SSL certificate for free as part of their services.

Below is the list of some of the popular web hosts that provides SSL for free.

  • SiteGround
  • HostGator
  • BlueHost
  • DreamHost
  • Liquid Web
  • GreenGeeks
  • WPEngine

If you haven’t bought a web hosting yet, then you can check features of the web host you want to buy and make sure that they provide SSL certificate for free.

But if you have already bought a web host, then you can log in to the cPanel of your web host and search for SSL or Let’s Encrypt to know if your web host provides SSL for free.

How to Setup SSL in WordPress?

There are two ways to setup SSL in WordPress for free.

1 Ask your host.

2 Do it Yourself.

1 Ask your host

Why bother to setup SSL by yourself when your web host can do it for you with pleasure?

I always believe in making the best use of the products and services I buy.

Nowadays, many popular web hosts offer great support, So if I need to do something with my website at my hosting level, I always get in touch with my web host via live support and ask them to do it for me and they do it with pleasure.

You can also get in touch with your web host via Call or Live Chat (if they support it) and ask them to setup SSL for you on your website and they will do it for you.

2 Do it Yourself

Log in to your web hosting account’s cPanel and navigate to the “Security” section and find Let’s Encrypt free SSL and activate it. Ask your host via call or live chat if you face any trouble while activating Let’s Encrypt SSL.

Let's Encrypt SSL
Let’s Encrypt SSL.

Free SSL option could also vary depending on your hosting provider. So if you face any trouble finding Let’s Encrypt or free SSL in your cPanel dashboard then ask your hosting provider about it.

I’m currently using Namecheap hosting and in my cPanel dashboard, there is an option called “Namecheap SSL”.

Namecheap SSL
Namecheap SSL.

I can activate Namecheap free SSL when I click on Namecheap SSL, but I have already activated it.

Namecheap SSL active
Namecheap SSL active.

And you can also see there is already HTTPS redirect option available and it’s turned ON, but if you don’t see an HTTPS redirect option in your cPanel, you can do that using a plugin called “Really Simple SSL“.

Setup redirect from HTTP to HTTPS

If your hosting provider doesn’t provide this feature then you can use a plugin called “Really Simple SSL” to enable redirect from HTTP to HTTPS, so all your URLs start with HTTPS.

Install and activate Really Simple SSL plugin and it will check if your site have an active SSL certificate and it will also provide you recommendations based on your content before you activate SSL using it.

Take a backup, and then click on the button “Go ahead, activate SSL” to activate SSL for your site and BOOM, you’ve successfully activated SSL for your WordPress website or blog.

Active SSL using Really Simple SSL WordPress Plugin
Activating SSL using Really Simple SSL WordPress Plugin.

Once the SSL is activated, make sure that all your URLs start with HTTPS instead of HTTP and even if one of your URL starts with HTTP, then web browsers will treat it as non-secure or partially-secure.

The good thing is if you use Really Simple SSL plugin then it takes care of that.

I hope this article helped you, but if you face any trouble, you can ask me in the comments section below or contact me directly and I’d be more than happy to guide you through the process. 🙂

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