Where can I get a free SSL certificate?January 13, 2023 | By David Selden-Treiman | Filed in: hosting.
You can get a free SSL certificate from a few sources. If you’re using Cloudflare, you can easily get a free certificate by enabling DNS proxying and Full SSL in the control panel. If you’re using cPanel, there are is a plugin for generating free SSL certificates. It needs to be enabled by your hosting provider though.
- Let’s Encrypt
An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that is used to secure and encrypt data sent over the internet. It ensures that sensitive information, such as credit card numbers and personal details, are transmitted securely between a web server and a browser.
Having a valid SSL certificate is important because it not only protects the privacy of users but also improves the security of the website and enhances the credibility of the website, search engines tend to give higher ranking to the site which uses SSL certificate.
In this article, we will discuss two options for obtaining a free SSL certificate: Cloudflare and Let’s Encrypt through cPanel.
How Do I Get a Free SSL Certificate Through Cloudflare?
Cloudflare is a content delivery network (CDN) and security platform that offers a variety of services, including a free SSL certificate. The SSL certificate can be easily enabled for any website on Cloudflare’s network, it automatically encrypts all the data that passes through it, this encryption is important for user’s privacy and security.
Setting up an SSL certificate with Cloudflare is relatively simple. First, you need to sign up for a free account on the Cloudflare website, then add your website to Cloudflare and change the nameservers of your domain to point to Cloudflare. Once your domain is set up on Cloudflare, you can enable SSL for your domain by going to the SSL tab in your Cloudflare account settings and selecting the Flexible SSL option.
One of the main pros of using Cloudflare for a free SSL certificate is that it also provides other security and performance benefits, such as DDoS protection, caching, and a global network of servers that can help to speed up the loading time of your website. However, a con of using Cloudflare is that it can add an additional layer of complexity to your website setup, and it may not be the best option for website owners who are less technically inclined.
Overall, Cloudflare is a good option for website owners who want a free SSL certificate and want to take advantage of Cloudflare’s other services. But it’s important to keep in mind the additional layer of complexity involved in managing this setup.
How Do I Get a Free SSL Certificate on cPanel Through Let’s Encrypt?
Let’s Encrypt is a free, open-source certificate authority (CA) that provides SSL/TLS certificates to the public at no cost. It aims to make it easy for anyone to secure their website by providing a simple and automated way to obtain and install an SSL certificate.
Obtaining a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt through cPanel is a straightforward process. Most web hosting providers have integrated Let’s Encrypt in their hosting control panel (cPanel) making it easy for their users to obtain and install a free SSL certificate. You can simply login to your cPanel account, navigate to the SSL/TLS section, and find the Let’s Encrypt tool. You can then follow the prompts to generate and install a certificate for your domain.
One of the main advantages of using Let’s Encrypt is that the certificates are trusted by all major web browsers and are just as secure as those obtained from traditional commercial CAs. Additionally, the process of obtaining and installing the certificate is very simple and requires minimal technical knowledge. However, it should be noted that Let’s Encrypt certificates are only valid for 90 days and will need to be renewed on a regular basis.
Overall, Let’s Encrypt is a great option for website owners who want a free SSL certificate and want a simple and easy way to obtain and install it. While there’s a need to renew the certificate every 90 days, it’s a small price to pay for the benefits of having a valid SSL certificate.
When comparing Cloudflare and Let’s Encrypt, both options provide a free SSL certificate and encrypt data being sent over the internet, however, they are not identical in terms of ease of use, compatibility, and security.
Ease of Use
Let’s Encrypt is often considered to be the easiest option as the process of obtaining and installing the certificate is simple, most web hosting providers have integrated Let’s Encrypt into their hosting control panel (cPanel) which makes it easy for users to obtain and install a free SSL certificate. On the other hand, Cloudflare has more features that might make it more complex for some users.
Both Cloudflare and Let’s Encrypt are compatible with most web browsers, However, Let’s Encrypt is more widely supported than Cloudflare, and its certificates are just as secure as those obtained from traditional commercial CAs.
Security & Extra Service Features
Both Cloudflare and Let’s Encrypt are secure options, Cloudflare provides additional security features such as DDoS protection, caching and a global network of servers that can help to speed up the loading time of the website, on the other hand, Let’s Encrypt provide free SSL certificate which is enough for most of the website to ensure security and privacy.
Should I Get an SSL Certificate Through Cloudflare or cPanel?
In summary, both options have their own advantages and disadvantages, it’s up to the website owner to decide which option is best for their specific needs and use cases. Cloudflare might be a better option for website owners who want additional security features, whereas Let’s Encrypt might be the better choice for website owners who want a simple and easy way to obtain and install an SSL certificate.
Should I Set Up SSL Certificates On Both Cloudflare and cPanel?
Often, if you want to use Cloudflare, it can be beneficial to set up SSL certificates both on Cloudflare and on cPanel. When you do this, you’ll want to go to Cloudflare’s SSL option and select “Full”. This will enable what is known as “end-to-end” encryption.
In this article, we discussed two main options for obtaining a free SSL certificate: Cloudflare and Let’s Encrypt through cPanel. Both options have their own unique features and benefits, and the best choice for you will depend on the specific needs of your website and the level of technical expertise you have.
Cloudflare is a robust and feature-rich option that offers a variety of security and performance enhancements in addition to the free SSL certificate. While it does require some technical setup and knowledge, it can be a great choice for businesses and large websites that need a lot of control over their security and performance settings.
Let’s Encrypt through cPanel, on the other hand, is a simpler and more straightforward option that is well-suited for small to medium-sized websites that don’t need a lot of advanced features. It can be installed easily with the help of your hosting provider and it may be a better choice for users with less technical experience.
Ultimately, both options are great choices for obtaining a free SSL certificate, and either one can help you secure your website and protect your visitors’ personal information.
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David Selden-Treiman is Director of Operations and a project manager at Potent Pages. He specializes in custom web crawler development, website optimization, server management, web application development, and custom programming. Working at Potent Pages since 2012 and programming since 2003, David has extensive expertise solving problems using programming for dozens of clients. He also has extensive experience managing and optimizing servers, managing dozens of servers for both Potent Pages and other clients.