In this post I’m going to show you howto install a free SSL certificate on your WordPress site I’m going to show you two different ways to do this depending on which hosting company you use what’s happening everyone.
Why you actually need an SSL certificate so the first time back in 2014 Google on their official security blog said that for now they’re starting to use HTTPs as a ranking signal in 2014 back then it was a very lightweight signal affecting fewer than 1% of global queries OK then they posted an update in February 2018 and they said that for the past several years we’ve moved towards a more secure web by strongly advocating the sites that adopt HTTPS encryption.
So once again they’ve confirmed twice that if you have HTTPS or a security SSL security certificate on your website then you’re very likely going to get more traffic from Google so very very important if you don’t currently have an SSL certificate you should definitely go ahead and install one so let’s talk about the first method method one is going to be useful for you if you’re hosting supports what’s called let’s encrypt I’m going to show you everything step-by-step.
All the steps are discussed below for getting free SLL:
I’m going to show you howto find out if you’re hosting actually supports the let’s encrypt free SSL certificates and just in case it doesn’t then I’ve actually got a second method right here in this video that you can use as well so here are a couple of ways that you can check whether your hosting actually supports free SSL certificate from let’s encrypt or not firstly you can type into Google what hosting supports let’s encrypt and the first result that will come up just open that up and you will see a list of hosting companies there are two lists this first list and then the second list and check if your hosting company is there or not I use Site Ground.
I really highly right-side ground as a hosting company, I think there awesome and Site Ground is one of the supported companies under let’s encrypt there are a lot of other famous companies you know common companies that support let’s encrypt as well the second way that you can actually check is you can log into your account into a hosting account and then you can check from there I’m now inside my side ground account and I’m going to log into my c Panel and I will show you how to check that in c Panel.
So I’m inside my c Panel now and generally if you scroll on the security or a similar tab and your c Panel depending which version your host uses you will see something called let’s encrypt okay so this is if you see this let’s encrypt under security somewhere we can even just press control and start typing it Let and it might come up somewhere in the page if you have a lot of different options and different icons that means that your company actually supports let’s encrypt and you can use this method so let me show you step-by-step how to do this using let’s encrypt built into your web host now just in case you do not have this let’s encrypt just scroll a little bit further in this post and I will show you second method right of how to install free SSL certificate even if you’re hosting does not support.
Let’s encrypt okay so let’s do this based on the example of my website travel crock on which I want to install an SSL certificate so the first step will of course be to click on to let’s encrypt in your c Panel then scroll down until you see something that says install new Nets encrypt certificate and then choose your domain from the list so I’ve now got travel crock comm selected and I want to choose the SSL type let’s encrypt SSL don’t go for the wild-card just the top one is fine and click install then you will see a success message saying successfully installed SSL let’s encrypt certificate added success rate of installation cute just click OK to check the progress for your installation.
Here is what you can do just go into your domain and type in HTTPS then that semicolon and two slashes and type in enter ok if you see that now your domain loads without any issues via HTTPS that means that your certificate has actually issued generally with side ground it only takes one or two.
So as you can see I’ve only just done this and now when I come to my website HTTP certificate actually loads fine before the installation of the SSL certificate. if I did this if I typed in HTTPS in front of the domain name then I would have got an error saying there is no valid security certificate.
So however, you can still see that there is this little I I can if I click on that it says your connection to this site is not fully secure so this is because these images are still stored on the non SSL the non secure version of the web site but there is a very easy fix for that as well you will need this plug-in called really simple SSL so you need to make sure that you don’t forget to install really simple SSL.
I’m going to show you how to do that right now login to your WordPress admin panel and then type in to search plugins type in really simple SSL and hit search take this first plug-in that comes up you can see it’s got over a million active installations with a 5-star rating all you need to do is click install and once it’s installed you will need to click activate so now you can see I’ve got the activate option.
Which I’m going to click then you will see this message almost ready to migrate to SSL you will just need to click go ahead activate SSL and the plug-in will do what it needs to do after you activate it when you try to go to another page on your website you will notice that you will get this error message forcing you to log back in that is now because the plug-in is forcing your website to load over HTTPS and this is treated as a different login session by your browser so you will need to log back into your website once again now I’ve logged back in as you can see everything is working great I’ve now got that little icon.
If I come back to the home page of my website and reload it you can see that I’ve now got the icon so our free let’s encrypt SSL certificate is now activated and is working great we’re now done with the first method if you’re not sure which hosting you should use then once again I recommend side ground there very fast and the support is great and they also have this free SSL certificate through let’s encrypt as well you can check the link in the description below to get the name to get Site Ground hosting but now let’stalk about method number two what if your hosting does not support.
Let’s encrypt SSL don’t worry there is still a very easy way to set up free SSL even if you’re hosting does not support the let’s encrypt certificate we’re going to show you everything step-by-step so for the purposes of this demo I’ve taken the SSL certificate off for my travel crock website you can see now it’s loading as not secure and if I type in HTTPS in front of it once again it will actually not load it will give me this error message saying that the requested page cannot be found so for this method we’re going to use Cloud Flare Cloud Flare actually has a free SSL certificate function and it can help you in other ways as well.
I run my high traffic websites through Cloud Flare because it allows you to speed up your website by loading your website simultaneously through various servers around the world it’s actually really easy to set up and it’s completely free so you can just use the free plan and the free plan of Cloud Flare comes also with free SSL so let me show you how to do this so first of all you will need to register an account on Cloud Flare if you don’t have one yet and after you register the account then log into it.
So I’m just going to login because I already have an existing account with Cloud Flare you will want to then click this button called add a site and type in the name of your website so here I’m just gonna type in travel croc calm you don’t need to put www or HTTP at the front just the actual name of the of your domain let’s go ahead and click Add site now so then you will see this message saying they’re going to query your DNS records so click Next you will then need to select the plan so just go ahead and choose a free plan and hit confirm so you’ll need to confirm one free website.
It will now display some of the DNS checks you don’t need to change anything on this page simply come down to this continue button and click continue now you will see that Cloud Flare is asking to change the name servers from the existing name servers – these Cloud Flare name servers how this might sound a little bit technical don’t worry going to show you every thing step by step so you do this inside the same service where you bought your domain so for example if you bought your domain through name cheap then you will need to do this inside name chip if you bought your domain through your hosting.
For example, if you bought your domain through side ground you would do it inside ground if you bought it through through Go Daddy then you would need to do it inside Go Daddy okay now I buy all of my domains inside name chip so I’m going to log in to my name chip account and I’m going to show you how to change it inside name chip so inside Name cheap account simply type in your domain and choose manage you will see something here called name servers so you will need to change these two name servers to this Cloud Flare name service.
So the first one I’m going to copy that and paste it in here and then I’m going to copy the second one and paste that inside here and then I need to hit save and now it’s all done and saved okay now we can come back here into that’s just wait until this finishes loading you can see now this success message DNS server up there may take up to 48 hours so everything is now saved so just to clarify if you’re not entirely sure where you need to do this.
Then try to think where did you actually buy the domain name you can search your email for it and if you did not do this through Name cheap like I did if for example you bought your domain through another service then go to that service and submit a ticket to them and ask them to do this for you they generally will be more than happy to do this for you they can update your DNS name records – these ones that Cloud Flare has given you you can also Google.
So if you can you can type in something like how to update name servers on Go Daddy how to update name servers on Blue host etc and Google instructions will generally tell you how to do that as well so now come back to Cloud Flare and click continue you will see this page that says complete you rname server set up travel chrome is not yet active on Cloud Flare that’s fine.
So we’ve already done this so all you need to do is just recheck now and you will see that it will it’s now queued up to be rechecked and shortly generally within probably an hour so these DNS records will get updated it might take up to 24 hours for that to happen you don’t need to do anything your website is not going to be down in any way this transition is completely seamless so don’t worry you can go ahead and do that it’s been about two minutes.
I’ve actually just refreshed this page and you can see that now it says great news Cloud Flare is now protecting your sites so it did not take long at all so now what you will want to do once this has happened you will want to come down to this tab here called security and it says encrypt traffic to and from your website SSL settings so let’s click that what you will want to do now is on this page make sure that this setting is set to flexible there are a few different options flexible is the best one for you without kind of getting too technical just wanted to make sure that you know that this is the one that you want.
So now let’s go back to my web site and see if it’s now loading fine via HTTP so I’m now back here on my website let’s type in HTTPS and see what happens so the page actually loads fine without any problems via HTTP I just once again now I’m getting these warnings about mixed content this happens because all of these images are actually in the background stored on the HTTP version of the website so I actually need to install a special plug-in that will help solve this problem once you’re inside your WordPress admin click on add new under the plugins section and then search plug-ins for really simple SSL and install these first results really simple SSL click install.
Now and then once it’s installed click activate the plugin is now activated so now let’s go back to that page and double check and make sure that the error message has actually disappeared we’re back here let’s click this reload and now you can see that we’ve got the full icon and there is no more error message and everything is actually working great so once again just to recap what you need to do you need to wait until your domain is activated and Cloud Flare it might take up to 24 hours but don’t worry your site will not be down during this period you just need to wait until those name service changes.
Actually go through journey that happens within a few minutes now after that you will need to type in HTTPS and then your site name and just make sure that you set is actually loading via HTTPS all right that’s the next step once this is happening then go to your website log into admin and then install and activate the really simple SSL plugin like I was mentioning to you guys before Cloud Flare actually has got an added benefit it’s completely free and it will also make your site load faster as well which is very important for Google rankings.
These days plus of course it will give you that free SSL certificate which means that you will get even higher Google rankings as well if you want to get my free blogging training then check the link in the description below there is a free master class and a free course that you can sign up for to find out how to build a blog and how to get traffic to the blog in any niche thank you so much for reading.