As you may know, Google is now considering SSL as a noticeable ranking signal. In simple words, if your website is loading on https:// you will receive a small boost in search engine rankings. There are lots of pros and cons of SSL enabled websites. In this article, we will know more about SSL and discuss few pros and cons of SSL enabled websites. We will also discuss how to get trusted free ssl certificate from top SSL certificate providers.
In recent version of Chrome (v51+) and Firefox browser, you may see “Page not secured” warning in non-SSL websites where web page asks you to fill sensitive information like username or password. That’s why it is becoming more necessary to activate https:// in your blog or website.
What is SSL?
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the security technology for establishing an encrypted connection between a web browser and web server. This encrypted connection ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral.
What is the difference between HTTP and HTTPS?
Imagine two boys, John and Sam. John want to ask Sam, where he is going today? so John wrote a letter to Sam in plain English, “Hello Sam, Where are you going today?”.
Sam received this letter and he replied, “Hello John, I am going for a Movie.”
Now imagine that the letter gets in the wrong hands of Sam’s evil brother Jacob. He can swap data from the letter.
Sams evil brother Jacob swapped the few words and wrote: “Hello Jerk, I am not going to tell you.”
In http:// your request to the browser are in plain text, So a hacker can change your data in between and provide you fake data or store your valuable data. Sharing sensitive data like username, password, credit card information on http:// is very dangerous.
Now One day. John and Sam understand that Sam’s evil brother Jacob is altering their letters. They found a more advanced technic to letter each other.
Now they use encryption to send letters to each other.
John wrote a letter to Sam in encrypted language, “SGVsbG8gU2FtLCBXaGVyZSBhcmUgeW91IGdvaW5nIHRvZGF5Pw==”.
Sam received this letter and replied “SGVsbG8gSm9obiwgSSBhbSBnb2luZyBmb3IgYSBXYWxrLiBEbyB5b3Ugd2FudCB0byBjb21lPw==”
Sams evil brother can not alter the letter because he doesn’t know their encryption key.
Just like John and Sams encryption, https:// uses encryption keys to encrypt data and then send it to server or browser.
4 reasons to move your website to HTTPS:
- SECURITY – SSL protects your website’s data and visitors. It encrypts data transferred over the web, like form submissions and credit card transactions.
- SEO – Google says it’s past time to move your sites over to HTTPS. They are now giving an SEO ranking boost to secure sites. Simply put, you’ll rank better in SEO.
- ECOMMERCE – If you’re taking any payments on your website, SSL is non-negotiable. SSL is an absolute must for ecommerce and membership websites.
- AFFORDABILITY – In the past, SSL certificates could get expensive, but the rapidly transforming web landscape has made switching to SSL practical and affordable.
How to make your website SSL enabled?
Now you will ask how to get a free ssl certificate for my website? Well, to enable SSL on your website you need to install SSL Certificate on your webserver. There are two types of SSL Certificate. Self-sign Certificate and Authority Issued Certificate.
Self-signed SSL Certificate: You can create a SSL certificate by user self. Programs like OpenSSL allows you to create self-signed SSL certificate. These certificates are secured but browsers may show you invalid SSL certificate warning. Self-signed SSL Certificates are free to create and use. These types of certificates are useful for private websites where you are the only user of that website.
Authority Issued Certificate (CA Certificate): CA Certificate is a SSL certificate that is issued by reputed Certificate Authority. Like, COMODO, eTrust. Certificate Authority will verify your Domain, your identity, and your Organization. Browsers trust these certificates and show green padlock in the address bar.
Can I get Authority Issued Certificate for free?
Yes, you can. You can get almost anything (almost…) for free from the internet. Some sites are offering free SSL certificates too. Let us dig deeper into best trusted free SSL certificate.
CloudFlare Free SSL: CloudFlare is the best Content Delivery Network, which offers Free SSL Certificate even on its free user plan. You just need to add your website in CloudFlare CDN and boom, your website is ready to handle SSL traffic. If you do not have any previous experience with SSL and do not want to spend any dime, I highly recommend CloudFlare Free SSL. There are other free perks like CDN, DNS, DDoS protection and security offered by this CDN giant.
Let’s Encrypt: Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, and top open certificate authority brought to you by the non-profit Internet Security Research Group (ISRG). It provides you, Free, Valid SSL certificate. Let’s Encrypt certificate is little harder to get for a non-techie person. You need to install Let’s Encrypt certificate software on your server to get it and renew it. All certificates are valid for 90 days. Let’s Encrypt will renew it for free.
StartSSL Free: StartCom is also a provider of top free SSL certificate. It can provide unlimited trusted SSL certificates, Multi-domain SSL certificate (up to 10 domains per Certificate). All certificates are valid for 2 years.
So these were some top free SSL certificate providers which provide free trusted SSL certificates.
When to use trusted free ssl certificate?
- You do not want to spend any dime for SSL certificate. (Well, SSL certificates are affordable now).
- You did not store any sensitive information of your clients/visitors.
- When you have Blog without a store.
- Finally, if you do not sell any product/services.
When NOT to use free SSL Certificate?
- You have an eCommerce website.
- When you store clients Credit/Debit/Bank information.
- At last, if you sell product or service.
So this was a simple tutorial on how to get trusted free SSL certificate for your website. Feel free to ask your doubts in the comment section.