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Best free SSL certificate compared and reviewed

Best free SSL certificate compared and reviewed

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Privacy and security are the two things you will never skimp on – especially for your site. Fortunately, there are free Secure Sockets Layer certificates or SSL certificates that help protect your site and tell Google that your site is safe for users. When we spent a lot of time researching the best free options, we found Encrypt to be the best option for most because of its reliability and ease of installation.

The best free SSL certificate for most people

Let’s encrypt

Best for most

With free SSL certificates for one or more sites plus community support and ample instruction, let’s encrypt the perfect SSL provider for most site owners.

Let’s encrypt used by millions of sites you’ve probably visited at some point. Let’s Encrypt allows you to create as many certificates for as many sites as you need, and yes, it’s still free.

Once you’ve learned a little about how to use Let’s Encrypt, and you’ve installed its certificate on your site, it’s easy to use and maintain every 60 days. Below we see a complete look at Let’s Encrypt and all it has to offer for free.

The best free SSL options to consider

Let’s encrypt – Best for mostBluehost – Best built-in SSL services SSL for free – Best to get SSL certificates in a hurryCloudflare – Best for customizationFreeSSL.tech – Best free SSL WordPress plugin

When it makes sense to invest in a free SSL certificate

It is basically a no-brainer to ensure that your site is considered safe for users of any search engine by getting an SSL certificate. This is an extra layer of security that is worth adding to your site if you have not already done so. After all, it’s time to invest in an SSL certificate every time you start your site.

Why might you choose a free certificate instead of paying for one? If you have a budgeted budget and / or have just started, freebies may be the best or only price that works for you. If your SSL needs are simple and straightforward, you may not need to pay for extra security. Or if you want to try a few different SSL providers to find the one that works best for you, it may be a good starting point to try a few for free.

# 1 – Let’s Encrypt – Best for Most People

Let’s encrypt

Best for most

With free SSL certificates for one or more sites plus community support and ample instruction, let’s encrypt the perfect SSL provider for most site owners.

Let’s Encrypt is a free SSL certificate provider funded and supported by some of the largest brands in the world including Cisco, Facebook, Shopify and IBM. Its MO is simple – it exists to provide a more secure and privacy-respecting web.

Let’s Encrypt goes beyond just letting you create a free SSL certificate. They also offer Subject Alternative Name and Wildcard certificates – basic options that allow you to use your multi-domain SSL certificate. This is very convenient if you manage a large number of websites and want to take care of their SSL certifications at once.

To get started, contact your host’s technical support team to help you install an SSL certificate through Let’s Encrypt. If you’d rather do it yourself, there are plenty of how-to YouTube videos as well as its own community forum that explain how it works and how to install it successfully.

Get started securing your site with Let’s Encrypt here.

# 2 – Bluehost – The best built-in SSL service

Bluehost

Best built-in SSL

The good thing about Bluehost is that it is one of the best cheap web hosting services out there. The better thing is that it gives you your SSL certificate for free.

Bluehost is hands down one of the easiest ways to grab free SSL certification without having to jump through lots of technical hangers.

Bluehost’s built-in SSL hosting comes with its hosting packages at no extra cost – yes, you have to pay for hosting, but the SSL certificate is built-in for free. Bluehost also includes a free domain name for the first year you host your site with them.

When you sign up and install your site, you can get a free SSL certificate regardless of the hosting plan you choose or whether you have an assigned or parked domain name.

Once logged in to your Bluehost dashboard, it’s as easy as finding your site settings in the menu and making sure your SSL certificate setting is turned on. Within a few hours, your site will be SSL certified and ready for use.

Get started with Bluehost here.

# 3 – SSL free – The best way to get free SSL certificates in no time

SSL free

Best for fast, free SSL

Need to configure your SSL certificate in minutes? SSL for free has you covered, whether you need a regular SSL certificate or a wildcard.

SSL For Free has awarded 3 million certificates and counting and is known for its fast certification time. As soon as you land on its website, you can get started creating both free SSL certificates and Wildcard SSL certificates in minutes.

It supports both Wildcard and ACME, and it’s free forever. If you are stuck with how to get started with SSL for free, it gives you a list of free tutorials specific to different situations. If you do not want “www” to be added to your domain name, you can configure it to be omitted as well.

If you are stuck or need to talk to someone, SSL For Free offers a way to easily get in touch with someone from their team.

Get started with SSL for free here.

# 4 – Cloudflare – The best for customization

Cloudflare

Best for customization

Cloudflare not only enhances your site’s performance and enhances its security, it also includes a free SSL certificate with robust customization capabilities.

Cloudflare is a well known web infrastructure and security company that has a lot to offer any website. But did you know that it also offers free SSL certificates? So if you have already installed it, you have good luck as installing their SSL certificate is an easy next step.

Cloudflare offers one of the most configurable SSL certificate settings by allowing you to customize everything from geo-key management to the encrypted server name indicator. It also gives you a preconfigured set of options so you can choose between either EU or US data centers.

Although Cloudflare offers paid levels, you can do a lot with its free option. To access its free SSL certificate features, sign up and follow the steps to configure your SSL preferences. It even comes with advanced configuration that ranges anywhere from creating custom certificates or automatic HTTPS rewrites.

Ready to install Cloudflare? Get started here.

# 5 – FreeSSL.tech – The best free SSL WordPress plugin

FreeSSL.tech

Best free WordPress plugin

WordPress has plugins for everything, including getting a free SSL certificate. The best? FreeSSL.tech.

If you are a WordPress user, FreeSSL.tech allows you to install an SSL certificate with full automation so you can configure it once and have it run in the background.

Sometimes you will not add another task to your long to-do list. Better yet, you may not want to deal with some of the technical know-how that comes with some SSL providers.

With FreeSSL.tech, all you have to do is upload it to your WordPress dashboard and spend about 10 minutes configuring it. If you have trouble installing it, it comes with lots of documentation and even a video guide. Some of its minimum system requirements include WordPress 4.1 or higher, PHP 5.6, Linux hosting and an OpenSSL extension. You can see the full list here.

Download the FreeSSL.tech plugin here.

Method for choosing the best free SSL certificate

The way to choose the best SSL certificate depends on the type of security you are looking for. Most free SSL certificates come with the basics of web page security and encrypt sensitive data.

But if you are looking for more advanced SSL certificates, you will want to start looking at some paid options. Although some hosting providers will even offer SSL certificates, so it is good practice to check in with them first. Here are a few more things to consider:

Customization

Some SSL certificate providers offer free Wildcard SSN certificates. This means you can create an SSL certificate that allows you to protect any number of subdomains you want. On the other hand, a SAN, another SSL certificate, allows you to use an SSL certificate for multiple domains. And some providers, like Cloudflare, allow you to customize your options even more. So if you want to get a free SSL certificate, you can customize further, you definitely have options.

Automated renewals

At some point, you will need to renew your SSL certificate. This process may be different depending on the SSL provider you are using. For example, a provider like Bluehost comes with a set-it-and-forget-it feature. Once you have installed your free SSL certificate, you do not have to worry about renewing or maintaining it.

However, other SSL providers need you to renew your certificate at different time intervals like every 90 days. When choosing an SSL certificate provider, consider the renewal process. Some come with automatic renewal, so you never have to worry about forgetting your renewal when the time comes.

Compatibility

Is your current hosting provider compatible with the selected SSL provider? This is something you better check before making your final choice.

One thing to be sure of is that your host supports ACME protocols, that way you can automate the process of renewing your SSL certificate. The last thing you want is to become deeply technical and configure everything because your host happens to be incompatible and ends up letting you stay back to your own devices. Consider reaching out to technical support to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

With Bluehost, the SSL process is almost solved for you. Since all you have to do is make sure your SSL settings are turned on for the process to take care of itself in the background. A plugin like FreeSSL.tech can also help make the SSL installation process a little easier as it is something you do through WordPress.

Let’s encrypt

Best for most

With free SSL certificates for one or more sites plus community support and ample instruction, let’s encrypt the perfect SSL provider for most site owners.

Summary

What is the best free SSL certificate for your site? Let’s Encrypt is our favorite, but you may have some more specific needs that would make another provider more suitable. If you want to combine your SSL with other services like web hosting and a domain name, you will love Bluehost.

You can also set your SSL certificate to renew automatically after you configure it with a plugin like FreeSSL.tech. One of our top recommendations is Cloudflare, as it not only comes with the ability to configure your SSL certificate, but also comes with plenty of infrastructure and security features that enhance the overall performance of your site.

Although each certificate serves the same purpose, each SSL provider provides certification in its own way. Ultimately, you will want to think about which one you are most comfortable using. Do you like this guide? Be sure to bookmark it for future reference.

This article was written by today’s Daily Eggspert.

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