How to Install Free SSL Certificates on WordPress Websites
On 5th January 2020, the Federal Depository Library Program
website was hacked by suspected Iranian cyber-criminals.
In 2013, technology giant Adobe was hacked, and information of nearly 3 million accounts was stolen.
Data from US retail giant Target was stolen, compromising bank account details of 40 million customers.
Sifting through the pages, you can see that the instance of cyber-attacks has exponentially increased, and there is no end in sight.
Taking proper security measures for your websites is not an option anymore - it has now become the first and foremost need of the hour.
What is an SSL certificate?
An SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is essentially a file that encrypts and protects your digital information during transit from sender to receiver.
It is widely used across industries that regularly require communication between businesses and clients over a digital platform.
The job of the SSL is to protect the digital platform –whether it be chats, emails, or websites.
When a website has an SSL certificate, it means that they have employed SSL and that data exchange can take place securely.
How can an SSL certificate secure your website?
When you search for something on any browser, suppose Google
Chrome, you get a lot of results.
When you open a web page and browse through the page, a link is established between your browser and the web page.
In the absence of any protection, criminals with malicious intent can target and attack the link, stealing sensitive information.
A Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encrypts the link that is established, rendering it secure, and quite immune to cyber-attacks.
It protects your website, prevents your data from being compromised, and maintains your reputation and standing in the market.
HTTP vs HTTPS:
HTTP stands for ‘Hypertext Transfer Protocol.’
Back in the day, it facilitated communication between servers and web browsers and allowed nearly everything we did on the internet.
In the early days of the internet, it wasn’t a problem.
But with the rise of digital thefts and crime, it has been exposed as incapable of protecting user data since it’s not encrypted.
Now, most of the websites use HTTPS, where the ‘S’ stands for secure.’
It uses SSL, which secures the link between the server and browser, encrypts user data and exponentially increases the security levels.
It is difficult to hack into HTTPS and steal sensitive information because of the strong encryption, and it’s only made possible because of SSL.
Benefits of SSL Certificates:
Do you need water to stay alive? Does your website need an
SSL certificate? The answer to both is ‘Yes.’
Here’s why you need SSL:
SSL certificates encrypt your data and protects it, making it extremely difficult for hackers to get into your system.
What this means is that with SSL, you won’t be robbed of sensitive information like bank details, phone numbers, addresses and more.
It can boost the people’s confidence in you, and bring more business your way.
Everyone uses Google. Who doesn’t? Well, Google has made it imperative to have an SSL certificate for any website if they want to have improved search engine optimization (SEO). That’s incentive enough!
Do you want your business to grow and accept online payments?
Well, for that, you must comply with the regulations set by the PCI (Payment Card Industry). And one of them is getting an SSL certificate
No one wants negative publicity for their business, do they?
In the digital age, lease of all from Google. Since 2018, Google has decided to display the words ‘Not secure’ to any website that doesn’t have an SSL
It could affect as much as 66% of all websites.
Reading ‘Not secure’ isn’t very palatable for an existing or prospective client and could tarnish the reputation of the business irreversibly.
SSL ensures that the data in transit is not altered thus, it provides data integrity.
Install Free SSL Certificate:
Here are some of the things that you’ll need at first before you install free SSL certificate:
For a free SSL certificate, you must contact a certificate authority (CA) that provides free certificates.
An example of such a third-party CA would be FreeSSLCertificate.org.
You’ll also need the intermediate certificates, which will allow the devices to identify and recognize your SSL certificate.
Usually, you get it from the CA. If you don’t, you need to contact them.
You need your private key to unlock and use the SSL. This key is generated along with the CSR.
Here, below is an example of a private key.
After this, you’ll need to install WordPress SSL certificate.
The process is simple - you just need to follow some simple steps:
At the start, log on to the Web Host Manager.
On Home page, click on ‘SSL’ and navigate to ‘Add certificate’.
You may have multiple domains you want to use the certificate for, or just one. That’s up to you, and the kind of free SSL certificate you have.
You must select the domain(s) you want to install the certificate for and save your actions.
You need to copy and paste the certificate files in given boxes like certificate, private key and CA bundle. Then click on Install button.
In the next step, you’ll need to update the WordPress URL.
Having a WordPress website makes it easy since you can do that from the
‘settings’ option on your web page.
You can simply:
Navigate to the ‘general settings’ and scroll down to the
WordPress address URL and Site Address URL.
Change all the ‘HTTP’ into ‘HTTPS.’
This activity helps channel your site activity through a secure port and enhances security.
The last step involves updating of Google Analytics so that you can properly monitor your activities and check whether everything is moving securely.
For that, you need to ensure it’s 100% secure as well. Here:
Click on the ‘admin’ option available on the dashboard and navigate to ‘property settings.’
Make the change from http:// (if default) into https://
Save your actions.
Having an SSL certificate can benefit your WordPress website
Apart from improved Google SEO rankings, you will also enjoy customer patronization and integrations with payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe.
A Free SSL Certificate doesn’t cost you money but can lead to a lot of benefits in the long run.
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