Technology

How To Get A Free Security Certificate For Your Website (2023)

March 21, 2023

What is a SSL certificate and why is it important?

An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that establishes an encrypted, secure connection between a visitor's web browser and a website. Passwords, credit card numbers, and other sensitive data are protected by an SSL certificate because they are encrypted before being transmitted over the internet. A secure session with the website's server is started when a visitor accesses a website with an SSL certificate.

What does a website without a SSL certificate look like?

Websites without a SSL certificate can appear differently based on the browser. Using the most popular browser, Google Chrome as an example. Websites like these tend to frighten users and build a negative brand image.

How do I install a SSL certificate for free?

1. Visit https://cloudflare.com and sign up for a free account. You'll need to provide your email address and create a password.

2. Check your email inbox to verify your email address after you sign up, Cloudflare will send a verification email to your registered email address.

3. Once you've verified your email, you can start by clicking on the "Add Site" button and enter your website's URL without the "http://" or "/" at the end. Example: www.mywebsite.com

4. Cloudflare offers a free plan, which is sufficient for most websites. Select the free plan and click "Confirm Plan".

5. After you've selected the free plan, Cloudflare will scan your DNS records to identify any existing records. The A record and CNAME record for your domain (yourwebsite.com) should be the only buttons left turned on.

6. Once the scan is complete, you can log in to your domain name provider to manage your nameservers. Unsure who your domain registrar is? Visit https://who.is/ to view this information. Navigate to your DNS setting & add a custom name server.

7. Copy the Cloudflare DNS values to your domain registrar. DNS propagation usually take 15 minutes but may take up to 48 hours.

8. After you've updated your DNS records, you can check the DNS propagation status by visiting https://intodns.com/ & entering your website's domain. If the DNS propagation is complete, you can proceed to the next step.

9. Go back to Cloudflare and click "Done" then "Get Started". Enable the following options:

  • Automatic HTTPS Rewrites
  • Always Use HTTPS
  • Brotli Compression

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10. After you've enabled the options, click "Save" and then "Finish". Cloudflare will apply the changes to your website.

11.  Once you've completed the setup process, you'll need to wait for Cloudflare to activate. Click on the Cloudflare logo to return to your dashboard and wait for the status to change from "Pending" to "Active".

12.  Optional Step (WordPress): Install Really Simple SSL Plugin If you want to automatically redirect users to the secure version of your website.

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By following these steps, you can set up Cloudflare on your website to improve your website's security, speed, and reliability. Having troubles with adding a SSL certificate to your website? Contact us today at support@meliorlab.tech.

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