Add a free SSL certificate to your website

The faulty security that has led to numerous credit card numbers being shared publically has made many consumers wary about shopping online. Without a consumer’s confidence that comes from a secure site, there is a lot of potential for the sale to be stopped dead in the tracks. As e-commerce expands, customer trust is essential for the financial success and business growth. This is the reason; people are deciding to purchase SSL Certificate for their online security. Purchasing a SSL certificate is the most important part for organizations as well as individuals because it not only creates secure, encrypted connections but also indicate the legitimacy of a website and the company behind it.

Following is the guide for installing a free SSL certificate to your WordPress site by using Let’s Encrypt. Below is an explanation of what a SSL certificate is and why you need to install it

What is a SSL Certificate?

Over the internet, information is shared through the HTTP protocol which is unencrypted by default. This means that this information can easily be interrupted. This is where the Secure Sockets Layer is required i.e. SSL. An AAL is a collection of protocols that is designed to encrypt the transmission of data. By combining the two, users get a secure way of accessing and interacting with a site. The SSL certificate confirms that the site customers are interacting with are both encrypted as well as authentic. Let’s Encrypt, CAcert, and DigiCert all are the certification authorities that work in the back to validate site ownership at various levels. These authorities then, issue the most suitable certificate. After the certificate is installed, the data encryption between user’s browser and the site’s server is enabled.

Why is there a requirement of a SSL certificate?

All those people who are running an online store, they are most required to be using HTTPS because

It helps to accept payments securely: While shopping on the website, customers make purchases by entering their credit card information, it is important for them to be assured that their sensitive information will not be shared publically.

For securing web forms: It usually happens that online stores ask for customer’s personal information by asking them to fill in web forms. This secures the information from being leaked to hackers.

For protecting the login information: It is important to keep the user login information secure and encrypted. All WordPress sites are the database-driven sites with protected password back-end access.

In the past, the costs of implementing SSL certificates have been costly for the site owners. WordPress has recently announced that it will recommend hosting companies offering SSL by default. For ordinary website owners, Let’s Encrypt has introduced an easy solution in order to benefit from the SSL process.

Let’s Encrypt:

Operated by the Internet Security Research Group, Let’s Encrypt is a new certificate authority. The basic purpose of this authority is to enable everyone to be able to use the SSL certificates. It provides full support to IDN, ACME DNS challenge, ECDSA signing, and IPv6. It helps the common people to set up an HTTP server and have it obtain a browser-trusted certificate. The best thing about Let’s Encrypt is that it is open-source and helps developers to stay in a position to fix it, add to it, and even update it.

Adding a Free SSL certificate to your WordPress site:

There are two main ways to get a SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt.

Step 1:

This is the first route to do it manually. For this purpose, users need to follow the official documentation by Let’s Encrypt for getting started. The installation options are now included by many popular hosts in the admin panels. Three steps are involved in this process

User portal login

Approach the website-name>SSL> Add certificate> Get Let’s Encrypt

Selection of domain for which HTTPS is required

Step 2:

As a SSL certificate is successfully installed to the WordPress website, this means that the site now applies the HTTPS protocol rather than using just the HTTP protocol. The URLs of the WordPress site need to be changed for actually benefitting from SSL.

Update WordPress URLs on new sites:

For configuring SSL on a brand new WordPress installation, it is necessary to update the URLs. The process requires users to start to head up to setting>General from the WordPress admin panel. Then scroll down to the WordPress Address (URL) and the Site Address (URL) sections which would be similar to the image given below

For using HTTPS, users need to update both fields in the text fields of both sections and replace http with https.

For continuing, it’s important to tap the save button. All the sites URLs must be updated by now.

Upgrade WordPress URLs on prevailing sites:

Installing a SSL certificate to prevailing WordPress site have the chances to be indexed by search engines. As links are probably shared with the website using http in URL, users need to confirm that the entire traffic is directed towards the new http URL.

The process includes directing to plugins> Add New from the WordPress site’s admin panes. Then search for the Really Simple SSL plugin. After installation and activation, your website will automatically be configured to run over HTTPS by updating the .htaccess file or running a JavaScript code.

Step 3:

For the users who have installed Google Analytics on their WordPress site will also be required to update the setting by adding the new, https URL. For getting started, users need to login to their Google Analytics account and navigate to Admin>Property Settings.

By clicking on the drop-down menu, users can update the Default URL from http:// to https://

The settings will be updated once the Save button is clicked.


Personal information will be allowed to be transmitted once the connection between visitors’ browsers and your site has been encrypted. It will enable to accept payments and protect the user login information without getting it leaked. Let’s Encrypt makes it possible for ordinary users as well as developers to move towards a secure HTTPS protocol by installing an automated and free SSL certificate. Just keep three steps in mind that are essential for installing a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt:

With the help of your current hosting provider, you need to install a free SSL certificate.

Updating the WordPress Site’s URLs.

And updating the Google Analytics settings for your WordPress site.

Written by Hisham Sarwar

That is all you ever need to know about me but let me warn you, freelancing for me is a journey, certainly not a destination :)