It is now important to create your websites as secure sites https not http in order to show as secure. Fortunately, Let’s Encrypt allows you to create free SSL Certificates and when using SiteGround as your web host, configuring them is easy and it doesn’t require a dedicated IP address the way most other certificates do. The Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate is part of a collaborative effort sponsored by Internet entities including Google Chrome, Automattic, Facebook, Cisco, and many web hosting companies to make the Internet more secure.
Note that if you are taking credit cards for payments on your site, you may still want to pay the few dollars a month extra for a dedicated IP address. Talk to your web host about this option.
Let’s look at how easy it is to install Let’s Encrypt on a domain so that you can build a secure site, or convert your site to a secure site if it was originally built as a non-secure http not https site.
- From your cPanel, select the Let’s Encrypt icon.
- You will see an information box explaining more about Let’s Encrypt and also a box showing your current certificates. In our case, I don’t have any certificates setup in this account, yet.
- Under “Install new Let’s Encrypt Certificate” select the domain name that you want to configure and an email address associated with that domain. By default, the email is configured to the administrative email for the hosting account.
- Click the Install button.
- You will see a progress through several areas while the site is checked and validated, the certificate is created, and then is applied.
- Once it is complete, you will receive a Success Dialog Box.
- Congratulations, your SSL certificate has now been completed and you’re ready to create an SSL site or convert an http site.
At this point, if you haven’t built your site yet, you’re ready to install WordPress as an https installation. If you are converting a site that was formerly http, not a secure site, you will need to make sure that you force https across your site.
Plugins like Easy HTTPS Redirection can make sure that this is handled for your WordPress installation.
Note that if you have a large eCommerce site, are accepting frequent credit card payments, or are using a CDN (Content Delivery Network) or firewall there are additional things to consider and this solution may not work for you. For most content driven sites that might collect email addresses or other basic visitor data, Let’s Encrypt is a powerful and free solution.