Having a secure website is no longer an option, it’s mandatory. Privacy and security have now become a top priority for most businesses. Google now insists that sites are secured (https), and will penalize websites in search rankings that are NOT secure. Meaning —> if you own an eCommerce store or any website that collects user information, then it’s probably time to permanently secure that store and protect the information, privacy and security of your visitors!
NOTE: With the 2018 passing of the GDPR, websites served in Europe are now held to a VERY strict standard of privacy and security for users. While US and North America websites are not held to those same standards, future changes are likely. Securing your website today will not only impact your bottom line immediately and directly, it will save countless fines in the future.
WordPress is by far the most widely used Content Management System (CMS), accounting for between 30-40% of total websites in the world.
Therefore, we thought it would be a good idea to guide you through how to add an SSL certificate by Let’s Encrypt using SSL for Free for any WordPress website for protecting user privacy and security.
Please do read the remainder of the article, however if you are short on time and just want to get your certificate installed QUICKLY, watch this short video, it’s everything you need to have your certificate in 10-15 minutes.
The term SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. SSL is an internet standard for protecting user information while searching and surfing websites.
Website security, SSL/https, secures user information during transmission on a website. Think about it, if you enter secure information on a website (i.e. credit card number, social security, etc.) wouldn’t you want to ensure that the information entered can NOT be intercepted by a malicious 3rd party?
The WHY is simple, just like would want to protect visitors to a physical store, you want to extend the same security to online visitors.
Truly, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Take, for example, a lady who enters a physical storefront and has their purse stolen. The police are called and a report is made, the public is likely NOT to let one instance affect their shopping in this store, however if it happens multiple times and the police and media report multiple issues, NOW YOU HAVE AN ISSUE – you WILL lose trust and credibility among shoppers.
Google has added SSL certificate use as a ranking parameter for its SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) along with site speed. Thus, leveraging an SSL certificate WILL help your organic search rankings and SEO.
Having a green padlock icon in the address bar, with a message “Secure Connection,” helps gain visitor trust. Once trust is built, visitors will be confident to purchase your products without any worry of data theft.
Back in Sept 2016, Google Chrome announced that it will start showing a “Not-Secure” warning on pages with no SSL Certificate.
Here is the summary of the announcement:
Beginning in January 2017 (Chrome 56), we’ll mark HTTP pages that collect passwords or credit cards as non-secure, as part of a long-term plan to mark all HTTP sites as non-secure.
By having an SSL certificate, your visitors won’t see this warning and will be more likely to trust your site.
Considering the above-mentioned importance of SSL certificates, Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress announced, they will only recommend SSL-Secured WordPress hosting providers.
Let’s Encrypt is a free domain-level SSL certificate provider. It is backed by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG). It is free, automated, and an open certificate authority launched in April 2016.
Let’s Encrypt certificate has a default expiry of ninety days. Once expired, you have to renew it.
Some hosts (i.e. Siteground, A2 Hosting, etc.) have built-in and automated Let’s Encrypt certificates. Here’s a complete list of providers that support Let’s Encrypt one-click integration.
This article, video, and discussion is for those that need to MANUALLY INSTALL LET’S ENCRYPT.
Start here with this website -> https://www.sslforfree.com/
SSL Certificates are COMPLEX, installing from scratch without any help or tools is only for the really smart people. Truth is I am not that really smart person and I would rather be efficient than smart, follow these instructions and you will have your certificate in 5 minutes or less!
For the safety and security of your internet place of business, for the safety and security of your customers, having a safe and secure website will help you and your business accomplish the following;