You might have heard of Let’sEncrypt, which provides free SSL certificates! Yes, you heard right it’s an opensource project which is sponsored by Facebook , Mozilla , Google Chrome, Akamai, Sucuri and much more. With all these reputable sponsors it is trustworthy and free. Before knowing How To Add A Free LetsEncrypt SSL Certificate To Your WordPress Site, let’s see what is  SSL, using SSL or Secure Socket Layer will encrypt all sensitive information transferred between then client and server, here is the correct definition of What is SSL from Digicert, a well-known SSL certificate issuer .

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a server and a client—typically a web server (website) and a browser; or a mail server and a mail client (e.g., Outlook).

SSL allows sensitive information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, and login credentials to be transmitted securely. Normally, data sent between browsers and web servers is sent in plain text—leaving you vulnerable to eavesdropping. If an attacker is able to intercept all data being sent between a browser and a web server they can see and use that information.

More specifically, SSL is a security protocol. Protocols describe how algorithms should be used; in this case, the SSL protocol determines variables of the encryption for both the link and the data being transmitted.

Read more

How To Add A Free Let’sEncrypt  SSL Certificate To Your Site?

A few web hosts like Siteground , Bluehost and Dreamhost have partnered with Let’sEncrypt and allows 1 click  SSL installation from Let’sEncrypt. While some host will not even allow to install it manually on shared servers as it requires SSH with root access and SSH with root access can help you access data other sites hosted on your server, so they will jail SSH on shared plans. This is where SSL For Free comes into help, by following a few steps you can easily get an SSL issued for your site by Let’sEncrypt in 1-2 minutes! The only downside is that you will have to renew it after 90 days but renewal is also free.

Installation

Step 1 : Create Free SSL

First, go to https://www.sslforfree.com/

Then enter your site’s URL there

Add A Free LetsEncrypt SSL Certificate To Your WordPress Site

Step 2 : Verification

Now you will be provided with two verification methods, choose manual as its more easy and secure

Add A Free LetsEncrypt SSL Certificate To Your WordPress Site

After that click on ‘Manually Verify Domain’ button

Add A Free LetsEncrypt SSL Certificate To Your WordPress Site

Now on your website’s file manager create a directory named “.well-known” and then create another directory named “acme-challenge” inside that.Then download and upload the files given on SSLforfree site in “acme-challenge” directory.

Add A Free LetsEncrypt SSL Certificate To Your WordPress Site

If everything is done perfectly then you will be redirected to a page like this :

Add A Free LetsEncrypt SSL Certificate To Your WordPress Site

And below that you will be provided with Certificate Code , Private Key and CA Bundle note down these details.

Then login to your CPanel and navigate to SSL/TLS which should be under Security section, and click on “Certificates (CRT)”

Add A Free LetsEncrypt SSL Certificate To Your WordPress Site

On the next page paste the certificate that you have noted before like in this screenshot below and click on ‘Save Certificate’

Add A Free LetsEncrypt SSL Certificate To Your WordPress Site

After saving it go to SSL/TLS home and navigate to ‘Install and Manage SSL for your site (HTTPS)’

Add A Free LetsEncrypt SSL Certificate To Your WordPress Site

On the next page choose your site and either click on ‘Autofill by Domain’ or manually fill the details that you have noted before

Add A Free LetsEncrypt SSL Certificate To Your WordPress Site

However, you will have to fill ‘Private Key (KEY)’ manually, after filling everything then proceed to install

Add A Free LetsEncrypt SSL Certificate To Your WordPress Site

Then you will get a success message like this

Add A Free LetsEncrypt SSL Certificate To Your WordPress Site

You successfully Added A Free Let’sEncrypt  SSL Certificate To Your Site now check your site to see the certificate in action .

Add A Free LetsEncrypt SSL Certificate To Your WordPress Site

Now you have added an SSL certificate on your site, if you are using WordPress then there are a few more steps

Add A Free LetsEncrypt SSL Certificate To Your WordPress Site

Now you have to change your WordPress site’s URL from ‘http’ to ‘https’ so that it will automatically redirect visitors to https secured site, for that navigate to Settings>General and change WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) with ‘https’

Add A Free LetsEncrypt SSL Certificate To Your WordPress Site

Apart from that if you added SSL to an existing WordPress site then add the below code to your .htaccess file

For Linux based servers

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} 80 
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.yoursite.com/$1 [R,L]
</IfModule>

 

For NGINX based  servers

server {
listen 80;
server_name yoursite.com www.yoursite.com;
return 301 https://yoursite.com$request_uri;
}

 

Remember to change yoursite.com with yours.

If you want to add SSL and HTTPS on your WordPress multi-site admin area or login pages, then you need to configure SSL in the wp-config.php file.

Simply add the following code above the “That’s all, stop editing!” line in your wp-config.php file: define('FORCE_SSL_ADMIN', true);

 

MIXED CONTENT ISSUE

In some cases the green padlock may not appear, this is due to mixed content issue to fix this refer our guide on How To Use Cloudflare Flexible SSL In WordPress and see the solution under  ‘FIX MIXED CONTENT ISSUE’ section.

This wraps up the guide on How To Add A Free LetsEncrypt SSL Certificate To Your WordPress Site, if you have any issues with this then leave a comment below or use our forums. Share this post a help others secure their sites too !

 

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