It has been observed that many website owners including bloggers find it difficult to install an SSL certificate on their sites.
In this guide, we’ll be discussing how to install an SSL certificate for free or paid.
What is an SSL Certificate?
SSL certificates also known as Public Key Certificates are sets of codes on a website server that provides security and encryption for users on the website.
SSL certificates prove that a website connection is safe and secured thereby preventing users’ information from the reach of hackers. A site with an active SSL certificate will show a closed padlock sign at the top left corner of the URL box when an HTTPS protocol is used. While a site with an inactive SSL certificate will show an error sign in the padlock sign at the top left corner of the URL box when an HTTPS protocol is used. Sometimes, it gives an error page.
Requirements to Install an SSL Certificate
Web owners that have a good host with nice customer service and support can easily contact their host and request that an SSL is added to their domain depending on the SSL offer.
To get an SSL certificate, you should have:
- A valid domain
- Your host contact
- CPanel access
- Access to the host’s website and web services
Types of SSL offer:
- Paid offer
- Free offer
- Plugin offer
Types of SSL Certificates
There are three major types of SSL certificates that every web owner should take note of:
Domain Validated (DV)
When installing a Domain Validated certificate, the SSL certificate provider only needs to verify that the user requesting the domain certificate is the legal owner and controller of the specified domain.
Website visitors will see a lock icon in their address bar but there will be no information about the owner when the lock icon is clicked.
This is the simplest and most common type of SSL certificate.
Organization Validated (OV)
During the installation of an Organization Validated certificate, the SSL certificate provider will need to confirm that the organization is legally registered.
Website visitors will see a green lock icon in their address bar and the organization’s name will be listed.
The OV SSL certificate is stricter to get than the DV certificate.
Extended Validation (EV)
The EV certificate requires the same installation method but even more documentation for the SSL validation.
This also displays the organization’s name.
How to Install a Free SSL Certificate Using cPanel
You can easily install Lets Encrypt Free SSL using cPanel without paying a dime. Follow the steps below:
- Login to your CPanel using a valid username and password. Alternatively, you can log in from your host directly.
- Scroll down and navigate to the security section.
- Click on Lets Encrypt SSL.
- Select your desired domain then tap Issue.
- Tick the box to add cPanel subdomains.
- Select HTTP-01. This should be selected by default if you don’t use a wildcard. Alternatively, select DNS-01 if you use a wildcard.
- Tap on the blue Issue button.
How to Install a Free SSL Certificate Using Your Host Customer Support
If your host offers a free SSL certificate and you are finding it difficult to install it, look for their support email or chat to contact them.
To find your host support, you can easily navigate to the footer and click on support.
On the next page, you can see all possible ways to send a message to your host customer support including their email, message box, WhatsApp number, phone number, company address, etc.
Alternatively, if your host has a message box like the blue message box below simply click on it and request that they add their free SSL to your domain.
How to Install an SSL Certificate Using Customer Support
If you have successfully purchased an SSL certificate from your host and find it difficult to install it, chat with them using their email (most preferred), WhatsApp number, and other methods of contact.
To get their contact details,
- Visit their website
- Scroll down to the footer
- Tap on Support or Contact as the case may be.
Alternatively, you can type your hostname + contact and click on the first result.
How to Install an SSL Certificate Using Plugin on WordPress CMS
Installing an SSL certificate has been made easier and can now be done on WordPress using the ‘Really Simple SSL’ plugin.
The plugin automatically detects and configures your website settings to run over HTTPS with one click.
- Login to your WordPress dashboard.
- In the menu on the left click on the plugin then add new
- Type ‘Really Simple SSL’ in the search bar.
- Click Install.
- After installation, click on the activate button.
- The plugin will first check if there is an existing SSL certificate. If none is found, you can use the plugin to generate and install one.
Frequently Asked Questions on Installing an SSL Certificate
Can I Have Two SSL Certificates or More
Yes, a website can have two or more SSL certificates on one domain. Having more than one SSL certificate does not add any extra security to the site however, you might want to add it.
What is a Wildcard Certificate
A wildcard certificate is a certificate with an asterisk (*) in the domain name field. It can secure multiple sub-domain names of a domain.
A wildcard certificate for name.com can be used for name.name.com and name1.name.com and so on.