Starting from July 2018, Google began marking the websites without HTTPS as “Not Secure” in Chrome. Not implementing an SSL certificate on your website will cause you to lose visitors and search engine rankings. I’ve been pushing installing SSL certificates since 2016 (read the old article).
In this guide, I’ll show you how to easily install a free SSL Certificate (Let’s Encrypt) on your website without using any plugin. Both SiteGround and GreenGeeks offer a Free SSL certificate option, but in case you want to add to your existing website or your hosting doesn’t provide a solution, here’s how to manually add this important feature.
In order to create the files needed to prove the ownership of the website you’ll need to go to the website https://www.sslforfree.com/. Here enter your domain name and then press “Create Free SSL Certificate”. Then press “Manual Verification”.
Press “Manually Verify Domain” at the bottom of the page.
This will create two files:
1. Download File #1
2. Download File #2
Download them on your computer.
Now head over to your hosting account and enter CPanel.
Search your File Manager and create a folder in your domain named “.well-known” if it does not already exist. If you use Windows you may have to add a dot at the end of the folder name in order to create a folder with a dot at the beginning.
The folder is created
Double click in the folder and create another new folder, this time named: “acme-challenge”
Double click in the acme-challenge folder. Now we have to upload the 2 files into the acme-challenge folder. To do this, just press the “Upload” button and search the two files you just downloaded on your computer.
If everything is correct you shouldn’t get any error clicking the two green links.
Make sure the “I Have My Own CSR” is unchecked. Press Download SSL Certificate, don’t close the tab.
In your browser open a new tab or window and enter your CPanel. Scroll down until “Security” and click SSL/TSL, then click “Install and Manage SSL for your site (HTTPS)”
Look for “Install an SSL Website” and from the “Domain” drop-down menu select your domain (if you didn’t add your domain name to your hosting, read this first How To Add Domains To Your Hosting In 4 Easy Steps)
Copy and paste from the sslforfree.com website to your CPanel, the tree files into their correspondent fields:
– Certificate (CRT)
– Private Key (KEY)
– Certificate Authority Bundle (CABUNDLE)
To copy click anywhere in the in the windows with the text, then press CTRL+A (to select all) and CTRL+C (to copy), then CTRL+V (to paste).
When finished, “Install Certificate”.
The certificate is installed. Now accessing to your website is secured.
I strongly recommend you to create an account to get the notification when the certificate is expiring as you’ll have to do this procedure again in 90 days. They don’t send any kind of ads or unwanted emails, only the notification 7 days before the certificate expiration.
Add this article to your bookmarks for future reference.
Feel free to leave a comment if you need extra support or if you want me to cover other topics.