Let’s Encrypt – Free SSL Certificate, Google Loves SSL, Full Review

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You are here for:-

“Looking for a free SSL certificate for your website”,

“How to install Let’s Encrypt SSL on the website”

“Do I need an SSL certificate.”

“When SSL is needed.”

“Why SSL is important for SEO.”

if yes, then keep reading this blog post because I am going to tell you how easy to get free Let’s Encrypt SSL for the lifetime and much more important points I have covered.

 

Introduction of Let’s Encrypt

let's encrypt logo

Let’s Encrypt is new in the field to provide SSL as a non-profit DV (Domain-Validated) certificate only. It is a free and open certificate authority (CA), the main service provider involved in this project is Internet Security Research Group (ISRG). You can find more depth information about the Let’s Encrypt from Wikipedia

The main purpose of Let’s Encrypt is to provide SSL for free for all, and whether it is a small or enterprises websites, the door has been opened for everyone to install Let’s Encrypt. No manual work, no dedicated IP required, No cert generator, nothing at all like a paid SSL certificates.


Is Let’s Encrypt Secure

Absolutely yes, it is secure like any other paid SSL certificates available. Alone the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) is providing services, so yeah, it is a secure and trusted.

The only difference you could find Lets Encrypt only provide the Domain Validation (DV) while paid SSL providers having a more than DV like Organization Validation (OV) and Extended Validation (EV). You can also generate let’s encrypt authority x3 SSL certificate.

let's encrypt

Now, many of the top websites including wordpress.com are started using Let’s Encrypt to their WordPress blogs, for example, if you have a subdomain or your domain in wordpress.com blog than it will automatically get secured by the SSL.


Free vs. Paid SSL certificate

The most common question has been asked by the many website owners around the Internet how to get a free SSL certificate for my website. So, let me tell you the difference between free and paid.

Free – Not required dedicated IP, one-click installation process, web hosting providers have its way to install SSL for free. No renewal cost and no extra headache like generate cert and easy to Install, no warranty, validity up to one year, etc

Paid – Required dedicated IP ($2-3/month) separately, starting cost $10/year, required manual work with the help of hosting provider, it has the warranty to secure your data and validity up to three years.


Renewal cost and expiry date

Let’s Encrypt offer zero-cost scheme and up to 90 days validity of the SSL, but they recommend to renew the service in every 60 days of the period from the time of it gets renewed. You do not have to do anything for renewal, and your web hosting provider will take care of it.

To renew the renewal in Ubuntu or Linux or Cronjob than run this command – certbot renew which automatically renewal all the domain through cron, it should be run at least once per day. It tries to renew any domain which is expiring in a less than 30 days of time period.

If you have multiple domains with let’s encrypt SSL is installed and want to apply to the individual certificate manually than run this cmd – certbot certificates and then specify the certificate name with this command

certbot certonly —force-renew —cert-name yourdomain.com


Which web hosting providers support Let’s Encrypt:

let's encrypt web hosting providers

Let’s Encrypt officially listed the web hosting providers list into their community site. You can look out here:

https://community.letsencrypt.org/t/web-hosting-who-support-lets-encrypt/6920

To be noted – The list has been not updated, and some of the few web hosting providers started supporting Let’s Encrypt with the one-click installation process. So, if you do not find your hosting provider, then you should contact them to confirm it about the same.


How SSL certificate is important for SEO

One simple sentence – Google loves HTTPS websites. No matter how big is your website is but these days Google gives the site an SEO boost in ranking, this had been officially announced by Google.com. The news is a bit old released in 2014 but still effective. Since the Google has announced this ranking factor, almost 60-70% website owners have changed the site structure from insecure to a secured website, it would be now shown as HTTP to HTTPS. We don’t want to skip a single ranking factor, who knows which one will strike to our site and that is why free SSL for Google SEO benefit comes to the play.

The above picture clarifies the Google behavior for your website, so, hence you should use a padlock url.


Is Free SSL enough for business websites

If you have a small website or running a blogger unless you are collecting the sensitive data from users while logging the website, etc. than free SSL either by Cloudflare or let’s encrypt both will be okay to use.

If you are running a business website or E-Commerce website and want to show authenticity to your visitor than go for the Organization (OV) and Extended Validated (EV) certificate and Let’s Encrypt doesn’t provide these, and there is no plan for such certificates.


Pros and Cons

If there is a pros, then it has cons also to think about that.

Let's Encrypt ssl certificate

 

Pros:

Free of cost
One-click Installation method using cPanel
Good for beginners like website owners
Only Domain Validation (DV) available
Automatically renewals by web hosting providers.
Recommended by Google and it is a platinum partner of Let’s Encrypt.
There will be no downtime of installing SSL
Complete security like a Paid SSL
Wildcard domain certificate is available

Cons:

Only 90 days validity is a big headache, and if the renewal is forgotten, browsers will show the big read screen of insecure content, this will lose your visitors
Not for enterprises or E-commerce website owners because Let’s Encrypt doesn’t provide OV and EV certificates
There is no warranty like a Paid SSL, and if the data gets breach, you have to pay the expenses to the user.
Some old browsers compatibility issues.


How To Install Let’s Encrypt SSL On WordPress

I have created the video to show you how I install the Let’s Encrypt SSL on ExploreGizmo blog. You can watch the tutorial on here below:

 

So, that is it for now. I suggest you to use Let’s Encrypt SSL to your website and let’s Google loves it one more way from other ranking factors. Let me know what do think about the same in comments.

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