Having a secure website is very important if you want your users to trust your website. Not to mention the SEO disadvantages of a non-SSL website. SSL is specially a must if you are accepting any kind of payment on your WordPress website.
What is an SSL certificate?
SSL or Secure Sockets Layer is a protocol for encrypted connection between web browsers and servers. The protocol consists of encryption, decryption and authentication of the data being passed between the web browser and server over the internet. Websites that use SSL have the HTTPS protocol instead of the more common HTTP.
Importance of SSL
SSL is important to prevent the data of your users from getting leaked to snoopers. Data sent using the SSL protocol is encrypted and cannot be accessed by hackers. SSL is also a ranking factor considered by search engines.
Any non-SSL website is marked as unsecure by browsers which makes your visitors lose trust in your website. It also makes the website look unauthoritative. Having SSL is a must when you are accepting any kind of online payment. SSL helps prevent hackers from gaining access to the credit card data of your customers.
Getting free SSL for your WordPress website
Purchasing an SSL certificate can be expensive if you are just starting out or if you are on a tight budget. We will share how you can get a free SSL certificate for your WordPress website below.
Due to the cost of SSL certificates many webmasters ignored using SSL on their website which made the internet vulnerable. A non-profit project Let’s Encrypt was developed to solve this issue. Let’s Encrypt is a certificate authority that provides SSL certificates for free.
Once Let’s Encrypt gained trust among everyone it was adopted by most of the big hosting companies. To enable the SSL certificate from your host, login to the cPanel of your website and head over to the Security section. Now select the Enable free SSL certificate option.
If you face any issues or are unable to find the option then you can contact your hosting company and ask them to enable it for you.
Once the SSL certificate is enabled install and activate the Really Simple SSL plugin on your WordPress website.
Upon activation, the plugin will switch your website settings to use the HTTPS protocol and redirect all HTTP URLs to HTTPS.
You can further configure the SSL settings by visiting Settings -> SSL from your admin dashboard.