How to install a Free SSL certificate on your website
In this article, I”ll show you How to install a Free SSL certificate on your website and secure your website traffic.
In this scenario I have a word press website hosted on AWS platform.
I would recommend using Cloudflare for a free shared SSL certificate.
Free Subscription has limited features, however, since our objective is to get an SSL for our website the free option is a good choice. If you wish to compare the features between their free and other plans click here
Let’s get started.
Browse to Cloud flare’s sign up page and sign-up using your e-mail and password. (Use the Check box below to avail promotional emails)
Confirm your e-mail and then Add your site to Cloudflare.
After adding your site you will be directed to choose a plan page. Select the FREE option to get a FREE SSL and Trial of their services.
As soon as you select the plan you wish to go with you will be presented with following pop-up which talks about Cloudflare trying to get your websites DNS records. (Read it Carefully)
In my case I was using AWS therefore, I logged into AWS Console and changed the CNAME record in DNS (Route 53 is AWS DNS)
Its recommended waiting for a couple of hours for the DNS records to be populated across the DNS servers all over the world. (See Below)
Website Status on CloudFlare
NOTE: A little trick with changing Authoritative DNS servers for domains hosted in Route53 You will have to change the NS here:
See this article from AWS to make the required changes: AWS Article
As soon as you change the NS you will notice your domain becomes active under Cloudflare portal.
You will have to wait up to 24hrs before an SSL would be generated for your website. Please note the type of SSL you are granted under this plan: “Universal SSL (Shared)”
Click on your domain on the home page and then click on Crypto tab on top to see the screen below:
This type of Free SSL Certificate from CloudFlare is known as “Universal SSL (Shared)” which is shared with up to 50 customers. however, you can also order a dedicated certificate by clicking on Order SSL Certificate listed under Edge Certificates.
Order SSL Certificate
After a couple of hours, you will notice the Universal SSL Status will be changed to Active Certificate.
You can test it by browsing https:\\www.yourdomain.com and it should come up successfully.
Now If you wish to get your website always redirected to HTTPS make sure you check this box in your Cloudflare portal under Crypto tab:
Always use HTTPS
Done! you have a free SSL certificate assigned to your website.