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What Is An SSL Certificate?
An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is an encryption device that allows your site’s server to transmit and receive encrypted data from other devices. All sites served over HTTPS are using this Secure Sockets Layer. The SSL certificate allows for the generation of a public and private key pair for each new session between the server and the client.
Why Should You Get an SSL Certificate?
SSL is a big step in making your site more secure for you and your users. It means all the data sent between your server and your users’ computers is encrypted. This is absolutely required if you’re running an e-commerce site and dealing with payment details. However, as of this summer, anyone with a website should seriously consider switching to HTTPS.
As of July 2018, Google Chrome posts a message next to the URL of your site that says “Not Secure” with a message that reads, “you should not enter any sensitive information on this website such as passwords or credit cards because it could be stolen by attackers.”
While users may not need to enter sensitive information on your site, it can still be a pretty big turn off. There is no other way to get around it besides installing an SSL certificate.
Conversely, if you have a valid SSL Certificate, Chrome displays a nice “Secure” message with a picture of a lock next to it.
It’s also good for SEO. It’s not going boost you to the top of your industry, but if Google has to choose between two sites where everything else is equal, they’ll choose the site with an SSL certificate. And when it comes to SEO, every little bit counts.
Fortunately, HostGator offers free SSL Certificates when you sign up for their hosting services. I have used HostGator for a long time and I really like their services. They have everything I need to manage my site from my customer portal. Now they’re offering free SSL certificates which, as we’ve already seen, is a big deal. Here is a list of reasons why HostGator is awesome. You can click the link below to learn more about their hosting options with free SSL certificates.
How To Set It Up
It’s actually a very simple process. Once they install the SSL certificate on their end, you just need to instruct the site to use it. If you’re using WordPress, you just need to add “define(‘FORCE_SSL_ADMIN’, true);” anywhere in your wp-config.php file. Then you need to change the site URL in the General Settings of the WordPress Dashboard to start with ‘https://’ instead of ‘http://’. Finally, navigate to Settings -> Permalinks and click the “Save” button to flush the rewrite rules.
I have another article about how to get rid of all mixed content errors with one line of HTML code. You just need to add it in the head template of your site and it will upgrade all request to the HTTPS protocol.
HostGator’s SSL certificates are trusted by 99.9% of browsers and devices. Many hosting providers charge extra for this, so if you’re looking for web hosting or your current hosting provider wants you to pay for an SSL certificate, you should check out HostGator. To get 20% off all new HostGator hosting plans, use coupon code: SNAPPY.