Every time someone visits your website, their browser exchanges data with your website. This data could be harmless, for example, the visitor’s browser information, the page they are viewing, their device type, etc. However, sometimes your visitors might want to exchange highly confidential data that must be protected from interceptors. This data could be:
- login details
- credit card information
- Identity information
The question is “how do you protect this sensitive information?” Well, you need to implement SSL/TLS security protocols on your website through an SSL certificate.
Acquiring an SSL certificate for your website used to be a difficult and pocket-draining experience. Small businesses and individuals couldn’t afford the cost of an SSL certificate thus their websites were often left unprotected and vulnerable to man-in-the-middle (MiTM) attacks.
These days you can enjoy the benefits of SSL on your website by choosing a hosting service like Parvaty that gives it to you free of charge.
This article will take you through the process of getting a free SSL certificate for WordPress, including what it is, why you need one, and lastly how to get one.
What Is an SSL Certificate?
So what is an SSL certificate? An SSL certificate AKA TLS certificate is a digital token or certificate issued to websites by a Certificate Authority (CA) after verifying the website’s identity. After installing an SSL certificate on your web server, your website’s URL has an “https://” and a padlock icon.
There are different types and levels of SSL/TLS certificates. Different types of SSL certificates require different levels of investigation by the CA. More advanced SSL certificates require proof of company registration.
SSL/TLS certificates are normally divided by the number of domains they protect and the extent of the CA’s validation.
In terms of the number of domains secured, there are:
- Single/Basic: Secures only one domain.
- Wildcard: Secures multiple subdomains.
- Multi-Domain: Also called SAN or Unified certificates. Can secure several domains/websites.
In terms of CA validation, SSL certificates are divided into:
- Domain Validation: Usually matched with basic SSL certificates. It involves a simple email authentication. Takes very little time.
- Organization Validation: Medium verification is needed as CA must check the organization mentioned in the certificate.
- Extended Validation: Most trusted SSL certificate as CA employs strict validation of the domain and the organization behind it. It can take a couple of weeks.
People often confuse the role of SSL certificates in website security. An SSL/TLS certificate does not protect your website from direct attacks by hackers. It only protects your transmitted information instead of the website itself.
Why You Need an SSL Certificate?
SSL certificates protect you from man-in-the-middle attacks whereby a hacker eavesdrops on your network traffic. Without an SSL certificate, your website’s traffic will be unencrypted and consequently, a hacker can easily intercept and read all your data while it’s in transit to its destination.
Therefore, an SSL certificate helps encrypt traffic going to and from your website, consequently even if a hacker intercepts your traffic they cannot decipher or read it.
Securing your website traffic is essential for any website, whether it’s to:
- Protect your customers’ logins
- Hide your visitors’ traffic
- Handle e-commerce payments
Adding an SSL certificate to your website not only enhances your site’s security, it also offers plenty of other benefits that we will explore below.
In short, an SSL certificate is a necessity to any website owner because it gives you the peace of mind that your site’s and visitor’s traffic is securely and authentically transmitted.
Benefits of SSL Certificates
Here are some of the benefits you stand to gain when you implement SSL encryption on your website:
SSL encrypts traffic going to and from your website. This ensures that both your visitor’s information and your site’s traffic stays confidential -as it should be. For example, if you send premium content to your subscriber, you don’t want an interloper hijacking and freely accessing your content for malicious purposes.
Better SEO Ranking
Google prefers websites that are encrypted instead of unencrypted ones. This means that if your competitor has an SSL certificate and you don’t, your competitor will rank higher on Google Search results and therefore get more traffic than you.
Gain Customer Trust
Most browsers today will tell your website visitors that your website is “Not Secure” or untrustworthy if you don’t have an SSL certificate. This creates wariness and chases away customers as they can’t trust your site with their confidential information like credit card info and login details. An SSL secured site will generally receive higher trust ratings than one without.
Some online services and regulatory authorities will penalize your website if it’s not secured. In fact, some companies will refuse partnerships if you can’t guarantee that their users’ information is secured.
Website Identity Verification
Customers can use an SSL certificate to verify and confirm whether the website they are visiting is the official one before entering their sensitive data like passwords, social security numbers, etc. This helps to prevent phishing whereby a criminal website mimics an official website’s look and feel to trick visitors into giving out their sensitive information.
In some regions of the world, if your website handles information about their citizens, you need to implement a certain level of encryption to be compliant with their laws. Failure to comply might result in receiving a hefty fine or website closure. An example of such a legislation is the GDPR for the EU/EEA region.
How To Get a Free SSL Certificate for WordPress?
Now that we know what is an SSL certificate and why you need one, it’s time we look at how to get one?
There are several ways to get an SSL/TLS certificate, you can:
- Buy it independently from a CA (Certificate Authority).
- Get it from a CDN.
- Get it for free from your hosting provider.
By far, the best option for any non-technical person out there is getting it from your hosting provider. Many hosting providers now offer a free SSL certificate together with their packages.
If you choose Parvaty as your host for your WordPress website, not only will you get a free SSL certificate, you’ll also get many bonuses like:
- Unlimited WordPress Installs
- No Visitors Limit
- 24/7/365 Live Chat & Support
- Real-time monitoring
- Free 14 day hosting trial
Additionally, choosing Parvaty means we will handle the complicated certificate installation process for you. Your website will be secured with little effort on your part.
So what are you waiting for?
Choose Parvaty for a free, quick, and painless SSL certificate installation!