With 400 million active websites on the Internet today, the vulnerability to data theft, cyber snooping, and phishing has increased a lot. As such, it has become imperative for organizations to ensure the highest levels of security over the web. To address this challenge, most enterprises consider using high-end security technologies such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

SSL uses encryption technology to protect confidential data being shared between the browser and web server and it ensures increased levels of confidentiality. It helps transfer valuable business information across the web in a way that it can be viewed only by its intended recipients.

As cyber attacks have become more advanced and aggressive, getting an SSL certificate lays a strong foundation for a secure platform.

What is an SSL Certificate?

bluehost ssl certificateAn SSL certificate, also referred to as a digital certificate, transmits encrypted communication between a web server and a web browser. The certificate is installed on a web server and helps in creating a secure connection.

It serves two key functions :

  • It encrypts business-critical data being transmitted between a web browser and a server
  • It establishes authenticity and identity of the website, guaranteeing visitors they are on a secure site

 

The certificate provides crucial information that verifies the owner of a blog and encrypts traffic with TLS/SSL. This includes information like:

  • The domain name of the blog for which the SSL certificate is issued
  • Which organization, device, or person it was issued to
  • Associated subdomains
  • Name and digital signature of the issuing certificate authority
  • The public key
  • Issue date and expiration date of the certificate

Having an SSL certificate enables blogs and websites to move from HTTP to HTTPS: a more secure platform to establish integrity and transmit data in an encrypted way.

Why Do You Need SSL Certificate for Your WordPress Blog?

ssl certificate for wordpress blogOwning an information-rich, high-traffic blog can be challenging, particularly in the face of tough competition and growing incidents of malicious cyber attacks. Questions may come to your mind – Do I need SSL for my blog? Is it important to migrate my blog site from http to https?

Without any doubt, installing an SSL certificate is the need of the hour to ensure all sensitive information is secure and confidential on your blog site. Here’s why you need a digital certificate for your blog more than ever:

1. Protect Against Data Breaches

Having an SSL certificate installed on your blog will help encrypt all data that is being transmitted to and from the site. Using 256-bit encryption, the digital certificate safeguards sensitive data from being accessed and read by malicious users. Moreover, your visitors will feel more secure knowing their data is safe on your blog.

2. Establish Trust and Authenticity

One of the biggest advantages of obtaining an SSL certificate is the “https” and padlock icon that is shown before your URL. This indicates that your blog site is SSL-encrypted and secure. It helps establish your blog as a trusted and authentic source of valuable information.

3. Improve Your Search Engine Ranking

Google endorses using SSL certificates outright.  That means if your blog does not have a valid certificate, it is less likely to rank on Google search engines. Therefore, if you want improved visibility and more traffic, you must get an SSL certificate right away.

Secure Your WordPress Blog with a Free SSL Certificate from Bluehost

Bluehost helps you in setting up an efficient and secure WordPress blog through web hosting packages that offer free SSL certificates. Bluehost is a top web hosting company that has been “powering over 2 million websites worldwide.” They provide complete hosting solutions with reduced server latency, free SSL certificate, DDoS attack protection, and 24/7 support.

Every Bluehost customer gets a free shared SSL certificate for all parked and assigned domains and subdomains through Let’s Encrypt. Ideally, the certificate will install and activate itself. However, you can also learn How to activate Bluehost free SSL certificate on your WordPress blog easily.

Bluehost offers a free SSL certificate with the following WordPress Hosting plans:

bluehost free ssl certificate wordpress hosting plans

  • Basic Plan ($2.95/month) – Get a free SSL certificate with 50GB website, unmetered bandwidth, and standard performance. You can host only one blog/website under the Basic Plan.
  • Plus Plan ($3.95/month) – Free SSL certificate with unlimited website hosting option, unmetered bandwidth and storage space, and standard performance.
  • Choice Plus Plan ($4.95/month) – Get a free SSL certificate with unmetered website space and bandwidth. Host unlimited websites and blogs, and get 1 SpamExperts, 1 Domain Privacy + Protection, and CodeGuard Backup with this plan.

By choosing any of the above Bluehost hosting plans, you can get an SSL certificate for free. That means improved security and data confidentiality at no extra cost!

Bluehost provides free SSL certificate with all of its shared hosting plans and other hosting plans as well:
bluehost free ssl certificate shared hosting plans

What Type of SSL Certificate does Bluehost Provides?

Bluehost offers Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates, establishing security for over 225 million websites. It is an open, automated, and free certificate authority presented by the nonprofit organization, Internet Security Research Group (ISRG).

To enable “https” on your website and to ensure SSL-encryption for your business-sensitive data, it is important to get an SSL certificate issued by a Certificate Authority. Bluehost provides a free SSL certificate through the Certificate Authority – Let’s Encrypt. To obtain a certificate for your blog’s domain, you need to validate control over the domain. This can be done using software that is powered by the ACME protocol running on the web host.

Let’s Encrypt is a certificate authority that offers Transport Level Security (TLS) encryption to website owners. Understanding the importance of secured websites, Let’s Encrypt aims at providing free SSL certificates that are easy to install.

bluehost lets encrypt free
bluehost ssl better price than godaddy

How to Activate Bluehost Free SSL Certificate on Your WordPress Blog?

Bluehost offers free SSL certificates for all parked and assigned domain names that are present in your account as a part of your hosting plan. In most cases, for existing and new domains, the SSL certificate will enable and install itself automatically. However, if you need to enable the SSL manually, the steps are mentioned below:

  • Before proceeding to enable SSL, disable WHOIS guard (domain privacy) first.
  • Log in to your Bluehost cPanel. Click here to log in
  • Verify online that the site has active SSL, check if the padlock icon is shown and if your website is shown as a secured website.
    bluehost login page
  • On the left side of your Home Screen, you will find a side navigation menu. Click the tab My Sites
  • Select the site where you want to activate the free SSL certificate and click the Manage Site button
    bluehost manage site from dashboard
  • Next, open the Security tab
  • Step 5: Select the Security Certificate tab and toggle the option Free SSL on

bluehost ssl certificate activationAfter you enable the SSL certificate on your WordPress blog following the above steps, Bluehost will take a few minutes to install the SSL and activate it. In certain cases, you may need to take more actions to finish the process. For that, you will get a prior email notification with instructions.

In order to ensure that the migration process is executed perfectly, add the following code to the .htaccess file:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
RewriteRule (.*) https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]

Enabling Let’s Encrypted Certificate Through WordPress Plugin

  • Install and enable the WordPress plugin – Really Simple SSL.
  • This plugin will scan your website to look for an SSL certificate.
  • If it finds one, it will guide you to enable HTTPS for your entire website.
  • For this, you must go to Settings > SSL tab present in your dashboard.
  • Click on ‘Reload over HTTPS’ and the SSL certificate that you have will be active for your website.

How To Use SSL Of A Third Party CDN (CloudFlare)

  • Create a Free CloudFlare account.
  • Configure your respective website/domain.
  • Configure the DNS records of your website.
  • Select the CloudFlare Plan that you wish to opt for.
  • Update your NameServers.

 

Set up the SSL certificate for your website:

  • When your nameservers are being set up, you can move ahead with the SSL configuration. When you scroll down the settings summary, you will see ‘SSL: Full’, when you click on ‘Full’, you will be taken to the ‘Crypto’ page.
  • There will be a dropdown list next to the SSL option in which you need to select the ‘flexible’ option. Your SSL certificate will be assigned in an hour and you can check the status on the ‘Crypto’ page.
  • The next step is to redirect the traffic to HTTPS.

 

If you do not have WordPress tools, here are the steps to follow:

  • Log in to your Bluehost control panel
  • Click the tab: Addons
  • Scroll down through the options and find the tab SSL Certificates; click Learn More
  • From the drop-down menu, click the option Install SSL On and then choose the domain name where you to install the same
  • After choosing the domain name, click the option Enable AutoSSL
  • You can follow the same steps to toggle the Free SSL off or Disable AutoSSL.

What is AutoSSL? How Does it Work?

bluehost autossl featureBluehost provides the AutoSSL feature that installs automatically and renews the Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate for every parked and assigned domain on your hosting account. The account-wide setting can be seamlessly toggled on or off from your Bluehost account. When you enable AutoSSL, a daily cron will replace expired and self-signed certificates with a new and improved Let’s Encrypt certificate.

When WordPress is installed on existing and new accounts, AutoSSL will automatically toggle to “on” option in the Hosting SSL Certificates page. Alternatively, Free SSL Certificate option will be toggled to “on” in the control panel’s Security section. However, enabling AutoSSL does not mean it will automatically force the blog to use “https.” You will have to switch your website to SSL manually.

Even if AutoSSL is enabled on your account, you can still get free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates automatically for any domain which does not have a paid certificate. If you enable AutoSSL, then you get Let’s Encrypt free SSL and if after you disable AutoSSL, your blog(s) will continue working over https. However, if AutoSSL is disabled, your Let’s Encrypt certificate will not renew upon expiry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions related to Bluehost Free SSL Certificate.

Does Bluehost offer free SSL?

Yes. Bluehost is among a few top-notch web hosting companies that provide free SSL certificates, ensuring best-in-class security and data protection. You get the free SSL certificate with the following plans:

What is the difference between CloudFlare free SSL certificate and Bluehost free SSL certificate?

Both CloudFlare and Bluehost are driven with a common objective to provide free SSL for encrypting all data transmitted between the web browser and the web server to prevent malicious tampering and data theft.

However, the basic difference lies in the ease of enabling the free SSL certificate on your WordPress blog. For CloudFlare, the process is a little more complex whereas Bluehost provides simple and straightforward steps to install and activate the SSL manually on your account. Most importantly, Bluehost SSL certificate automatically gets enabled on most hosting accounts.

CloudFlare SSL certificate is obtained through CloudFlare Origin Certificate Authority, whereas Bluehost supports cutting-edge Let’s Encrypt as their Certificate Authority to get a free SSL certificate. The SSL certificate provided by Bluehost is free, automated, and open.

How many websites can I enable the free SSL certificate on?

This would depend on the Bluehost shared hosting plan you have chosen. Here is a glimpse of how many websites you can install the free SSL on:

  • Basic Plan: Only 1 website
  • Plus Plan: Unlimited websites/blogs
  • Choice Plus Plan: Unlimited websites/blogs

So, if you are managing multiple websites or blogs, it is crucial that you choose the right hosting plan with a free SSL certificate.

Why is my Bluehost site not secure?

When the SSL certificate is not functioning correctly on your website, it will be denoted as not a secured one. If you see that your Bluehost website is not secure, it might be due to the following reasons:

  • SSL is not installed on the hosting level
  • SSL is installed but it still throws the error “mixed content issues” which requires installing the WordPress plugin mentioned in this article, which will resolve the issue.

In case of an SSL problem, the padlock icon will be shown in red, and in case of the second issue, the padlock icon will be shown in orange.

ssl certificate green red padlockOnce all the issues are fixed and the SSL certificate is successfully running on your website, the padlock icon will be showing in green.

Conclusion

In the middle of fast-evolving cyber threats and a growing rate of malicious attacks, it is important to have an end-to-end encryption system to establish a secure IT environment. To achieve high-end security and augment application performance, organizations need to continuously upgrade their SSL infrastructure.

Bluehost is one of the best web hosting companies that right away lays the foundation of an efficient and secured website by offering a free SSL certificate to help establish top-notch encryption and security at multiple levels. Unlike other hosting providers where you have to pay a price to purchase an SSL certificate, Bluehost provides SSL absolutely free with its Basic, Plus, and Choice Plus shared plans, with the WordPress hosting plans, and with other hosting plans as well.

Installing and enabling the free SSL certificate on your WordPress blog will aid in improved threat detection and elimination of cyber-risks from unauthorized or malicious users.

We would love to know your opinions about this article if it was helpful for you. Go ahead and share your experiences. We welcome your questions in case you have difficulties in any of the processes mentioned in this article.