SiteGround has announced the availability of Free Let's Encrypt SSL Certificates on all Shared Hosting Plans. Deployment of the free SSL certificates will roll out to Cloud and Dedicated Servers shortly, but can be requested in the meantime via support ticket.
Let's Encrypt is a new open community-built Certificate Authority that issues SSL certificates. The fundamental principles of the scheme are as follows:
- Free: The service is available to everyone at no additional cost.
- Automatic: The process is simplified by making everything automated. This means that the SSL certificate is installed, setup and configured in just a couple of clicks.
- Secure: It will serve as a platform for advancing TLS security best practices.
- Transparent: All certificates issued or revoked will be publicly recorded and available for anyone to inspect.
- Open: The Protocol is maintained openly, allowing others to adopt the technology.
- Cooperative: It is based on technology developed by multiple people and corporations in cooperation with each other. As such no one company owns the new protocol.
There are a few downsides to using a free SSL certificate over a premium one, including no EV SSL, no wild-card certificates (at least not yet), no direct support (but we assume your host will take over this responsibility), and no website seals \ warranties. That being said, for most people, and especially for non-e-commerce websites, it will be entirely adequate.
How to install a Let's Encrypt SSL certificate at SiteGround
Installation of the free SSL certificate is very easy, and can be accessed via the cPanel control panel by clicking on the "Let's Encrypt" icon, as shown below:
The next step is to choose the domain to install the SSL certificate on, enter your contact email, and click install:
The screen will then show various messages showing communication with Let's Encrypt and the configuration of the certificate:
This process took us about 30 seconds to complete, after which you will see a confirmation message stating that the installation was successful.
Let's Encrypt is a game changer
This is the first time we had tested the new Let's Encrypt certificates and was the simplest and quickest installation we ever undertook. The simplicity of Let's Encrypt certificates is a game changer, and as such, we wouldn't be surprised if similar automation is implemented by other Certificate Authorities.
You can currently get 60% off when signing up with SiteGround.