Despite an increasing focus on web security, not all web hosting companies are willing to provide free SSL for customers. This provision can easily be made thanks to non-profits like Let’s Encrypt being willing to provide free SSL certificates.
While users can still implement them on their own, the process can be challenging without tools provided by hosting companies. To avoid this problem, here are some of the best hosting companies that offer free SSL certificates if you sign up with them.
Top 5 Free SSL Web Hosting Choices
When discussing web hosting companies that offer free SSL, it’s more than just getting that item at no cost. Most of these hosts offer an easy-installation mechanism that makes it easier for you to not only install but also maintain your SSL certificate.
If you’re looking for a service that is eco-friendly, GreenGeeks could be it for you. With more than 10 years of experience, GreenGeeks plays host to over 300,000 websites today. Being a global leader in carbon-free high-level web hosting, GreenGeeks provides fast, reasonably-priced shared hosting, reseller hosting, and Virtual Private Server (VPS) packages.
In terms of speed and performance, GreenGeeks has been known to offer excellent results across the board. Yet their claim to fame lies in their “300% Green Web Hosting Powered by Renewable Energy” statement. The company buys three times more energy in Renewable Energy certificates than what they consume.
If you’re a newbie and not tech-savvy, GreenGeeks help make life easier by giving you practically unlimited amounts of everything – free domain registration, webspace, and website migration services all thrown in. There is also a free WordPress site migration service, something that most web hosts charge a significant amount for.
In the past, they only provided Premium Alpha Wildcard SSL Certificates. It was not until 2019 that Let’s Encrypt came into play at this host. The addition of Let’s Encrypt means you can get free SSL certification for your site hosted here.
However, if you can afford the Alpha Wildcard SSL option, go for it as it does escalate your data security beyond the alternative Let’s Encrypt SSL option.
How to Install Let’s Encrypt SSL on GreenGeeks
GreenGeeks supposedly offers a one-click installation process for Let's Encrypt Wildcard SSL. You won’t need to be bothered with CSR, CRT files, or private keys. For existing users, you’ll need to use the new GreenGeeks AM control panel to access this SSL tool.
Login to your dashboard and head to Security -> Add SSL Certificate -> Select a Service and Domain. This is there the “supposedly one-click” comment comes into play – you’ll still have to contact their support and make a request for them to complete the process. Still, renewal is done automatically every 90 days.
Being around since 2001, A2 Hosting is backed by a good reputation with solutions that are of a good mix of performance and features. Their data centers are located in Amsterdam, Singapore, and Michigan which gives them a good global spread.
A2 Hosting overall speed consistently shows outstanding results. Not only is speed crucial, reliability and uptime are also important which they excel in. They have strong server uptime, more than 99.99% availability. Additionally, their anytime money-back guarantee typically translates to minimal risks.
A2 Hosting provides free Let’s Encrypt SSL by default. This supplements their already heavily-provisioned hosting packages, which is commendable. Bear in mind that if you’ve purchased either a shared or reseller web hosting package, you can expect that Let’s Encrypt SSL is pre-installed into your cPanel account automatically.
However, not all users are lucky enough to get this feature automatically. So, if you’re managing your account using A2 Hosting’s Plesk control panel, you’ll need to manually enable Let’s Encrypt via the user interface.
However, for managed VPS and dedicated hosting accounts, you’ll need to contact the support team as they’ll install and activate Let’s Encrypt SSL on your behalf. The Let’s Encrypt SSL is renewed every 90 days.
How To Install Let’s Encrypt SSL on A2 Hosting
You need to go to the “Security” section on your control panel and click on the “SSL/TLS” option. This is to check for the automatic Let’s Encrypt SSL function on your cPanel account. Here, you’ll be able to freely view, upload, delete or generate your SSL certificates, including the default Let’s Encrypt.
Take note that if you’re using a Plesk account, you’ll need to perform a manual installation. To do so, go to ‘Websites & Domains’ on the left sidebar > click ‘Let’s Encrypt’ icon and then input your domain details. Proceed to install the certificate.
Bluehost was established in 2003 and since 2018, new VPS and dedicated hosting plans were added and signup prices were reduced. They boast a good lineup of shared, VPS, dedicated, and cloud hosting solutions.
With excellent server performance (hosting uptime above 99.95%) and great server speeds, it is no wonder that Bluehost is a popular choice among many. Also, Bluehost is newbie-friendly. Their easy-to-use control panel comes along with comprehensive self-help documents and video tutorials, make the onboarding experience seamless.
Bluehost provides free SSL certificates for all assigned and parked domain names in your account. The SSL feature will automatically assign and install to your domains, in most cases. However, in certain circumstances, you may need to enable the certificate manually.
How To Install Let’s Encrypt SSL on Bluehost
For Bluerock-based accounts, login to your Bluehost control panel. Click the “My Sites” tab from the left side navigation menu. Locate the website where you want to activate the free SSL-> Click “Manage Site” – > Open the “Security” tab -> Under “Security Certificate”, toggle the Free SSL ON.
For Legacy accounts, login to your Bluehost control panel. Click the WordPress tool tab from the top navigation menu -> Click the “Security” tab from the left side navigation menu -> Locate “Secure Certificate” option -> Toggle the Certificate issued by Let's Encrypt option ON.
TMDHosting is a US-based web hosting provider which was founded in 2007. They initially focused on open source hosting but they have since subsequently expanded to include a full range of platforms, technologies, and additional features in their shared, cloud, WordPress, and VPS hosting solutions.
They have data centers, located in Phoenix and Chicago (US), London (UK), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Tokyo (Japan), Sydney (Australia), and Singapore. While TMDHosting offers relatively extensive features, they seem to be limited in some areas that are commonly expected to meet certain standards.
You’ll need to look into this and weigh your priorities accordingly. Bear in mind that unless you’re looking at only performance, careful consideration needs to be made here.
TMDHosting’s business packages come with a GlobalSign 256-bit SSL Certificate that secures one domain name while the Professional package gives you one free GlobalSign 256bit Wildcard SSL Certificate which provides encryption to both the main domain and all its subdomains.
How To Install Let’s Encrypt SSL on TMDHosting
Let’s Encrypt SSL is integrated into TMD’s cPanel. You can get free SSL certificates issued for your domain with this handy tool. Login to your cPanel. Go to “Let’s Encrypt SSL” -> Click “Issue a new certificate” -> Select the domain that you wish to SSL-enable > Click “Issue”. A new key and certificate will be issued.
Once your package has been activated with SSL, you’ll need to request the SSL installation by contacting the Technical Support team. They’ll do it for you. Although the certificates expire after 90 days, cPanel automatically renews the certificates for you.
Interserver is a New Jersey-based company that’s been around since 1999. Operating two data centers in New Jersey, they’re expanding to additional locations. They specialize in shared, VPS, and dedicated and colocation hosting solutions. Also, they are widely proven to be a budget-friendly provider.
Interserver’s fixed pricing packages (for VPS hosting) offer discounted rates for users that pay annually, which is great, given that many web hosts mark up their prices upon renewal. Interserver can be a great choice for a wide range of users, from novices to seasoned users.
However, if you’re an experienced user that needs some development tools on your shared plans, these aren’t readily available. The same applies to users who are looking for a good choice of hosting server locations; you will be somewhat disappointed. Nevertheless, they still manage to shine with a good range of products with decent performance.
Interserver’s cPanel has a feature called AutoSSL which is available for all InterServer customers. This is a handy tool that removes all the hassles when it comes to SSL-enabling your website as it does it all for you. Additionally, AutoSSL automatically renews the certificates without any user interaction.
How To Install Let’s Encrypt SSL on Interserver
AutoSSL is available in all cPanel-based accounts from InterServer. You’ll need to enable this feature under the SSL/TLS heading -> Click on “Manage AutoSSL” > Check “Enable”.
For those based on Plesk accounts, select the domain name -> Find the “Security” section -> Click “Let’s Encrypt” > Enter your email address -> Check “Issue a wildcard SSL/TLS certificate” -> Click ‘Install’. Once done, you’ll see a message stating “Let’s Encrypt SSL has been activated for <your domain name>”.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) typically encrypts information to and from your website. It keeps your users’ information, safe and secure. This feature in web hosting is increasingly popular as it gives website owners a cost-effective and user-friendly means of showing users that you’re serious about security.
It goes without saying that security is essential to the success of your online business. Having an SSL certificate installed on your website’s server translates into having a padlock in browsers and enables the HTTPS navigational prefix.
Additionally, Google made having HTTPS on your website a ranking factor so having one would influence your SEO and ultimately your web traffic. Simply put, SSL certificates are no longer a luxury; they’re practically a requirement in this modern age of times.
SSL certification today needs to be implemented by all websites – even those on the cheapest shared hosting accounts. With organizations like Let’s Encrypt offering them for free, there is little excuse for web hosting companies not to offer them – but some still refuse to help. Consider the five hosts listed here if you’re afraid of having trouble with SSL certification for your site.
Don’t be bullied by some hosts making things difficult and trying to make you buy expensive commercial SSL certificates when you don’t need them.
Founder of WebHostingSecretRevealed.net (WHSR) - a hosting review trusted and used by 100,000's users. More than 15 years experience in web hosting, affiliate marketing, and SEO. Contributor to ProBlogger.net, Business.com, SocialMediaToday.com, and more.