Kinsta customers can take advantage of Kinsta’s Cloudflare integration, which includes automatic and free SSL certificates for all your WordPress sites. Best of all, our free Cloudflare SSLs even support wildcard domains. In this article, you’ll learn more about the importance of HTTPS and how Kinsta’s free Cloudflare SSLs can streamline your workflow when it comes to managing SSL certificates for your WordPress site.
What Does Free SSL Mean for You?
By having access to free SSL certificates via our Cloudflare integration, you no longer have to deal with the confusing process of obtaining your certificate keys, private keys, debugging your intermediate certificate, generating a CSR, and installing your SSL.
Once your domain is set up a Kinsta, SSL starts working automatically without any additional steps! These free SSLs from Kinsta are also completely safe. Cloudflare is one of the leading web security companies in the world, and they handle SSL termination for millions of websites around the world.
Free SSL certificates don’t imply they’re not secure. In actuality, they’re as secure as paid SSLs because both options use secure 256-bit encryption (SHA256) —the same encryption algorithm used by major financial and government institutions around the world. Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about site downtime due to an expired SSL certificate ever again as the free SSL certificates we implement renew automatically.!
Cloudflare SSLs don’t provide organization validation (OV) or extended validation (EV) features. This means the certificates won’t have a warranty, which is insurance for an end user against financial loss when submitting a payment on an SSL-secured site.
OV and EV SSLs are niche products, and they often require a human to process the purchase application. Thus, if you’re a business or enterprise that needs an OV or EV SSL to fulfill certain business requirements, you’ll need to purchase it from a third-party vendor and install it as a custom SSL on Kinsta.
In addition to root domains and subdomains, Kinsta’s free SSLs through Cloudflare also come with wildcard domain support! A wildcard SSL can secure any number of subdomains (e.g. *.domain.com) —this is especially useful for business and education sites that rely on a large number of subdomains. This allows the use of a single certificate and key pair for a domain and all of its subdomains, which can make HTTPS deployment significantly easier.
Benefits of HTTPS
There are plenty of advantages to implementing a free SSL certificate and running your WordPress site over HTTPS:
- Your data is now encrypted and secure. No plain text is ever passed. This is important for ecommerce transactions, but also for even logging into your WordPress site.
- Google has officially said that HTTPS is a ranking factor.
- The green padlock bar helps build trust and credibility for your visitors.
- Avoid the Chrome warning which flags HTTP pages that collect passwords or credit cards as non-secure.
- You’ll accrue better and more accurate referral data. By default, HTTPS to HTTP referral data is blocked in Google Analytics.
- By using an SSL certificate and enabling HTTPS, you can benefit from HTTP/2 for better performance. On Kinsta, we provide support for HTTP/3 via our Cloudflare integration, which provides an even bigger performance boost over HTTP/2.
How to Get Free SSL Certificates on Your WordPress Site
If your site is powered by WordPress, chances are your host’s dashboard has some sort of free SSL feature built in. If your host doesn’t offer free SSL certificates in 2023, it’s time to migrate to one that does!
Most WordPress hosts use Let’s Encrypt to generate free SSL certificates. Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority that officially launched in April 2016. It was originally started in 2012 by two Mozilla employees. Their goal? It’s pretty simple, really: to encrypt the entire web and make it a more privacy-respecting environment.
It might sound kind of crazy, but as you know, Google has been heavily pushing for HTTPS everywhere over the past few years, and Let’s Encrypt really has started to make a huge dent in the industry.
In 2023, there are over 250 million domains using Let’s Encrypt certificates, and the upward trend is continuing to grow year over year. If you want to use Let’s Encrypt for your WordPress site, first check if your host already has this feature built in. If not, you can issue Let’s Encrypt SSLs for free with the easy to use certbot tool.
Free SSLs at Kinsta
At Kinsta, all sites hosted on our infrastructure are automatically protected by Cloudflare SSL certificates with wildcard domain support. By leveraging Cloudflare’s extensive edge network, we’re able to provide Kinsta customers with better site performance thanks to faster SSL handshakes and HTTP/3 support on modern web browsers.
Our free Cloudflare SSLs come with full support for wildcard domains. This means if you use WordPress in multisite mode with dozens of subdomains, all of your subsites will be automatically protected without having to generate an updated SSL certificate each time you add a subsite.
While Let’s Encrypt supports wildcard domains as well, we’ve found that most hosts that use Let’s Encrypt for issuing free SSLs don’t provide support for wildcard domains as MyKinsta does.
Setting up SSL for your site on Kinsta is super easy. You don’t have to do anything! After you add your domain and point it to Kinsta, a free Cloudflare SSL will be generated automatically without you having to add it manually. If you need to install a custom SSL certificate, you can do so in just a few clicks in the MyKinsta dashboard.
How to Verify Your SSL Certificate
There are a couple ways to verify your site is now using the free Cloudflare SSL. If you are overriding a current custom SSL certificate, it can be good to check everything is set up correctly. One way to is to browse to your site via https:// and open Chrome Devtools.
Ctrl + Shift + I
Cmd + Opt + I
Click into the “Security” panel and click on “View certificate.” You can then check the issuer. It should read “Cloudflare Inc ECC CA-3”.
We also always recommend running an SSL check on your WordPress site. You should be scoring an A grade if everything is setup correctly. The easiest way to do this is to use the free SSL check tool fromQualys SSL Labs. Input your domainand let it scan your site.
In 2023, SSL certificates should no longer be considered optional. Compared to HTTP, HTTPS offers both improved security, performance, and SEO, which means there’s no longer any downside to securing your site with an SSL certificate! At Kinsta, we make the process of issuing free SSL certificates very easy. Plus, we offer wildcard support and custom SSL certificates as well.
- Easy setup and management in the MyKinsta dashboard
- 24/7 expert support
- The best Google Cloud Platform hardware and network, powered by Kubernetes for maximum scalability
- An enterprise-level Cloudflare integration for speed and security
- Global audience reach with up to 35 data centers and 275+ PoPs worldwide