Last Updated on August 10, 2023
Are you looking to enhance your website’s security and establish trust with your visitors? One integral component of achieving this is obtaining an SSL certificate for your WordPress site.
But did you know that you can secure your site without incurring additional costs by using Bluehost’s free SSL certificate offering, specifically the Bluehost free SSL certificate?
In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the process of activating a Bluehost free SSL certificate on Bluehost hosting for your WordPress site.
You’ll learn about SSL certificates and their importance, and we’ll provide tips for configuring your site for HTTPS, troubleshooting SSL activation issues, and integrating SSL with third-party CDNs.
SSL Certificates provide secure connections between websites and browsers, protect user data, and improve trust & search engine rankings.
Bluehost offers free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates with their hosting plans for cost-effective website security.
AutoSSL simplifies SSL management and guarantees website security through the use of Let’s Encrypt certificates.
Understanding SSL Certificates and Their Importance
An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates a website’s identity and encrypts data sent to the server, providing a secure connection between the website and the browser.
This ensures the safety of user data, verifies ownership of the website, and prevents malicious attempts to create a fake version of the site.
Bluehost, a popular web hosting company, offers free shared SSL certificates with its hosting plans, allowing you to improve your website’s security without breaking the bank.
The benefits of obtaining an SSL certificate are immense. Not only do they provide a strong foundation for a secure platform, but they also establish trust with your visitors and can improve your search engine rankings.
In the following sections, we’ll delve deeper into the role of SSL certificates in web security and why your WordPress site needs one.
The Role of SSL Certificates in Web Security
SSL is a protocol that employs encryption technology to protect confidential data during transmission between a browser and a web server, ensuring heightened levels of confidentiality.
An SSL certificate consists of a public key and a private key, and when a user accesses a website with an SSL certificate, the browser verifies the certificate’s validity and trustworthiness through SSL certificate validation.
The secure connection established by SSL encryption helps prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information, making it essential for any website dealing with sensitive data.
Why Your WordPress Site Needs an SSL Certificate
A secure browsing experience is crucial for any WordPress site, and having an SSL certificate installed provides protection for user data and can improve search engine rankings.
For instance, Google uses HTTPS as a ranking signal, meaning that having an SSL certificate can potentially boost your site’s visibility in search engine results.
Additionally, an SSL certificate contributes to the overall security of your WordPress site by encrypting data transmissions and verifying domain ownership.
With the free SSL certificates offered by Bluehost, securing your WordPress site has never been easier or more cost-effective.
In the next section, we’ll explore the details of Bluehost’s free SSL certificate offering and how it can benefit your website.
Bluehost’s Free SSL Certificate Offering
Bluehost provides free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates with its web hosting packages, making it effortless to secure your website.
One of the great things about Bluehost is when you sign up for Bluehost the free SSL certificate is automatically activated and set up for your site.
There’s no need to do any kind of SSL configuration. Enabling free SSL certificate with Bluehost is a quick and easy process for Bluehost customers.
The activation process may take up to 30 minutes, but once it’s complete, you’ll have a secure connection for your website.
Related: how to build a website with Bluehost
In addition to providing free SSL certificates, Bluehost offers various hosting plans and services to suit different needs, such as shared hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS, and Dedicated hosting.
All of these plans come with a free SSL certificate, ensuring that your website is secure regardless of the hosting plan you choose with Bluehost web hosting.
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Types of Bluehost Hosting Plans with Free SSL
Whether you’re starting a small blog or running a high-traffic e-commerce site, Bluehost has a hosting plan that includes a Bluehost SSL certificate to meet your needs.
Some of the hosting services that offer a free SSL certificate include Shared hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS, and Dedicated hosting.
The most popular hosting service offered by Bluehost is its Shared hosting plans consisting of the Basic plan, Bluehost Choice Plus plan, Online Store plan, and Pro plan.
You’ll receive a free shared SSL certificate with any of these plans along with a 30-day Bluehost money-back guarantee.
Related: which Bluehost plan is best?
Basic Plan ($2.95/mo) – Get a free SSL Certificate, free Bluehost domain name, 10 GB SSD Storage, hosting for 1 website, and unmetered bandwidth.
Related: Bluehost $2.95 per month deal
Choice Plus Plan ($5.45/mo) – Get a free SSL Certificate, free domain name, 40 GB SSD Storage, hosting for unlimited websites, unmetered bandwidth, daily website backups for 1 year, Bluehost Domain Privacy, malware scanning, and Bluehost marketing offers.
Online Store Plan ($9.95/mo) – Get a free SSL Certificate, free domain name, 100 GB SSD Storage, hosting for unlimited websites, unmetered bandwidth, a bunch of online store extra features, daily backups (Bluehost Codeguard Basic), domain privacy, malware scanning, and marketing offers. Here’s a post we did on is Bluehost good for Ecommerce?
Pro Plan ($13.95/mo) – Get a free SSL Certificate, free domain name, 100 GB SSD Storage, hosting for unlimited websites, unmetered bandwidth, free Dedicated IP, more power with optimized CPU resources, daily backups, domain privacy, malware scanning, and Bluehost marketing offers.
Related: how much does Bluehost cost?
With the Bluehost dashboard managing your SSL certificate is easy.
You can also utilize the Bluehost cPanel, which makes managing your website and SSL certificate a breeze.
By providing free SSL certificates with various hosting plans, Bluehost ensures that you can enjoy enhanced security and data confidentiality without incurring extra costs.
To enable free SSL and manage your SSL certificates, simply access your Bluehost dashboard.
Activating Your Bluehost Free SSL Certificate
Activating a free SSL certificate on Bluehost can be done in just a few simple steps.
Depending on your hosting plan and WordPress setup, you may be able to use automatic activation or you may need to manually activate your SSL certificate.
For most, after you buy hosting from Bluehost, the free shared SSL Certificate will automatically be activated. You won’t need to do anything.
If for some reason you need to activate the free SSL yourself you can do so by following the steps below.
To activate your SSL certificate, log in to your Bluehost account and click on “manage your hosting”.
Click “manage” under the site that you want to enable free SSL for.
Navigate to the “Security” tab.
Click on the “Activate” button next to the Security Certificate and Status option.
Keep in mind that the activation process may take up to 30 minutes.
Regardless of whether you’re using automatic or manual activation, it’s essential to ensure that your SSL certificate is properly configured and functioning correctly.
In the next section, we’ll discuss the difference between automatic and manual activation and provide tips for troubleshooting SSL activation issues.
Automatic Activation vs. Manual Activation
The distinction between automatic and manual activation of a Bluehost free SSL certificate lies in the level of user involvement required.
Automatic activation, available with certain Bluehost plans such as Basic, Choice Plus, Online Store, and Pro, installs and activates the SSL certificate without any input from the user.
On the other hand, manual activation necessitates the user to go through a process to install and activate the certificate, which may involve configuring the server and uploading the certificate and private key.
If you encounter any issues during the activation process, don’t hesitate to reach out to Bluehost’s customer support team for assistance.
Troubleshooting SSL Activation Issues
If you’re experiencing SSL activation issues, there are a few things you can try to resolve the problem.
First, verify your email address associated with your Bluehost account, as this is required for SSL certificate validation.
Next, make sure to update the “Site URL” and “Home URL” options in your WordPress settings to accurately reflect the new HTTPS URL of your site.
This ensures that your site is properly configured for HTTPS and helps prevent any potential issues related to SSL activation.
In case you’re still encountering issues after trying these steps, you may need to contact Bluehost support for further assistance.
Their customer support team can help you identify and resolve any SSL activation problems, ensuring that your website remains secure and functional.
Configuring Your WordPress Site for HTTPS
Once you’ve activated your SSL certificate on Bluehost, it’s essential to configure your WordPress site for HTTPS to provide a secure browsing experience for your visitors.
This process involves updating all existing URLs and links from HTTP to HTTPS and setting up redirects to ensure that all traffic to your site is directed to the secure HTTPS version.
Configuring your WordPress site for HTTPS may seem daunting, but with the right tools and guidance, it’s a straightforward process.
In the following sections, we’ll discuss how to update URLs and links, as well as setting up redirects for a seamless transition to HTTPS.
Related: how to install WordPress on Bluehost
Updating URLs and Links
This plugin allows you to search and replace all instances of HTTP URLs with their HTTPS counterparts, making the process quick and efficient.
Additionally, using tools like Google Search Console can help you monitor and maintain your website’s presence in Google search results.
Additionally, you can use a plugin like Really Simple SSL to automatically update your site’s URLs to HTTPS and detect any remaining insecure content.
By updating all URLs and links to HTTPS, you’ll be providing a secure browsing experience for your visitors and helping to prevent any potential issues related to mixed content or insecure connections.
Setting Up Redirects
Setting up redirects is an essential step in migrating your site from HTTP to HTTPS.
To ensure that all traffic is automatically redirected to the secure HTTPS version of your site, you can add specific code to your.htaccess file on your server.
Alternatively, you can use a plugin like Really Simple SSL, which simplifies the process of setting up redirects and automatically handles all necessary configurations for you.
By setting up redirects, you’ll ensure a seamless transition for your visitors and maintain a secure connection for your website.
Verifying and Testing Your SSL Installation
After activating your SSL certificate and configuring your WordPress site for HTTPS, it’s important to verify and test your SSL installation to ensure a secure browsing experience for your visitors.
You can use SSL Checker tools like SSL Labs, DigiCert SSL Checker, or SSL Shopper to assess the security of your SSL installation and identify any potential issues.
In addition to checking your SSL installation, it’s essential to identify and resolve any mixed content issues that might be affecting your site’s security.
In the next section, we’ll discuss how to check for mixed content issues and fix them to maintain a secure connection.
Checking for Mixed Content Issues
Mixed content issues occur when a secure HTTPS page loads insecure HTTP content, such as images, videos, or scripts.
These issues can cause insecure warnings on your site and negatively impact your visitors’ browsing experience.
To identify and fix mixed content issues, you can use tools like WhyNoPadlock.com or SSL Checker, which scan your website and detect any insecure content that needs to be updated.
Once you’ve identified any mixed content issues, you can resolve them by updating the insecure URLs to HTTPS and ensuring that all resources are loaded securely.
This will help maintain a secure connection for your website and provide a positive browsing experience for your visitors.
Additional SSL Considerations for WordPress Users
Beyond activating your SSL certificate and configuring your site for HTTPS, there are additional SSL considerations for WordPress users.
Integrating SSL with third-party CDNs and understanding the benefits of AutoSSL can further enhance your site’s security and performance.
In the following sections, we’ll discuss how to integrate SSL with third-party CDNs, such as CloudFlare, and the advantages of using AutoSSL on your Bluehost hosting account.
Integrating SSL with Third-Party CDNs
If you’re using a third-party CDN like CloudFlare to improve your website’s performance and security, you’ll need to set up SSL for your site on the CDN as well.
This involves configuring the CDN to use HTTPS, updating the URLs and links on your website, and setting up redirects to ensure a smooth transition from HTTP to HTTPS.
By integrating SSL with your third-party CDN, you can enjoy the benefits of both technologies for a faster, more secure browsing experience for your visitors.
Understanding AutoSSL and Its Benefits
AutoSSL is a feature of Bluehost that installs and renews Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates for domains on your hosting account.
This will be done automatically, so you don’t have to worry about manual renewal! This streamlines SSL management for your site and guarantees that your site is always secure.
AutoSSL operates by executing a daily cron task that replaces expired and self-signed certificates with a new and enhanced Let’s Encrypt certificate.
By employing AutoSSL, you can eliminate the need for manual installation and renewal of SSL certificates, ensuring a hassle-free and cost-effective method of maintaining your website’s security.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Bluehost give free SSL certificate?
Yes, Bluehost provides a free SSL certificate through the Certificate Authority – Let’s Encrypt. Customers need to validate control over the domain in order to obtain the certificate for their blog’s domain and may need to manually enable the certificate.
How do I get an SSL certificate from Bluehost?
Getting an SSL certificate from Bluehost is an easy process. Simply log into your Bluehost Control Panel, click Addons, search for SSL in the search box, and then select the SSL certificate that best suits your needs.
Once you purchase the certificate, it may take a few hours to update your site and enable HTTPS.
Are there free SSL certificates?
Yes, there are free SSL certificates available. Services like Let’s Encrypt, Cloudflare, and SSL For Free offer free certificates that are trusted by 99.9% of browsers globally and last for 90 days at a time.
With these services, domain owners can easily secure their websites at no cost.
Can I use a free SSL certificate with a third-party CDN like CloudFlare?
Yes, it is possible to use a free SSL certificate with a third-party CDN like CloudFlare. You will need to configure the CDN to use HTTPS, update any URLs and links on your website, and set up redirects in order to do so.
What tools can I use to check for mixed content issues?
There are a variety of tools available to help you identify and fix mixed content issues, such as WhyNoPadlock.com or SSL Checker.
Taking advantage of these can ensure your site is running smoothly and securely.
In conclusion, implementing a free SSL certificate from Bluehost is an essential step in securing your WordPress site and establishing trust with your visitors.
From understanding the importance of SSL certificates to configuring your site for HTTPS, activating your SSL certificate, and integrating with third-party CDNs, we’ve covered the key aspects of using a free SSL certificate on Bluehost hosting for your WordPress site.
By following the steps and guidance provided in this blog post, you can ensure a secure browsing experience for your visitors and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a fully encrypted and protected website.
Don’t wait any longer – secure your WordPress site with a free SSL certificate from Bluehost today!
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