How to Get Free SSL Certificate for Your Website Under 10 Minutes?

November 16, 2019
How to get free ssl certificate

Disclaimer: In this blog, I’ve shared how to get free SSL certificate for any GoDaddy website. In fact, I’m personally using the same steps to renew my SSL certificate for FREE!

SSL certificates can be expensive. But they are also necessary.

For starters, Google prefers to rank SSL certified websites over the non-certified ones, and that’s already a good enough reason to install SSL certificate right away!

Secondly, Google also shows all non-SSL sites as “Not Secure”, which results in losing visitors’ trust.

So one thing’s for sure! – You need an SSL certificate for your website.

However, most SSL certificate providers charge a hefty amount of money for it.

And the worst part? – You’ll have to pay for the SSL certificate EVERY YEAR!

For example, if you look at the SSL certificate prices, let’s say on GoDaddy.com, they cost $150+ USD or (7000+ INR) for every 2 years.

Now, some of you might be able to afford that easily.

But if you’re someone cannot afford to pay for SSL certificate, then this post is for you!

Luckily, I have discovered a surefire way to get free SSL certificate. And in this blog, I’m going to teach you how to get free SSL certificate on your GoDaddy hosted website and set it up all by yourself.

Are you ready to get free SSL certificate?

Before I share the process, let’s go over the basics first!

What is SSL Certificate & How Do They Work?

SSL basically stands for Secure Sockets Layer.

It’s an internet protocol for securing the data transfer between a user’s browser and the website she is visiting.

For example, whenever you browse a website on the internet, you transfer information with the site you’re visiting.

Now, the information can sometimes be sensitive such as login credentials, credit card information, etc., and if you’re entering such sensitive information on a non-SSL website, it can be easily hijacked by hackers or cybercriminals.

This is where SSL certificates come into play!

SSL certificates can only be issued by recognized certificate issuing authorities and these certificates are carefully verified.

You can easily identify an SSL-certified website.

It is always highlighted in your browser’s address bar with a padlock symbol and also with HTTPS instead of HTTP.

Non-SSL Site

Now that I have explained what is SSL certificate, let’s move forward and see how does an SSL certificate work.

How do SSL Certificates work?

SSL certificates, as I explained above, protect your sensitive information by securing the data transfer between your browser and the website you’re visiting.

How SSL Works

In technical terms, SSL certificates basically encrypt the data transfer. That means, when you visit an SSL-certified website, your browser will automatically first verify whether the website’s SSL certificate is valid or not.

If it’s valid, then the browser will use the site’s public key to encrypt the information you enter. This information is then sent back to the website’s server where it is decrypted using the same public key and a secret private key.

So, now that you know what exactly is an SSL certificate and how do they work, let’s jump onto the main subject and see how to get free SSL certificate for your website.

How to Get Free SSL Certificate for your Website?

A lot of website owners, especially new bloggers & small businesses, are always reluctant to use an SSL certificate due to its costs. 

However, they don’t realize that not only their websites are vulnerable to data theft, but they’re also losing their visitors’ trust & higher ranking on Google. 

Suggested Read:

Good news is, there is no need to spend money on SSL certificates as a non-profit project called SSLForFree has decided to fix this problem.

SSLForFree is a free certificate authority that provides free SSL certificates to people like you and me.

What’s more is that most of the popular hosting services such as GoDaddy, SiteGround, Dreamhost, Bluehost, and many other companies allow their customers to install free SSL certificate from SSLForFree.

Below, I’m going to show you how to get free SSL certificate for your GoDaddy website.

Let’s dive right in!

Step – 1 

Go to sslforfree.com and enter your website URL and click on ‘Create Free SSL Certificate’ button.

Step – 2

Once you click on the button, you will see a page shown below. Click on the “Manual Verification (DNS)”.

Step – 3

As you click on Manual Verification (DNS), you will see a list of instructions below with a button – “Manually Verify Domain”.

Click on the button to move forward.

Step – 4

Once you click on Manually Verify Domain, you will immediately see Update DNS Records as shown in the below image.

Once you have the TXT records with their value, you need to add them to your web hosting.

Note: Keep this (SSLForFree.com) tab open.

Step – 5

Open a new tab in your browser, go to GoDaddy.com and log into your account.

Step – 6

Go to My Products page and find your website domain URL under the “Domains” category.

Now, click on the “DNS” button to move forward.

Step – 7

As you will click on DNS, you will be redirected to the ‘DNS Management’ page for your website domain where you’ll see a list of DNS records as shown in the below image.

Now, scroll down and locate ‘ADD’ at the bottom right side and click on it.

Step – 8

Once you click on the ‘ADD’ button on the DNS Management page, you will be prompted with a checklist as shown in the below image.

Click on the dropdown list and select TXT from the list.

As you’ll click on TXT, you will see two new text fields and another dropdown list as shown in the image below.

Step – 9

Now, go back to SSLForFree.com Tab in your browser, and copy the name/host _acme-challenge.www And paste it in the ‘Host’ text field in your GoDaddy tab.

Next, copy the value “i7XSjiP6Gb55KbAJ19TUzaUcKG35xkRzdFRRgJtDnqs” and paste it in the ‘TXT Value’ text field in your GoDaddy tab.

Next, click on ‘TTL’ dropdown list, select ‘Custom’, and change the value of ‘Seconds’ from 3600 to 600.

Lastly, click on the ‘Save’ button to add the DNS record.

Step – 10

Once record 1 is added, it’s time to ADD TXT record 2.

Go back to SSLForFree.com tab, copy the 2nd TXT record name/host _acme-challenge, and paste it in the ‘Host’ text field in your GoDaddy tab by clicking on ‘ADD’ button. 

Next, copy the value of 2nd TXT record “bjqfly4WC_DTJ4jnUHNxGiHkXdvmwvkGRQoqX0yrbW0” and paste it in the ‘TXT Value’ text field in your GoDaddy tab, just as we did for TXT record 1.

Next, click on ‘TTL’ dropdown list, select ‘Custom’, and change the value of ‘Seconds’ from 3600 to 600.

Lastly, click on the ‘Save’ button to add the DNS record.

Step – 11

Once you’ve added the DNS TXT records, it’s time to verify whether they are working or not.

Go to www.whatsmydns.net

Click on ‘A’ to open the dropdown list and select TXT.

Next, paste the _acme-challenge.www.screwedupengineer.com in the text field and click on ‘Search’ as shown in the image below.

As you will click on search, it will start verifying the DNS TXT records with various servers around the globe and you will see a green tick as shown in the below image.

Step – 12

Now, verify the second TXT Record by following the same process.

Click on ‘A’ to open the dropdown list and select TXT.

Next, paste the _acme-challenge.screwedupengineer.com in the text field and click on ‘Search’ as shown in the image below.

Lastly, click on ‘Search’ to start verifying the second DNS TXT record with various servers around the globe.

Step – 13

Go back to the SSLForFree tab, scroll down to 3rd instruction and you will see 2 links as shown in the image below.

Now, click on each link to verify the DNS TXT record from SSLForFree website.

As you will click on each link, you will see TXT Record Found message as shown in the below image.

On clicking the second link, you will see a similar TXT Record Found message.

Step – 14

Go back to SSLForFree tab, scroll down and you will see a ‘Download SSL Certificate’ button.

Step – 15

As you click on the ‘Download SSL Certificate’ button, your free SSL certificate will get generated as shown below.

As you scroll down, you will see 3 separate keys titled ‘Certificate’, ‘Private Key’, and ‘CA Bundle’.

Now, go back to your GoDaddy, open ‘My Products’ page.

Next, go to your ‘Web Hosting’ list and find and click on ‘Manage’ button.

Step – 16

As you click on the button, you’ll be redirected to the ‘Dashboard’ of your Web Hosting.

Now, click on Cpanel Admin as highlighted in the image below.

Click on ‘Cpanel Admin’ to move forward.

Step – 17

As you will click on the button, a new browser tab will open and you will be redirected to the Cpanel Admin Dashboard page as shown below.

Now, scroll down to ‘Security’ section and click on SSL/TLS as shown in the image below.

Step – 18

Once you click on SSL/TLS, find ‘Install and Manage SSL for your site (HTTPS)’, and click on ‘Manage SSL Sites’ as shown below.

Step – 19

In the next screen, scroll down and select your website domain from the dropdown list.

Step – 20

Go back to SSLForFree tab in your browser, and copy ‘Certificate’ value.

Now, paste the copied value in the GoDaddy tab.

As you paste the value, you will see your domain name below the text field with issuer name, key size, and expiration date.

Now lastly, click on Autofill by Certificate to move forward.

Step – 21

As you click on the Autofill button, you will see that the value of Certificate Authority Bundle is filled automatically.

The only thing remains is the Private Key.

So, go back to SSLForFree tab and copy the value of Private Key.

Next, go back to your Godaddy page and paste it in the blank Private Key text field.

Once you have pasted Private Key in Godaddy page, scroll down, and click on ‘Install Certificate’ button.

As you click on the Install Certificate, it will take a few seconds to install, and after that, you will be prompted with a pop-up message as shown below.

Congratulations!

You have successfully installed free SSL certificate on your website.

Now, before you go, one thing you need to remember is that the free SSL certificate expires every 90 days. Or, you can also create an account on SSLForFree to get a reminder via email.

So, bookmark this post and keep updating the SSL Certificate every 90 days.

Concluding Thoughts…

I hope that this detailed, step-by-step instructions will help you learn how to get free SSL certificate for your website.

In case, you’ve any questions to ask or just want to say Hi!, please feel free to do so in the comment section below.

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