Why we should use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) for our websites ?. A primary reason why we should use SSL is to always keep many sensitive and secret information sent through the internet encrypted. With SSL, our password credentials also will be protected from being stolen by creating a secure login page.
In order to setup or install SSL on our cPanel hosting, we need first, an SSL certificate which can be purchased from SSL provider. Many hosting companies provide paid SSL certificate with a 1-year expiration date. But for cost reasons, you may use free SSL certificate. One of the SSL providers which offer free SSL certificate is SSLforfree.com. You will never pay for SSL anymore. Their free SSL certificates are also trusted in 99.9% of all major browsers.
Steps on how to get a free SSL certificate can be described at the following explanation :
- Go to https://www.sslforfree.com/.
- Enter your website URL which wants to be installed with SSL certificate. Click “Create Free SSL Certificate” for next step, ie domain verification.
- SSLforfree.com provides 3 (three) different methods in domain verification, ie. : Automatic FTP Verification, Manual Verification, and Manual Verification (DNS). This step will prevent other people from getting an SSL certificate for your domain. In my case, I choose “Manual Verification” method in getting SSL certificate from SSLforfree.com.
3a. Click “Manually Verification Domain” to download a free SSL certificate.
3b. Download the verification files by clicking 2 (two) links appear on your PC screen (Download File #1 and Download File #2).
- Go to your cPanel of your domain account.
- Create a new folder in public_html directory : “.well-known” (if it doesn’t already exist). May the existing “well-known” folder is hidden, so you should see all the hidden files. Click “Settings” and check “Show Hidden Files (dotfiles) in the Preferences dialog box. Click “Save” and now you may see the directory named “.well-known”. Under this folder, the “acme-challenge” folder may also exist (create it if it doesn’t already exist).
- Upload the two above downloaded files to the “acme-challenge” folder.
- Try to access the links appears in SSLforfree.com in your browser. You will see the random alphanumeric characters under your browser (if the files don’t show it, then ensure that you already uploaded the respective files in the correct place).
- After successfully upload verification files, click “Download SSL Certificate” at the bottom of the SSLforfree page. This may take a minute for generating SSL certificate. A new message will display “Certificate Successfully Generated”.
- Click “Download All SSL Certificate Files”. Shortly, a zipped file will be stored on your PC. Also enter your email account to get notified before your SSL certificate expires after 90 days (you should regenerate SSL certificate before the expiry date, otherwise, your website might stop working).
- Now, login back to your cPanel account to install SSL certificate.
- Click “SSL/TLS” in the Security section.
- Choose “Install and Manage SSL for your site (HTTPS)” and start to copy-paste the code obtained directly from SSLforfree page to the box in your cPanel : Private Keys (KEY), Certificate Signing Requests (CSR), and certificates (CRT).
- Another way is uploading the .crt file. After pasting, click “Save Certificate”. A new message will appear to inform us that the certificate for the domain “www.yourdomain.com” has been saved.
- Back to SSL/TLS Manager, and now, choose “Install and Manage SSL for your site (HTTPS)”.
- Install SSL certificate for selected domain by clicking “Autofill by domain”.
- Scroll down your screen and start to install SSL by clicking “Install Certificate”.
- A successful message will appear to inform us that SSL Certificate Successfully Updated. Click “OK” to reload the page.
- Finally, your website now appears in “https” prefix when accessed by your browser.