Encryption on the web has been a hot-button issue lately, one that deserves all the attention its received. Anyone even remotely tech savvy understands just how important and vital encryption is for the safety of not only individual web users but for the Internet ecoystem as a whole. It should come as no surprise that we’re huge proponents of encryption as part of our hosting environment/platform, and that’s why we’re now offering free SSL certificates as part of the Let’s Encrypt program. All customers are immediately eligible to install a free and trusted SSL certificate on their account.
What is the Let’s Encrypt Project?
Let’s Encrypt is a Linux Foundation project / joint collaboration backed by some of the biggest names on the web and in technology to, in essence, encrypt the entire web. Not only that, but they want to make it easy for even the least tech savvy individuals to get an SSL certificate on their websites. Companies like Mozilla, Google, Akamai, Cisco, Facebook, and others have put their weight behind the project to grant it not only legitimacy but the resources required to actually make it work. You may be asking, why is it important who is behind the project? First off, it’s not easy to become a certificate authority, especially one that is trusted by your browser. Secondly, having the likes of Google and Mozilla putting their name behind this project grants it immediate credibility and lets even the average end-user believe in what Let’s Encrypt is all about.
By installing a free SSL certificate issued by Let’s Encrypt you’ll automatically start encrypting all traffic destined for your website with a click of a button. The common thinking for years has been that only sensitive data (shopping carts/checkouts, payment forms, personal information, etc) needs to be encrypted. While this is still partially true, as the nature of the internet shifts and more people begin putting their entire lives online it’s crucial that nothing be left to chance. This is where we, as a hosting provider, have a responsibility to support these important projects and enable our customers to participate as easily as possible.
How do I get my certificate?
Great question! Good news though, it’s pretty simple! So simple in fact we can cover it right here. All you need to do is login to cPanel and search for the ‘Let’s Encrypt’ interface:
Now you’ll be asked if you want any alternate names covered (IE: www.yourdomain.com). Select the ones you want to be covered under the SSL certificate and issue the certificate:
Tada! Now you can view the SSL certificate and other related information:
What else should I know?
First off, these SSL certificates can be installed on any shared, reseller, or semi-dedicated hosting plan.These certificates are completely valid, trusted, and offer the same level of encryption and protection as any other SSL certificate you may purchase from another certificate authority. Of course there are still added benefits to higher-level certs, but for a hobbyist or someone who just wants that extra layer of site protection, Let’s Encrypt is perfect for you. Past that, these certificates expire every three months. However as long as the domain(s) you’ve installed your certs on are still pointed to our servers they’ll be automatically renewed. If you need more information on the differences between a standard SSL certificate and what Let’s Encrypt provides please contact us – we’ll be more than happy to explain everything!
So with those caveats aside, you’re still getting a full-fledged SSL certificate completely for free. That’s a pretty slick deal!