Hi everyone, this The Skyfallen Editorial Team on this week’s post.
Today we will be on topic of getting a free SSL Certificate for your websites for free no coding required. If you don’t know what an SSL Certificate is or what it does we will be covering it in just a minute. But before starting we would like to announce that we’ve redesigned our website completely to give you a better and a simpler experience. Let us know what do you think about it.
What is an SSL Certificate?
SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. When installed on a web server, it activates the padlock and the https protocol and allows secure connections from a web server to a browser. Typically, SSL is used to secure credit card transactions, data transfer and logins, and more recently is becoming the norm when securing browsing of social media sites.
SSL Certificates bind together:
- A domain name, server name or hostname.
- An organizational identity (i.e. company name) and location.
That’s okay. How are we going to get one exactly?
It is a good question actually. We will be guiding you through all the steps, with pictures and detailed explanation.
So let’s get started. We’ll be using Let’s Encrypt Certificates. These are free SSL Certificates. They actually require some coding but someone has actually put a lot of effort and developed a platform called ShieldSigned and made it completely free to public. (Go to shieldsigned.com→)
Step One: Meeting Requirements
There are some requirements to a free SSL Certificate or any SSL Certificate as you will be doing some administrative work here, so these are the requirements:
- Access to DNS Records or Access to Document Root of Your Domain
- Access to your Web Host’s SSL Settings.
Step Two: Creating an account for ShieldSigned
Go to ShieldSigned and click on sign up on the menu to create an account. It is pretty basic info to notify you when your certificate expires and to give you ability to access all your certificates at a single control panel.
Enter an E-Mail and Password to continue.
Verify your E-Mail and you are all set! Now Login.
Step Three: Issue the Certificate
Now as you are logged in click on create certificate and enter your domain names you want to secure. Seperate them by commas.
You can select DNS if you have access to DNS records or HTTP if you have access to Document Root of your domain.
Step Four: Verifying your domain
Now we will verify our domain ownership. We will only shop DNS since it is a lot better especially while using wildcard or multi-domain. Click go. Now we will add our DNS Record. We will show it generically since it will differ for your DNS Provider. In this case ours is obviously The Skyfallen Productions Company.
Here is the challenge overview:
Now we will go to our DNS Configuration Page and click the button for creating a TXT Record.
Just like that! Now we will wait until ShieldSigned detects DNS Records for our free SSL Certificate. This might take a while especially on shared servers. It was near instant on our case but that might differ on your situation.
While you are waiting let’s learn types of SSL Certificates both free SSL Certificates and paid ones.
Information Corner →
There are three types of SSL Certificates. DV(Domain Validation)-OV(Organization Validation)-EV(Extended Validation) and these have Multi-Domain and Wildcard options.
- Multi Domain: mysite.com anothersite.com
- Wildcard: *.site.com meaning one.site.com two.site.com
- DV: The type we are using really cheap can even have free SSL Certificates offered.. It encrypts data as any other one does without any compromises but only indicates you own the domain.
- OV: Requires document vertification. Indicates that this site is owned by a legit company or person.
- EV: EV also requires documents to verify your identity but it is ditched mostly. It is the type that used to show a green padlock on the address bar. But Google,Safari,Firefox are now traiting them the same as OV. Since OV is the one that is used by most big companies like Facebook,Google.
FYI: A free SSL Certificate does not compromise any of the security benefits.
We’ve used an older version of Safari to get this. Certificate details do not include anything other than ones that are in OV. These are additions of EV to OV
Now back to the certificates that we’re issuing.
Step Five: Download Your Certificate
Now both of our records were indicating valid so we could get our certificate.
The one on top is the certificate with its domain verified and bottom one is one without its domain verified. Now you can get your certificate by clicking download zip.
Step Six: Enjoy Your Certificate!
Now you have your certificate you can install it anywhere you want to install it to. We won’t be showing it sadly because it is able to differ a lot by the technology you are using for your website.