After Google Chrome’s announcement to show all HTTP sites as Not Secure from July 2018 many bloggers and website owners are trying to move their site from HTTP connection to HTTPS. To enable HTTPS on your website you need an SSL certificate recognizable by almost all modern browsers.
Normally an SSL certificate costs arround $60 per year, also many hosting providers provide SSL for free with their annual hosting plans. So if you have a hosting plan with free SSL included then you need not worry about it because you can anytime activate it and secure your website with HTTPS.
Enabling HTTPS shows a green padlock in the address bar which is enough to convince your customers or users that your website is encrypted and secure to use.
But if your hosting plan does not include SSL feature for free then you have to buy an SSL for your website. But if you are a beginner then spending money for SSL is sometimes not possible.
So you can utilize Let’s Encrypt Free SSL certificates which are easy to generate and free of cost. Here is how you can install Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate with your Shared hosting Service with minimum effort (To successfully install Let’s Encrypt SSL to your shared hosting, your cPanel must have the SSL/TLS manager option under Security section, otherwise you can do it).
Install Let’s Encrypt on Shared Hosting:
The first step of this process is to generate the SSL certificate for your domain. To generate SSL certificate you have to verify that you own this domain and you have full control over it. To do this go to sslforfree.com enter your domain in the box provided (See the picture).
After entering your domain in the box provided you have three different options for verifying your domain ownership. You can go through any one of these.
Verify through Automatic FTP Verification:
Since you are going to install SSL for your shared hosting then you also have FTP login details of your hosting account. So put those details (Hostname, user ID, and password, leave the Port and Directory fields unchanged, these details usually contained in the welcome email from the host provider) correctly in the form provided and your domain ownership will be automatically verified. After that, your certificate will be successfully generated. Download the files to your computer.
Manual Verification by uploading files:
If you haven’t the FTP details or you have any problem with FTP verification then you can verify domain ownership by uploading files to your hosting server. To do this click on Manual Verification and then click on Manually Verify Domain. You have to download the two files provided to you.
After downloading the files go to your cPanel account and click on File Manager. Now you have to create a folder named .well-known and open this folder create another folder here named acme-challenge, usually these two folders already present in within your hosting drive, but if these are not present then you have to create manually.
Now open the acme-challenge folder under .wellknown and upload the two files you have downloaded. Go back to Sslforfree and click Download SSL Certificate.
Manual Verification (DNS):
It’s the third option available to verify your domain ownership. If the above two methods didn’t work for you or you have a problem with hosting credentials or FTP login details then you can verify domain ownership by managing your domain TXT records after going to your Domain management panel where you have registered your domain.
To do so Click on this option i.e., Manual verification (DNS) and login to your domain manager page (DONT CLOSE SSLFORFREE TAB). Go to the DNS manager section. You have to add two TXT records.
Add two TXT records one for naked domain version and other for www version, ser the TTL as low as possible (domain registrars have a limitation on setting the minimum value of TTL, higher the TTL value you have to wait more time to verify) and save the records. Wait for the TTL time you have set and go to SSLforfree TAB again.
Verify ownership by clicking the links given to verify and download your SSL certificate.
Installing the SSL certificate on your Shared Hosting Account:
Go to your cPanel control panel using your login details. Click SSL / TLS Manager under Security Section in cPanel (You must have this option in cPanel otherwise you cant install SSL from your end).
Open Your SSL file downloaded, you have three different files open those files one-by-one and paste in the box provided below under SSL/TLS management page. Select your domain for which you want to install The SSL, and Click Install.
SSL Will be installed on your domain, wait some time and check your website address with https:// if your site loaded with green padlock then SSL is working fine on your site.
Let’s Encrypt SSL is valid for three months only, so, create an account with sslforfree and generate new SSL certificate before your certificate expires unless your visitors will see a red alert when visiting your site if you have an expired SSL certificate, which is more harmful to your SEO and ranking.