How enable https for free – Complete guide on free SSL installation

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Since last few Google search algorithm updates, it seems that the sites with https are getting more priority in SERP. Considering this, most of the bloggers are now migrating their sites to htts:// paying a handsome amount. But paying for the best may not be always the last option when it comes to web security and ranking. There are many free SSL certificate issuing authorities in the market at present, but they are not  well reputed enough to complete the giant CA Comodo SSL. So, what if you could get a Comodo SSL for absolutely free of cost on your site? Read on to know how to install Comodo grade SSL certificate for free of cost. In this article, I’ll explain step by step installation procedure of free Comodo SSL from Cloudflare.

 

Install Comodo SSL for free using Cloudflare in your website:

  • 1. Create an account at Cloudflare.com and complete the preliminary identity verification.
  • 2. Now click on “Add Site” button and follow the on screen instructions to add and migrate your site’s DNS.
  • 3. On successful DNS migration, you’ll be landed on the Overview page as seen below.

Cloudflare landing page

 

  • 4. Now click on the Crypto tab. Choose the SSL mode to Full (Strict). As the site says, “It may take up to 24 hours after the site becomes active on Cloudflare for new certificates to issue”, but you within next 20-30 minutes you can expect the SSL Status to be changed to Active from Pending Authorization. Once all set, the SSL status will be indicating ready for SSL installation on your server. See the below screenshot for your reference.

 

SSL is set to Activate

 

  • 5. Now, scroll down to the Origin Certificates section and click on Create Certificate button.

Origin Certificates

  • 6. Go with the default options, it will generate a Comodo SSL certificate and RSA type private key with a validity of 15 years. Click on the Next button.

 

  • 7. Now, on clicking the Next button, Certificate and RSA Private key will be generated. Now copy the entire texts in Origin Certificate and save in your desktop. File name should be in this format: yourdomain.com.pem (replace yourdomain.com with your domain name and extension). Do the same with the Private key also. Save the private key with this filename: yourdomain.com.key (replace yourdomain.com with your domain name and extension). Scroll down and select your server type. In my case it is Apache httpd.

 

Certificate & Private Key

 

Choose Server Type

 

  • 8. Click on the OK button to click the popup tab and proceed with the installation on your server.

 

How to install SSL Certificate using cPanel:

Most of the bloggers are using cPanel based web hosting, hence I’ll explain step by step procedure to install SSL certificate using cPanel.

Steps:

 

SSL Installation Step 1

 

  • 1. Login to your websites cPanel and navigate to the Security section. Now click on SSL/TLS tab.

 

  • 2. Now, as shown below, click on Generate, view, upload, or delete your private keys. Scroll down and upload the yourdomain.com.key file, that you have saved on your desktop. On successful uploading, go back and Return to SSL Manager.

 

SSL Installation Step 2

 

  • 3. Click on Generate, view, or delete SSL certificate signing requests and fill up the form. Click on Generate and ten return to SSL Manager
  • 4. Now click on Generate, view, upload, or delete SSL certificates and upload the yourdomain.com.pem file from your desktop. Upon successful installation, return to SSL Manager once again.

 

SSL Installation Step 3

 

  • 5. Finally, click on Manage SSL Sites. Scroll down and click on Browse Certificates button. Choose the recently uploaded certificate and click on Use Certificate in the popup window.

 

SSL Installation Step 4

SSL Installation Step 5

 

  • 6. Scroll down till the end of the page and click on Install Certificate button.

 

SSL Installation Step 6

 

  • 7. On successful installation the below popup will be generated. Clock OK to finish installation of SSL on your server.

 

SSL Installation Step 7

 

 

With this step (Step 7) you are done with the server side installation of your SSL Certificate. Now if you visit the https:// version of your site, it will load without any error. As this stage your blog will load on both http and https. So, to load only over https, you can simply add the below lines into your .htaccess file.

 

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !=on
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]</pre

 

Now if you are using WordPress for your blog, then you need to follow below steps to make SSL working seamlessly in your site.

 

 

Enable SSL in WordPress:

To enable https:// in your WordPress blog, Go to the Settings page in Admin Panel. Under Settings go to General and change WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) to https://yourdomain.com [Check below Screenshot]

 

SSL Installation in WordPress 1

 

 

This  will seamlessly enable https to be preferred choice.

 

 

Enable SSL in WordPress Multi Site installation:

WordPress multi site installation does not give the option to change WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) from the Settings >> General page, making it little complex for error free setup. Its often noticed that, after successful installation of SSL, the https:// does not allow site users/admins to login through http://yourdomain.com/wp-login/php page. For Multi Site WordPress installations, we need to change the WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) at the Database level. Read and Follow the below steps carefully to not misconfigure and lock down yourself.

 

  • 1. Open cPanel of your server. Scroll down to Databases section >> Navigate to phpMyAdmin.

 

SSL Installation in WordPress 2

 

  • 2. On phpMyAdmin page, click on Databases >> Navigate to your site Database (e.g. shop_wp244).

 

SSL Installation in WordPress 4

 

  • 3. Scroll down and click on wpem_options (or similar) table. This will open the list of Rows of the data table as shown below (Fig. B).

 

SSL Installation in WordPress 5
Fig. A

 

SSL Installation in WordPress 6
Fig. B

 

  • 4. Edit the first two Rows (viz. siteurl and home) and change the values to https://yourdomain.com . This will enable your site to load using https and eliminate the trouble logging into admin panel after successful installation of SSL.

 

SSL Installation in WordPress 7

 

 

 

Go Back to Cloudflare Cripto:

Now all you need to do is, go to your Cloudflare account and turn on Always Use HTTPS and HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) respectively to fully migrate your site to https.

 

Final Steps in Cloudflare

 

 

Conclusion:

This is all about installing Comodo SSL Certificate for free in association with Cloudflare. If you face any kind of difficulties installing SSL in your server or enabling your site to load over HTTPS, feel free to leave a comment below. I’ll try my level best to find out a resolution for you.


 

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