When you install SSL on your website, it encrypts the connection between your server and the visitor’s browser. This makes it more difficult for hackers to intercept any information being transmitted between the two. However, buying an SSL certificate can be expensive, and the installation process can be complicated. Cloudflare Free SSL is a great solution for website owners who want to secure their website without incurring extra costs or technical headaches.
2. What is Cloudflare Free SSL?
Cloudflare is a content delivery network (CDN) that provides a variety of services to website owners, including DDoS protection, website optimization, and security. Cloudflare Free SSL is a service offered by Cloudflare that provides free SSL certificates to website owners.
3. Benefits of Cloudflare Free SSL
The benefits of using Cloudflare Free SSL include:
- Cost savings: Unlike other SSL certificates, Cloudflare Free SSL is completely free.
- Easy installation: The installation process is simple and can be completed in a few minutes.
- Increased website security: SSL encryption protects your website visitors’ information and helps to prevent attacks like man-in-the-middle attacks and phishing attacks.
- Improved website performance: Cloudflare is a content delivery network that can help to speed up your website by caching content and serving it from servers closer to your visitors.
4. Pre-requisites for installing Cloudflare Free SSL
Before you start the installation process, make sure you have the following:
- A domain name
- Access to your domain name’s DNS settings
- An active Cloudflare account
5. Step-by-Step Guide to Install Cloudflare Free SSL
Step 1: Create a Cloudflare account
If you don’t already have a Cloudflare account, go to www.cloudflare.com and sign up for a free account.
Step 2: Add your website to Cloudflare
Once you have a Cloudflare account, you can add your website by following these steps:
Click on the “Add a site” button.
Enter your website’s URL.
Click on the “Add Site” button.
Step 3: Change your domain name servers
After adding your website to Cloudflare, you need to change your domain name servers to Cloudflare’s name servers. This is how Cloudflare will be able to manage your website’s traffic and provide the SSL certificate.
- Cloudflare will provide you with two name servers. Take note of these name servers.
- Log in to your domain registrar’s website and navigate to the DNS settings for your domain.
- Replace your current name servers with the ones provided by Cloudflare.
- Save the changes.
Step 4: Configure SSL settings
After changing your name servers, you need to configure your SSL settings. Here’s how:
- Log in to your Cloudflare account and navigate to the “SSL/TLS” section.
- Choose the SSL/TLS encryption mode that you want to use. You can choose from Flexible, Full, and Full (strict) modes.
- Wait for the SSL certificate to be provisioned. This can take up to 24 hours.
- Once the SSL certificate has been provisioned, make sure that the “Always use HTTPS” setting is turned on. This will ensure that all traffic to your website is encrypted.
6. Verify SSL Certificate
After completing the installation process, you need to verify that your SSL certificate is working correctly. You can do this by visiting your website and looking for the padlock icon in the address bar. If the padlock is green, it means that your SSL certificate is valid and working correctly.
7. Troubleshooting Common Issues
If you’re having issues with your Cloudflare Free SSL installation, here are a few things to check:
- Make sure that your domain name servers have been changed to Cloudflare’s name servers.
- Make sure that your SSL/TLS encryption mode is set correctly.
- Make sure that the “Always use HTTPS” setting is turned on.
- Check that your SSL certificate has been provisioned. This can take up to 24 hours.
If you’re still having issues, you can contact Cloudflare’s support team for assistance.
Do I need technical expertise to install Cloudflare Free SSL?
No, the installation process is straightforward and can be completed by anyone.
Is Cloudflare Free SSL really free?
Yes, Cloudflare Free SSL is completely free.
How long does it take for the SSL certificate to be provisioned?
The SSL certificate can take up to 24 hours to be provisioned.
Do I need to renew my Cloudflare Free SSL certificate?
No, Cloudflare Free SSL certificates are valid for an unlimited period.
Can I use Cloudflare Free SSL with any website?
Yes, Cloudflare Free SSL can be used with any website that uses Cloudflare’s services.
9. Wrapping up
Securing your website with SSL encryption is important for protecting your website visitors’ information and building trust. Cloudflare Free SSL offers an easy and cost-effective way to secure your website without the need for technical expertise. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can install Cloudflare Free SSL and have a secure website in no time.