With data breaches taking place on a large scale, daily, it is vital that you take steps to keep your website secure. One of the best things you can do to safeguard your site is to obtain an Https Certificate.
Even if you are a small business with no or less fund to invest in your website security, you can still avail the cheapest SSL certificate to protect the data. Moreover, there are plenty of other benefits in migrating your site from HTTP to HTTPS, including SEO boost and gaining the trust of your users.
This article will discuss how to obtain an HTTPS certificate on your website.
But before you install an HTTPS certificate for your website, you need to consider a few things:
Make Sure Your Web Server Has a Fixed, Dedicated IP AddressYour web server should have a fixed, dedicated IP address.
Don’t have a plan with a dedicated IP? Ask your present web host. They can upgrade your account after you pay a fee so that you have a dedicated IP address.
Types of SSL CertificatesThere are three types of SSL certificates- Domain Validated (DV), Organizational Validated (OV), and Extended Validated (EV). You can acquire them by paying an SSL provider.
Typically, you will get a DV certificate within a few minutes. However, if you apply for OV certificates, you will have to wait for a few days upon submitting all the documents. EV certificate takes 4-5 days for the validation to take place as it carries the highest validation and requires third party database verification along with domain and business registration verification.
However, note that how quickly you get your certificate is not only dependent on what type of certificate you get but also which certificate provider you get it from.
Choose SSL Provider:Multiple SSL providers as well certificate authorities are there in SSL industry but to choose one of them needs few checks. You should check of course price, type of SSL, customer support, feedback if any, ongoing discount, etc.
After reviewing the discussed checks, you need to select the product as per your business requirement and pay the price. Once you have SSL certificate, you need to configure it with the help of SSL provider.
Configure SSL:For configuration, you will be requested to generate CSR from the server on which you wish to install SSL certificate. CSR generation process will be different depending upon the server type like cPanel, IIS, Apache, etc. Once you have CSR, the private key will also be generated along with it that you need to save it in notepad on server/desktop.
After that you need to provide CSR to SSL provider and complete the process of configuration including domain validation or any validation type you selected with the SSL certificate.
When the configuration process is completed, the certificate authority will send you a zip file attached in email. It should have main certificate and CA Bundle that you need to install on the server to enable SSL on your website. Below is an example of SSL installation on cPanel is given for your reference.
Finally, Activate and Install SSL CertificateIf you are using a third-party SSL Certificate, you can follow these steps to activate it.
- Go to Security in cPanel and click on SSL/TLS.
- Find Install and Manage SSL for your site (HTTPS) and click on Manage SSL sites.
- Now, under Install an SSL Website, click on Browse Certificates.
- Pick the SSL certificate you want to activate and click Browse Certificate.
- You will see the encrypted certificate in the Certificate (CRT) text box.
- In case you generate the private key in cPanel, it will be automatically added to the Private Key (KEY) text box. When activating a pre-existing SSL certificate, paste the certificate’s private key here and don’t forget to include the beginning and ending lines.
- Go to the Certificate Authority Bundle (CABUNDLE) text field and paste the CA (Certificate Authority) Bundle into it.
- Next, click Install Certificate. You will be confirmed that the SSL certificate has been installed successfully. Now the website will be accessible via https://yourdomain.com. You will also find that your secured website is added to the Manage Installed SSL Websites table.
Should you protect all your pages?It isn’t necessary to protect all your pages. Protecting pages such as your login or cart checkout will do. If you enable HTTPS on pages where there is sensitive data, it will be just a waste of encryption processing, and it will slow down your site.
Here are two methods to follow once you identify the target pages:
- Update all links in such a way to ensure that all target pages use HTTPS-secure links. For instance, if there’s a link to your blog page on your home page, update that link to enable the link that is secured by HTTPS.
- You can also follow a different server-side approach. You can mod-rewrite. You don’t have to change any of your website files, but you must modify your apache configuration. For instance:
What If The Features Break When You Switch Over To SSL?Whilst your website might be functioning well, if you’re utilizing a CDN service to serve your images from several servers, some features will break when you migrate to SSL.
Many large websites use CDN service to speed up image load times. The images appear broken because your CDN is still serving images via HTTP protocol whilst users access your site via HTTPS.
If you are facing this problem, log into your CDN account, find SSL settings, and add a new SSL entry. It will be possible to paste the same certificate, key, and CA bundle in those fields.
Save this entry for all images on your site to load via HTTPS protocol properly for all your guests.
Note:HTTPS ensures that all data sent to and from your server is automatically encrypted. However, it doesn’t imply that information on your server is secure. It is for you to decide whether you keep that data safe by database encryption.
Winding-UpMore and more webmasters are migrating their site from HTTP to HTTPS, considering the huge benefits and security that comes along with it. There are many options available for you to get it without spending much.
You can choose the cheapest SSL certificate and still boost your site’s security while gaining the user’s trust. However, you will want to make sure that the certificate you get is suitable for the type of website you own.
Make sure to follow the guide above to obtain an HTTPS certificate on your website and install it.
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