In this article, I’m going to show you how to add both an SSL certificate and HTTPS to your blog using Siteground.
If you’re currently using Siteground, great! Keep on reading because this guide will get you set up with HTTPS on your website in just 10 minutes.
However, if you’re not using Siteground, please read my in-depth Siteground review to see if you’d like to make a switch!
What is SSL?
Before we go continue the guide, I’ll teach you a little bit more about SSL certificates and what they’re for.
SSL stands for “secure sockets layer,” and its main goal is to create a secure connection between your readers’/customers’ web browsers and your web servers.
How SSL and HTTPS works?
By securing the connection through encryption, it is able to prevent any interruptions while data is being transferred. An SSL connection is typically used to secure credit card transactions, logins, and other sensitive information. However, even if your blog doesn’t deal with any of that. there are other benefits which will be mentioned later in this article.
Once you activate an SSL certificate on your website, you’ll be able to your website to HTTPS which is the secure version of HTTP. In fact, if you take a look at your address bar right now, you’ll notice that my website is currently using HTTPS. That’s because I have an SSL certificate installed.
Why Should SSL Matter to You?
So now you’re probably wondering why you should even care or spend time on implementing SSL on your blog. Here are a few good reasons why you should use SSL:
Google Values Security
Since Google cares a lot about user experience, it’s a no-brainer that they’d also value security. After all, Google doesn’t want you to display you any potentially dangerous websites in its search results.
Because of that, Google factors SSL connection for page ranking. If your website has SSL connection implemented, your website is more likely to show up higher in the search results compared to sites without SSL implemented.
You Want Your Readers to Feel Secure
Based on what I mentioned earlier about how SSL secures connections, you want to deliver the best possible experience for your readers. You want them to feel that your website is safe to browse without any threats since it’s possible that unintended third parties can interrupt and hurt your reputation.
Your Website Will Seem More Legitimate
This reason is a bit more minor but it definitely does matter! Think of any huge corporation or company and search up their websites. Are they using SSL? Do their links contain HTTPS? Probably!
Since most big companies use SSL, wouldn’t using it on your own website make you feel like your site is more legitimate? Your readers will probably think so as well. It’s the difference between your blog appearing as a reputable blog and a non-reputable blog.
Obtaining Your Free Trusted SSL Certificate
Okay, now let’s cut to the chase. Here’s how to get install a free trusted SSL certificate on your Siteground-hosted website.
First, you want to login to your Siteground account:
Then go to your cPanel (orange button)
Scroll down to the “security” row and click on “Let’s Encrypt.”
Scroll down to “Install new Let’s Encrypt Certificate,” select your domain and type in an email that’s associated with that domain and click install.
Congrats! Now you should see your domain listed in the “Installed Certificates” section. You’ve just installed a free trusted SSL certificate on your website.
Redirecting HTTP to HTTPS
Now that you have your SSL certificate, you must redirect your HTTP links to HTTPS. Fortunately, with Siteground, there’s an extremely easy way to do that!
You just need to install the SG Optimizer plugin which is a plugin that is designed to be used with Siteground-hosted websites only. Download the plugin below:
Plugin | SG Optimizer
After downloading the plugin, go to your WordPress admin panel > plugins > add new > upload to upload your new plugin. Activate it when it’s installed.
You should then see a new button called “SG Optimizer” on your admin panel like the one to the right.
Click on the button and you should see the screen below. Underneath where it says “HTTPS Config,” click on “configure.”
Now click on the toggle switch to force HTTPS on your website. This switch will automatically configure the settings on your site for you so that you don’t have to redirect HTTP to HTTPS yourself.
Voila! Refresh your site and see if it loads with HTTPS now. If it does, you’ve successfully implemented an SSL certificate free.