12 November 2019

HTTPS and SSL, options?

In today’s day and age, there is no reason why your website should not be serving up it’s content securely. Honestly, the only acceptable reason is if you have just spun up your website and you are still configuring it.

As far as obtaining an SSL certificate to make your site secure, you have two options, free or paid. There is really only one free provider, which I’ll cover below. For paid, there are lots of Certificate Authority vendors out there, and I’m sure that any one of them would likely be happy to take your money. I’ll mention my preferred vendor later.

The one free option that definitely stands out for doing it’s part to help secure the internet. That provider is, Let’s Encrypt. Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, and open Certificate Authority. They do this to help the Internet be a more secure and privacy respecting Web. You can read more about them here.

The best part of Let’s Encrypt is it’s automated nature. No one enjoys replacing certificates, so having an automated process to renew and replace your certificate is like a dream. If your running your own server, check out their certbot. A lot of web hosting companies even streamline this process further by providing this option as an easy and simple solution directly thru their management consoles with only a few clicks.

If you are using AWS and running Bitnami as your server’s underlying operating system, then you are in luck. There is lots of documentation you can read up on. This link talks about how to generate and install your Let’s Encrypt ssl, where as this link about how to auto configure a Let’s Encrypt ssl. I’m not going to in to Let’s Encrypt much further than that though.

The other option is to pay for a ssl certificate. The company that I personally use and recommend for purchasing SSL certificates through is SSLs.com. The site and service is owned by Sectigo (Comodo was re-branded), which is arguably one of the largest and most well known Certificate Authorities out there. My favorite part of using SSLs.com though is their pricing. They have, hands down, the cheapest price for a SSL certificate anywhere. At the time of me writing this, you could get an SSL certificate for a single domain for $6.88 for a single year, or down to as low as $3.77/yr if you bought it for four years.