How to install Let’s Encrypt Free SSL on cPanel website?

Install let's encrypt on cpanel website

The reader of this tutorial can understand most of the things about encryption, SSL and Let’s Encrypt Free SSL before he completes reading this tutorial. Hence, at the end of this tutorial you can select the type of certificate which matches for your website.


Let’s discuss each topic briefly.


Encryption:


Encryption is nothing but rolling the information to encode form which can be view by the authorized person. First of all, each encryption uses algorithms. The conversion process of information to some other form is known as ciphertext. You can refer the below URL for more information about Encryption.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encryption

Process of Encryption

Why SSL Certificate’s used for ?

Secured Socket Layer (SSL) is used for securing data transmission through encryption from the server to browsers. The SSL certificate’s job is to initiate secure sessions with the user’s browser via the secure sockets layer (SSL) protocol. You cannot establish secure sessions without the SSL certificate, which uses public and private keys.

Any organization or an individual who engages in an e-commerce/commercial transactions must have an SSL certificate on their website to ensure the safety of customer and company information, as well as the security of financial transactions. SSL Certificates will be issued by a reliable Certificate Authorities (CA). You can refer the below image to understand better how SSL certificate will work, also I will explain how it works.

Process between your computer and sever

How SSL certificate works?

  1. Either a browser nor a server attempts to connect to a Website. Web server is secured with SSL.
  2. A Browser will be sending a copy of its SSL certificate.
  3. The browser/server checks for a trusted SSL certificate. As a result, it sends a message to the Web server.
  4. Finally, the web server sends back a digitally signed acknowledgment to start an SSL encrypted session.
  5. Encrypted data is shared between the browser/server and the Web server.

There are many benefits of using SSL Certificates.

  • Google giving importance to websites with SSL.
  • Create safer experiences for your customers.
  • Build customer trust and improve conversions.
  • Encrypt browser-to-server and server-to-server communication.
  • Increase security of your mobile and cloud apps.

What is Let’s Encrypt Free SSL?

Free SSL for everyone

Let’s encrypt Free SSL, the word itself represents that it is all about encryption. Let’s Encrypt Free SSL is a free, automate, and open certificate authority (CA), run for the public’s benefit. It allows you to get browser-trust certificates for your domains at no cost that renew automatically every 90 days.

There are no difficult configurations, no validation emails and you can install multiple certificates on your hosting accounts, for each domain and subdomain you choose with Let's Encrypt Free SSL. The certificates are domain-validate and don’t require a dedicated IP. All popular browsers support Let’s Encrypt Free SSL.

How Let's Encrypt works

The basics of Let’s Encrypt Free SSL

  • Domain name owners can obtain valid certificates for their sites for free of charge.
  • Through the interaction with the CA, server software can obtain a certificate, securely configure it and automatically manage renewal.
  • Let’s Encrypt Free SSL is designed to serve as a platform for promoting TLS (Transport Layer Security) best practices.
  • Information about all certificates issued or revoked will be made publicly available.
  • The ACME protocol will also be made publicly available as an open standard.

Let's Encrypt Free SSL is layout to simplify the acquisition of SSL/TLS digital certificates improving a site’s authenticity and at the same time providing encryption on all cPanel hosting users. It will automatically renew at the end of expiry and also help reduce page errors due to out of date certificates. With a simple click (or command methods), HTTPS security can install for any site.

Limitations

  1. Let’s Encrypt Free SSL should be enabled for cPanel hosting users and it can be done only in batches. It allows only 20 certificates per week.
  2. It should only grab an SSL for users which do not have one.
  3. No API usage is required on your end to utilize the plugin.
  4. The only things which should be happening are that an SSL certificate is fetched and installed for domains automatically on enabling Let's Encrypt Free SSL from your cpanel. No verifications/validations required.
  5. In this shared hosting environment SSL will be fetched on a Virtual Host basis. A cpanel user with a couple of addon domains in his cpanel can install three SSL's in total.
  6. Let’s Encrypt Free SSL will be renewed only for 90 days when it was installed on a domain. It will be renewed automatically at the end of its expiry date.

How to install Let’s Encrypt in cPanel ?

To install Let’s Encrypt Free SSL certificate, login to your cPanel, go to Security tab and click on Let’s Encrypt Free SSL for cPanel plugin. It takes you to another window where you need to click on “issue”, It will issue a new certificate for the domain you selected.

cPanel plugin for Let's Encrypt

You can check from the below panel, how it looks before issuing a Let's Encrypt Free SSL.

cPanel page to issue Let's Encrypt

You can check the options to manage, remove, re-install and see the certificate after installing the certificate on your domain. To have a better idea you can see the below image.

Different options for installing/removing Let's Encrypt from cpanel

Let us discuss the difference between commercial certificates and Let’s Encrypt Free SSL certificates.

Commercial certificates Vs Let's Encrypt Free SSL

About Commercial SSL Certificate
There are different SSL providers
  • Commercial SSL Certificates are offered by a trusted CA like Comodo, GeoTrust etc that provide all types of SSL including Domain Validation, Organization validation, EV SSL, wildcard or multi-domain SSL.
  • One can also claim for warranty in case of misuse or data breach.
  • The websites that have online transactions will be more secured, if it is installed with commercial SSL certificates.
  • These certificates can be renewed for 39 months directly, so no need to worry about the renewals all the time.
  • Comes with trust seal or site seal.
  • Every SSL comes with a warranty.

Let’s Encrypt Free SSL

Let's Encrypt it is Free
  • Let's Encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority that offer Free SSL Certificate for 90 days and then you can renew it from your cPanel.
  • Currently, it provides only domain validated SSL Certificate’s which is not an ideal solution for large or e-commerce website.
  • Let's Encrypt Free SSL is one of the best option for static websites.
  • No warranty will be offered for the misuse or data breach.

Tip

For website's with e-commerce business, I suggest  using commercial SSL is the better idea. If not, Let’s Encrypt  Free SSL will be the better option for your personal websites or blogs.

Conclusion

Every technology had its own advantages and disadvantages. So, you should analyze your requirements and decide how the SSL will be used for a particular website.

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