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Free SSL For Life Using Cloudflare | Cloudflare Free SSL/TLS | ssl certificate for website

Can I get free SSL certificate from Cloudflare?
Does Cloudflare provide free SSL for lifetime?
Does Cloudflare have SSL certificate?
How to generate free SSL certificate?

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How to setup Full SSL with Cloudflare - HTTPS and SSL

Does Cloudflare give free SSL?
Cloudflare offers free SSL/TLS encryption and was the first company to do so, launching Universal SSL in September 2014. The free version of SSL shares SSL certificates among multiple customer domains. Cloudflare also offers customized SSL certificates for enterprise customers.

Adding a free SSL certificate to your site with Cloudflare

you may not need to take any direct action at all, assuming your host will present a “self-signed” certificate for SSL traffic. This is a default certificate that exists on most web servers in some form, and normally it would show a “Can’t verify certificate” error in your browser. The great thing about using Cloudflare is that it presents the verified Cloudflare certificate to the end user, allowing you to use the self-signed certificate on your web server (thus saving you the cost of a formal, verified certificate). The key here is that the encryption is the same whether your certificate is self-signed or verified by an external certificate authority. You save the cost and complexity of verifying and installing your own certificate, since most servers have a self-signed one by default (or your host can easily set this up via a support request).

How to Get Free SSL Certificates from CloudFlare?

The last important point: you’ll need to make sure you are not running into “mixed content” errors, which occur when you attempt to load an insecure file, such as an image, JavaScript or CSS file, on an otherwise secure page. If your browser bar isn’t showing a “secure” symbol, check your browser error console to see what the culprits are. Usually this is a result of a reference to off-site file where you have “http://” hard-coded in the URL. This needs to change to “https://” or “://” (the latter will pick up whichever protocol is in use by the current page).

Here are the best ways to fix mixed content issues:

Change your WordPress URL  and Site URL at Settings > General to use https://.
Try a Force SSL WordPress plugin. There are a few, and some behave differently with different hosts, so you’ll need to experiment.
If URLs are hard-coded in your theme, you’ll need to edit your theme files directly to change them.
If you continue to have issues, contact your host. They’ll either be able to change settings for you or help you make a change to your .htaccess file to do a better job of forcing SSL on all requests.

Free SSL vs. Paid SSL. What Is the Difference?

Free certificates are appealing and suitable in certain situations. But there’s a reason so many commercial CAs are on the market, offering all kinds of paid SSL certificates – they are more flexible and trustworthy. Below, we’ve listed the main SSL features and how they work on free and paid certs.

1. Encryption
In terms of encryption, there’s no difference between free SSL and paid SSL. Both versions use the latest cryptographic protocols and technologies to ensure no attacker intercepts sensitive data transmitted between browsers and servers. 

Free certificates like Let’s Encrypt, Amazon, and Cloudflare and commercial brands like Sectigo, DigiCert, and Thawte use the SHA-256 algorithms and TLS 1.2, 1.3 protocols. SSL Certificates provided by Let’s Encrypt are RSA-signed using 2048-bit RSA keys, which you can easily upgrade to 4096-bit RSA keys. At the same time, the free SSL certificates offered by Cloudflare and Amazon come with the standard 2048-bit RSA keys for asymmetric encryption. 

2. Validation
Encryption is only a part of the SSL certificate core functions. Another critical aspect is identity verification through various validation methods, and here’s where paid SSL certificates excel.

SSL validation verifies the authenticity and integrity of an SSL certificate used by a website. It ensures that the certificate is issued by a trusted Certificate Authority and that the website’s identity matches the information in the certificate. SSL validation helps establish secure encrypted connections between users and websites, protecting sensitive information from unauthorized access or tampering.

Free SSL certificates support Domain Validation (DV) only. They can confirm that the applicant requesting the certificate controls the domain they intend to secure but can’t run more checks to establish the legal identity of the certificate requester. You can get a free DV cert in less than five minutes.

On the other hand, paid SSL certificates, besides Domain Validation, also offer Organization Validation (OV) and Extended Validation (EV) options. BV and EV certs verify business legitimacy and provide the highest assurance that the website is genuine. The only downside of such certs is the validation process itself, which requires additional documentation and takes between 1 to 3 business days. 

3. Website Size
A free SSL certificate is suitable for entry-level websites or businesses that don’t process online payments. You can secure personal sites, blogs, online portfolios, and informational portals with a free certificate without facing any security or compliance issues.

Commercial BV and EV certificates are the usual choices for e-commerce platforms, non-profits, enterprises, fintech startups, and financial institutions operating in highly regulated industries and need a higher customer trust to remain competitive. Generally, a larger and more complex website will opt for a paid certificate, while smaller sites with static content and no payment gateways may choose a free SSL option.

4. Customer Support
Certificate Authorities and companies that offer SSL Certificates for free, or include them among other services, are less likely to respond promptly to your support requests. Quickly solving the issue is crucial for your website’s security because waiting for a solution for too long can significantly damage your website and business. When you buy an SSL certificate from the CA directly or from an SSL Vendor like SSL Dragon (the best and cheaper option), you also get dedicated support around the clock for any potential problem you may face during certificate order or configuration.

5. Geo-Restrictions
The free SSL Certificates provided by Amazon may not be available for your region. This is a significant inconvenience for companies activating outside those areas. Also, these free SSL Certificates can be installed only by Amazon customers who use Elastic Load Balancers and Amazon CloudFront, which makes it impossible to install them if you are using another hosting company.

When you get a paid SSL certificate from any CA, you can install it almost anywhere in the world. If you’re able to buy it in your jurisdiction, you’ll be able to secure your local websites. Commercial CAs may not operate in certain countries due to political and economic reasons. In this case, a free SSL certificate can be a good alternative.

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