When you add an SSL certificate to your domain, you can use the HTTPS protocol to access it over a secure connection. This encrypts data sent back and forth between a visitor’s web browser and your website, ensuring that all information is safe and secure.
Why add an SSL certificate to my domain?
Avoiding browser warnings
Because current web browsers (such as Chrome) display a ‘Not Secure’ message if a certificate is not installed when a site is visited, all sites should now employ an SSL certificate.
Google Chrome displays a Not Secure warning.
As more browsers demand SSL certificates to see your site, it’s advised that you at the very least add a free ‘Let’s Encrypt’ certificate to your site.
Adding a Let’s Encrypt certificate for free
Sectigo is listed as the certificate authority on any Comodo certificate issued after January 2019, while Comodo is listed on any certificate issued before that date. Both names are used to refer to the same business.
SSL certificates are most commonly associated with eCommerce websites that sell products or services over the Internet. When performing a transaction on a website, the SSL certificate is required to secure the privacy of a visitor’s/transfer customer’s of personal, private, financial, or billing (credit card) information. Only a purchased Sectigo certificate is recommended for these types of sites.
how can I get an SSL certificate that is signed by a professional?
Search ranking boost
If your site has an SSL certificate, search engines like Google will give it a minor boost in rankings.
What are the different types of certificates?
The method SSL certificates are validated is different. Consider the following scenario:
DV is a fictional character (Domain validation)
OVV (Organization validation)
EV is an acronym for “electric vehicle” (Extended validation)
For additional detail on these discrepancies, see the following article:
SSL certificates come in various forms.
Adding an SSL certificate to your domain
For an overview of how to add alternative SSL certificates to your domain, see the following article:
Overview of adding an SSL certificate
Continually renewing your SSL certificate
All SSL certificates have an expiration date. A purchased Sectigo certificate, for example, is valid for one year after purchase. To keep your site safe, you must renew it at the end of the year.
Let’s Encrypt certificates expire every three months, although they’re set to auto-renew on the GreggHost panel.
It’s critical to maintain your certificate active and never let it expire, regardless of the type.
Considerations and caveats
Before purchasing an SSL certificate, you should be aware of the following points.
HTTPS is required by default for.dev and.app domains.
Google owns the.dev and.app domains, respectively. .dev and.app domains need HTTPS by default as part of Google’s initiative to secure website connections.
Certificates with wildcard characters
Wildcard-type (*.example.com) SSL certificates are not supported by the SSL certificates DreamHost offers through Sectigo or Let’s Encrypt. This means that each domain/subdomain on which Secure Hosting is installed needs its own SSL certificate.
Please keep in mind that if you try to add your own Wildcard certificate, technical support will not be able to help you with any difficulties that may arise.
By default, traffic is not encrypted.
Because a visitor can still connect to your site over http, adding an SSL certificate to your domain does not automatically encrypt all connections.
If you browse to http://example.com, for example, your traffic is not encrypted. Any directory under that domain that you access using HTTP in the URL is not encrypted. If you use HTTPS://example.com, your traffic and any directories you access are both encrypted.
The S in HTTPS should be noted. The S indicates that the URL is secure.
You’ll need to add a configuration file to your site to encrypt all traffic. This will force all connections to utilize https as the only method of communication. For instructions on how to force your site to utilize HTTPS for all connections, see the following article:
How to force a redirect to https on your website (SSL)
For WordPress sites, there are a few extra procedures. If your website is powered by WordPress, instead read this:
What is the best way to use an SSL certificate with WordPress?
Is it necessary to have a unique IP address in order to use an SSL certificate?
No. Unique IPs were required in the past for earlier browsers that did not support Server Name Indication (SNI), but this is no longer the case. Please visit this SNI article for further information.