Google is stepping up against websites using the traditional, insecure HTTP connections and are marking websites not using a secure connection (HTTPS) as unsafe in Google Chrome. This, of course, has a negative impact on all websites out there and lately every webmaster and blog owner went crazy trying to get SSL / HTTPS integrated for their website.
For the large companies out there, as well as the tech savvy blog owners, this is nothing more than just an annoyance and some extra work. But for most people, this is purely impossible. Switching from plain ol’ HTTP to HTTPS is actually extremely complicated and in most cases, expensive.
Fortunately, many hosting companies out there offer some sort of free SSL certificate for website owners. Unfortunately, actually using them is extremely difficult as the process of switching to HTTPS is complicated and not straightforward. But I am here to recommend the best hosting company for free and easy HTTPS / SSL integration.
I am talking about Dreamhost (sign up now if you haven’t and get a $25 discount on Shared hosting!)
Unlike many hosting companies out there – at least at the moment of writing this article – Dreamhost makes it extremely easy to implement a free SSL Certificate from Let’s Encrypt and switch to HTTPS easily. Most of the process is done by clicking some buttons on their website, while the more technical part is described in depth in their own tutorials.
The best part is that price-wise, the company is not more expensive than your regular hosting companies out there and their shared hosting is pretty decent (just like their other options suitable for handling more traffic are just as great) – I know this from my own experience as I’ve been with them for 9 years now.
Back to the best hosting company for free & easy HTTPS integration, here is how a Dreamhost customer would switch over to a secure connection:
1. First, you’ll go to your Dreamhost account and select the Secure Hosting option. From there, you will click on the Free Let’s Encrypt button:
2. Select the domain you’d like to switch from HTTP to HTTPS and hit the “add now” button. In just a few minutes, you’ll have the secure connection activated.
3. Now log in to your WordPress website and go to Settings – General. Change the WordPress address and Site address URLs to HTTPS:
4. You will then have to update your wp-config file and install a free WordPress plugin to make all your existing content switch to HTTPS (if you are installing a new WordPress website, it’s even easier!). Dreamhost has an article on how to do that here.
5. Finally, using the same method to connect to your files, you will have to edit the .htaccess file in order to force switching from HTTP to HTTPS. You basically have to paste in a few lines and Dreamhost has the complete guide here.
These last two steps might discourage you a little bit, but you will see that it’s extremely easy to go through them and make the changes. It’s also a lot more easier than going through the entire process manually or without the guides – like other big name hosting companies out there are challenging you to do.
Now, following the steps mentioned above, you have switched to HTTPS and the warnings from the internet browsers won’t scare your site’s visitors away. All done quickly and for free!
If you are not a Dreamhost customer, you can sign up now by clicking here and you’ll also get a $25 discount to your Shared hosting bill. Pretty sweet I think – and trust me when I say that you will be extremely satisfied!