How to Setup Bluehost Free SSL Certificate in Less than 5 Minutes

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How to setup Bluehost Free SSL

Name: Bluehost Free SSL

Description: In this review, you will learn the main functions of SSL certificates and how to quickly set up the Bluehost free SSL certificate.

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Guide on How to Setup Bluehost Free SSL Certificate

Wondering how to use Bluehost free SSL certificate? Bluehost provides free SSL certificates for all its users.

In this review, you will learn the main functions of SSL certificates and how to quickly set up the Bluehost free SSL certificate.

What is an SSL Certificate?

SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate is responsible for creating secure communication between client and server. This is done by both server and client authentication.

what-is-an-ssl-certificate

Installing SSL certificates can maximize your website security, boost credibility and give the website users the confidence that you take security seriously. This is incredibly important for ecommerce websites to secure sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, email addresses, personal information, and even credit card numbers provided by the users.

What are the basic functions of SSL certificates?

SSL certification provides three important functions:

  • It ensures that your site is safe and secure from cyber-attacks.
  • It identifies your website as a safe and secure site to your customers, thereby helping you to maintain and increase your traffic.
  • Websites that use SSL tech are ranked higher by Google and other search engines’ algorithms.

Watch this video to learn more about what you can do with an SSL Certificate!

How to enable or activate the Bluehost free SSL certificate?

Enable the free SSL certificate

To enable the free SSL certificate:

  1. Log into your Bluehost control panel.
  2. Click the My Sites tab from the side navigation menu to the left.
  3. Locate the site you wish to activate the free SSL for, and click Manage button.
  4. Open the Security tab.
  5. Under Security Certificate toggle the Free SSL ON.

Once you’ve turned the SSL on, it can take a few hours to install and activate. In some situations, you may need you to take action to complete the process. If so, you’ll receive an email with instructions.

Consider Reading: Why Bluehost is a better web hosting than Hostgator?

Disable the free SSL Certificate

To disable the free SSL certificate:

  1. Log into your Bluehost control panel.
  2. Click the My Sites tab from the side navigation menu to the left.
  3. Locate the site you wish to activate the free SSL and click the Manage button.
  4. Open the Security tab.

Under Security Certificate toggle the Free SSL OFF.

How to enable free SSL for WordPress users?

  1. Log in to your Bluehost dashboard, and navigate to the SSL Certificate product page.
  2. If the Free SSL (AutoSSL) is currently disabled, choose the domain you would like to install to in the upper right-hand drop-down box.
  3. Click Enable AutoSSL.
  4. Once the Free SSL (AutoSSL) is enabled, navigate to the Security tab in the My Sites section of your dashboard.
  5. Under Security Certificate, ensure that toggle switch is On.
    • If your toggle is already On, your site is secured by an SSL and no other action is necessary.
    • If the switch is off, click the toggle to turn it On.
  6. Test to make sure your SSL certificate is working by typing in your domain name and navigating to your website. You should see HTTPS:// appear before your domain name and any subsequent pages on your site.

If you still do not see your website as “secure,” you may contact the support team of Bluehost for help.

How to enable free SSL for non-WordPress users?

  1. Log in to your Bluehost dashboard, and navigate to the SSL Certificate product page.
  2. If the Free SSL (AutoSSL) is currently disabled, choose the domain you would like to install to in the upper right-hand drop-down box Install SSL on
  3. Click Enable AutoSSL.

Once the Free SSL (AutoSSL) is enabled, you may need to add a redirect to ensure the domain resolves to the HTTPS protocol.

Adding a Redirect in the File Manager

  1. Once the Free SSL (AutoSSL) is enabled, navigate to the File Manager section of your dashboard.
  2. Locate your .htaccess file. The primary .htaccess file is located in your public_html folder.
    To learn more about accessing this file, please see the htaccess Tutorial.
  3. Click on the file to open your Code Editor.
  4. Using the Code Editor, add these lines to the beginning of your .htaccess file:RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} 80
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://example.com/$1 [R=301,L]
    Note: Substitute example.com with your domain name.
  5. Test to make sure your SSL certificate is working by typing in your domain name and navigating to your website. You should see HTTPS:// appear before your domain name and any subsequent pages on your site.

If you still do not see your website as “secure,” you may contact the support team for more help.

How to fix Bluehost free SSL Certificate Unavailable Error?

Activating your free SSL certificate from Bluehost should be as simple as clicking a button from off to on.

But sometimes, the free SSL certificate shows as unavailable, or as unknown for some Bluehost users.

To fix the error, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Update Site URL Settings

First, we need to manually update the Site URL in the settings tab of your Bluehost account.

So login to Bluehost. Go to My Sites >> Manage Site.

On the next screen select Settings. Then change HTTP to HTTPS and click the Save Updates button.

Step 2: Add 301 HTTPS Redirect

Now, we need to set up a 301 redirect so that your domain name automatically goes from all variations (HTTP, www, etc) to https when someone visits your website.

To do this we will use a plugin called Really Simple SSL. We could add the redirect manually, but that means editing the .htaccess file, and if done incorrectly, your blog will break. So a plugin is the simplest solution for everyone.

Login to your WordPress blog or website. Go to Plugins >> Add New.

Search for the Really Simple SSL plugin.

When the plugin is installed and activated you will see a new notice on your WordPress dashboard.

BEFORE you go ahead and click the blue button to activate SSL, if you haven’t done so already, I recommend making a backup of your site – just in case a conflict happens. Once you’ve backed up, then activate SSL!

Once activated, you will see a success message.

Note: sometimes after clicking the activate button, you’ll be logged out of your site. Just log back in and continue.

Step 3: Enable .htaccess Redirect Option (Optional)

If you activated SSL using the Really Simple SSL plugin, by default the plugin can cause issues on some site setups. If that happens, you’ll be locked out of WordPress admin.

Although it’s very unlikely to happen, it can easily be fixed. WordPress redirects work fine for most sites, but a .htaccess redirect is good for site speed so it’s better to enable this feature.

To enable it, go to Settings >> SSL

Then, turn the 301 .htaccess redirect on and the WordPress 301 redirects off. Save your changes.

How to download your SSL certificate?

There are two options on how you can download your SSL certificate. Either you go to add-ons or download the zip file. Regardless, here are the steps on how it’s done.

Option 1: Go to Add-ons

To access the download page, you need to go through the add-on section of your account.

  1. Click the Add-ons link at the top of the account.
  2. Scroll down to SSL certificates and click the Learn More button.

Option 2: Download the zip file

  1. Click the View your SSL certificate link near the bottom of the page.
  2. Click on Download your SSL certificate as a .zip file at the bottom of the page.

A download should begin with a zip file that contains your SSL certificate.

Final thoughts: Using Bluehost Free SSL Certificate

Bluehost is one of the top web hostings for running WordPress blogs and websites today. It’s very secured and easy to use, which is perfect for beginners. Plus it’s versatile, providing incredible overall performance and reliable customer support to it users.

It’s the perfect option for users who want an easy, intuitive, and hassle-free upgrade to SSL security as well. The new WordPress tools inside the Bluehost Cpanel make it easier for every Bluehost user to enjoy free SSL certificates.

Have you tried setting up the Bluehost free SSL certificates? Feel free to share your experience or if you have any questions in the comments below!

If you find this guide helpful, please share it with others who are using Bluehost for their WordPress blog.

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