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Guide on How to Setup Bluehost Free SSL Certificate

Wondering how to use Bluehost free SSL certificate? You’ve come to the right place. One of the best things that I love about Bluehost is that you can install a FREE SSL Certificate for every WordPress website on a shared hosting account! Plus, it’s easy to use and install on your domain. 

In most cases, the SSL will automatically assign and install itself to your new and existing domains; however, some customers may need to manually enable the certificate. In this ultimate Bluehost free SSL certificate guide, I will cover the following points:

Before I show you the guide on how to quickly install the Bluehost free SSL certificate, let’s understand what is an SSL certificate, and how your business or website can benefit from it.

What is an SSL certificate?

SSL is the short form of Secure Sockets Layer. It is just a technology that encrypts data between browser and server. When an SSL certificate is installed on your server, the protocol HTTP will be changed to HTTPs where ‘s’ stands for Secure.

SSL certificate

When you browse secure websites, your browser will show a Secure word or any other symbol in green colour. Different browsers may show different symbols.

Uses of SSL certificate

Google requires websites such as ecommerce or any site that accepts user information like credit card details, contact numbers and passwords. If you accept any information from users such as their passwords or credit card details without implementing SSL, Google will show a red symbol mentioning that your web page is not secure. Whether you are an ecommerce website or not, you will still need to consider getting an SSL certificate.

Essentially, Google considers SSL certificates as one of the major search engine ranking factors. Here are more reasons why you need to implement an SSL certificate for your site.

  • Encrypt data from the browser to the server and vice-versa.
  • Encrypt data from the server to the server.
  • Protect your website from cyber-attacks.
  • Secure users’ or visitors’ data.
  • Gain website authority.
  • Boost your conversions and sales.

Having an SSL certificate on your website 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 are also ranked higher by Google and other search engines’ algorithms.

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

 

 

Free Vs Premium SSL certificate

If you have a website and you want to boost your sales or gain trust, you can use the free SSL from Bluehost. You will get a shared SSL in free SSL. Also, it’s easy to install and configure.

If your website is an ecommerce website and you decide to purchase a premium SSL certificate, there are also available premium SSL certificates out there. You must buy a premium SSL from reputed companies that provide dedicated SSL.

Activate Bluehost WordPress Free SSL

Recently, Bluehost announced the launching of its WordPress Optimized Control Panel. The kit is very useful for WordPress webmasters & site owners. These tools make your life easier when it comes to managing a whole WordPress site from one place.

One of these WordPress Tools is BlueHost WordPress Free SSL Certificate. This means that current and new BlueHost users will be able to install a free SSL Certificate and enable https on WordPress.

Here’s how to easily enable this feature and install the Bluehost free SSL certificate.

NB: Before starting, please make sure to disable WHOIS guard as the SSL provider is using your domain name WHOIS information to detect your email address. And here, you will need to prove domain ownership. Once the SSL certificate has been installed, you may re-enable the WHOIS guard again.

1. Login To Bluehost Account.

The very first thing to do is to log in to your Bluehost account.

  • At the left list, click on “My Sites”
  • Choose the website domain on which you want to enable Free SSL Bluehost.
  • Click on “Manage Site”.

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

Now, you’ve reached the Bluehost simplified back-end for that domain. From there, You will need to click on the “Security” tab. And on Fre SSL Certificate, Check “ON” to turn on SSL on Bluehost.

After you turn on the SSL certificate, you will just have to wait for a few minutes. It may take anywhere from 15 minutes up to 4 hours. It will automatically update the WordPress URL in the database. This means that your site will be automatically functioning under https. No further configurations or changes required from your end at all.

2. Check your email inbox.

You should have received an email message to validate your Bluehost WordPress free SSL. Please make sure to check the email address associated with your Bluehost account.

They will ask you to verify the ownership of the domain name in order to proceed with installing the SSL Certificate on your site.

Then, you will need to choose your email address and then click “Submit”.

3. Validate and install SSL certificate.

Within a few minutes, you will get another email with instructions on how to validate and install Bluehost WordPress free SSL. It may be due to the fact that Bluehost Certificate cannot be verified.

Here, you will need to follow the instructions and paste the code where will ask you to complete the SSL Certificate validation. It’s pretty straight forward and won’t take more than a minute.

Finally! You’ve just completed installing Bluehost free SSL Certificate on your WordPress site! And you don’t have to do any further configurations. It’s all automated!

Bluehost SSL Configuration

After completely installing the SSL certificate, it would be a good idea to test it and verify it. This way, we know that everything has been configured correctly.

A good tool to check and verify SSL on your website is through an SSL Checker. Basically, this will tell you if your domain is having an active SSL certificate or not.

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.
  5. Under Security Certificate toggle the Free SSL OFF.

BlueHost SSL Certificate Not Working

While it will work in most cases, you may experience a delay or an issue during the SSL installation process. Bluehost SSL Certificate not working issue is not that common but still happens. For some reasons, you may also receive an error message like the following:

Error: Could not update option ‘siteURL’.

Error: Could not update option ‘home.’

This error message might happen for many reasons such as:

  • A conflicting WordPress plugin.
  • Conflicting Cloudflare parameters.

But this can be fixed. This Bluehost SSL Certificate not working message means that the Bluehost WordPress free SSL has been successfully installed on your site. But WordPress is not able to update the “Site URL” or “Home URL” options.

To resolve this issue, you will need to set these options manually to reflect the new https url of your site. Please check the screenshot below on how to perform this manual change.

You will need to go to “Settings” then manually update “Site URL” and “Home URL“. There, You’re required to change the prefix “http://” to “https://” in both fields and click “Set URL“. Simple and easy!

 

How to Add Free SSL in WordPress Site (https)

Now, you’ve installed and validated an SSL Certificate on your site. But you still need to tell WordPress to force using HTTPS URL instead of working on HTTP.

With the recent updates on Bluehost infrastructure, it should automatically configure itself for WordPress. Yet, you still need to force WordPress to use (https://) for all the pages on your website. Here are the steps on how to do it:

  • Install “Really Simply SSL” WordPress Plugin: Once you install and activate this plugin, It will automatically move your site to (https://). It’s pretty easy and straight forward.
  • Edit “.htaccess” and add 301 Redirection rule: Doing this step will ensure that all HTTP links are being redirected to HTTPS. This will avoid search engines confusion on indexing your pages. Please edit “.htaccess” file to reflect the following changes:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
RewriteRule (.*) https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]

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 Sites

  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.

Bluehost SSL certificate Price

The Bluehost SSL certificate is completely free without extra charges. Once it’s installed, Bluehost will send you an email stating that you’ve just installed the certificate.

You don’t need to buy a dedicated IP for the SSL Certificate to work. It used to work this way earlier but not today anymore. This means that Bluehost dedicated IP is not necessary in order to install Bluehost LetsEncrypt SSL.

Conclusion: Bluehost Free SSL Certificate

Trust plays a vital role in any relationship, and this is even more essential for ecommerce websites. Nobody would just give out sensitive information like a credit card number or password if they don’t feel safe and protected. Even legit trusted websites show visible site security which can be recognized easily by end-users.

If you’re running a website that asks any form of sensitive information, i.e ecommerce, securing your website with SSL certificate and HTTPS is crucial.

SSL certificates are usually costly to implement and sometimes it’s not easy to install on some websites. Luckily, Bluehost is one of the best web hosting providers out there that offers a free SSL certificate to its users. 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.

Bluehost free SSL certificate is the perfect option for users who want an easy 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.

Implementing the Bluehost SSL certificate to your site or migrating it to https will add a trust bond between you and your site visitors. Another reason why you should move your site to https is that Chrome is currently detecting sites without SSL certificates installed as unsecured. And this may affect your site traffic and SEO ranking significantly.

If you like this article about Bluehost free SSL certificate please share it with your friends. If you have any comments or suggestions, feel free to share on the comment section below!

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