How Do I Get an HTTPS Certificate for My Website?

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Not sure how to get an HTTPS certificate for your website? Here’s what to know

Thanks to Google’s effort to encourage all websites to switch from HTTP to HTTPS, most web traffic is now on HTTPS. As of October 2019, approximately 90% of web browsing is done over HTTPS! If you own a website, you should buy a HTTPS certificate for your website so you can make the switch, too! Here’s what you need to know about how to get a security certificate for your website.

Why HTTPS Is Better Than HTTP

When you browse a website via HTTP, any information sent between you and the website is sent in plaintext. This could include sensitive data like passwords, credit card information, and financial details.

Here’s why that’s bad: When you send information to a website, it’s not going direct from you to that website. As the information travels across the internet, it’s often routed through multiple countries, ISPs, web hosts, servers, and other infrastructure points. Anyone with access to any of those points (ISPs, hackers, governments, etc.) could intercept and read your information.

It’s All About Encryption, Baby

If you’re like me, when you’re browsing the web, you submit lots of pieces of information (credit card, passwords, etc.) you don’t want other people to see! That’s why HTTPS is so important.

HTTPS encrypts all data so that an eavesdropper can’t see the information you’re sending and receiving online. (The “S” in HTTPS stands for “Secure.”)

As a website owner, HTTPS also gives you some additional benefits, including higher rankings on Google when customers are searching for what you offer.

What Is an HTTPS Certificate?

An HTTPS certificate is a small file of code that does two things:

  1. It proves that you’re the owner/manager of your domain (this is verified by the certificate authority).
  2. It enables HTTPS encryption for everyone who visits your website. In most browsers, this shows as https:// and as a small padlock icon:

(By the way, if you want to get technical about it, an HTTPS certificate is correctly called a TLS certificate. But lots of people still refer to them as SSL certificates or HTTPS certificates.)

Important note: An HTTPS certificate needs to be issued by a trusted certificate authority (CA) such as Comodo CA — if not, your website visitors will see an error message like this:

Graphic: Security warning

How to Get an HTTPS Certificate

Not sure how to get a security certificate for your website? The good news is that it’s pretty easy to get an HTTPS certificate. Here’s how to buy and get your HTTPS security certificate:

  • Buy your HTTPS/SSL certificate. You can get a fully trusted SSL certificate from Comodo CA for less than $1/month.
  • Generate your certificate signing request (CSR). After you order your certificate, you’ll be guided through the issuance process, which includes generating your CSR. This is something you’ll need to do in your web hosting account. Choose your web hosting platform on this page to get a step-by-step tutorial on how to generate a CSR.
  • Complete your certificate validation. Remember how we said that an HTTPS certificate proves that you own/manage the website in question? That’s because the certificate authority (in this case, Comodo CA) completes a validation process before issuing the certificate to you. If you choose a domain validated (DV) certificate, the process is super-simple — just click a link in a confirmation email or upload a file to your website.

Now that you have your HTTPS certificate, you just need to install it.

How to Install an HTTPS Certificate

In most cases, installing an HTTPS certificate is a pretty straightforward process. You’ll need to log in to your web hosting control panel and complete a couple more steps. Then you’ll have enabled HTTPS security on your website.

Pretty easy, right?

We’ve got step-by-step instructions for your web hosting platform in our knowledgebase – just select which web hosting platform you’re using. This will walk you through how to get an HTTPS certificate installed.

Having issues? Contact our SSL experts anytime via email, phone, or live chat.

Which HTTPS Certificate Is Best?

If you’re new to SSL & HTTPS, you might find the selection of certificates available a bit overwhelming. To keep it super simple, here are our most recommended HTTPS certificates to buy, depending on your needs:

  • Lowest price for a single website: If you have a single website without subdomains (e.g. you want to secure mysite.com and www.mysite.com but not blog.mysite.com), a PositiveSSL Certificate is your best bet.
  • Most robust features for a single website: If you want extra features and a higher warranty, we recommend ComodoSSL Certificate.
  • Website with subdomains: If your website has subdomains (such as blog.mysite.com or store.mysite.com) we recommend a PositiveSSL Wildcard Certificate.
  • Ecommerce or financial site: If your website works with financial details, we recommend PositiveSSL EV Certificate. This certificate will also verify and display your business details to customers to maximize trust and transparency.

SSL Certificates

Save Up to 85% on PositiveSSL Certificates

Get Domain Validation (DV) SSL Certificates from PositiveSSL starting for as little as $7.27 per year!
Get Your PositiveSSL Certificate

 
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