Benzinga Money is a reader-supported publication. We may earn a commission when you click on links in this article. Learn more.
A website without an SSL Certificate might be the easiest way to scare the visitors off your website. An SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is a shielding layer that keeps your website secure. It safeguards your visitors’ data by encrypting it during transmission.
But despite the increasing traffic and concern for online security and privacy, many hosting providers do not provide SSLs with their hosting plans. So why do you need SSL hosting anyway?
What are the Benefits of Using Free SSL Hosting?
SSLs are essentials for any website – be it an e-commerce enterprise or a blog – for heightened security. Free SSL Hosting makes it easier and simpler for you to obtain and set up an SSL certificate.
Free and simple
With free SSL hosting, you get heightened security without a cost. On top of it, free SSLs are simpler to obtain and set up. You neither have to pay for renewals nor go through the renewal process every time, making it hassle-free and convenient.
Secures your website
With an SSL certificate on your website, you can secure your websites within minutes. SSLs will encrypt any shared data. Besides, it enables you to use HTTPS protocol throughout your site. It protects your visitors’ information and makes it more “usable” in a sense.
Improves search engine ranking
Search engines encourage website owners to secure their site. Since SSL certificates enable HTTPS protocol on your website, the search engine algorithms consider your website safe and pick it up quickly, thereby improving your site’s ranking and traffic.
What to Look For in a Best Free SSL Hosting
If you know the benefits of SSL hosting and are looking for one, these are the factors you need to watch out for when searching for the best free SSL hosting.
Every web host should prioritize security, and enforcing SSL is standard practice to ensure safety. The web hosts that provide free SSLs as a part of the hosting plan are the ones you should look for when searching for free SSL hosting.
When you start a website, it is only natural to expect growth in your website traffic. But what if your web host is not able to handle the visitor spike? Look for a website hosting provider that offers seamless scaling options to accommodate the surge in website traffic. If scaling requires you to jump from one plan to another, look for web hosts providing a simple and easy upgrade at a reasonable cost.
In the digital world, if a website takes any longer than a few seconds to load, viewers are likely to decide it is not worth the trouble. Sometimes speed can also affect your search engine ranking. The best free SSL hosting providers ensure that you have access to fast servers and enough memory.
Downtime means your website is unavailable/inaccessible to your users. If your website visitors can’t access it, they will be disappointed and may not want to visit again. Good hosting with free SSL guarantees almost zero downtime, i.e., keep your website running smoothly and accessible all the time. When you look for the best free SSL hosting, look at their uptime rating – they should ensure at least 99% uptime.
The Best Free SSL Hosting
Considering these factors, this is a list of web hosts offering free SSL options that we have prepared for you to explore.
Bluehost is one of the best free SSL hosting providers and is quite popular amongst WordPress site builders/owners. By hosting over 2 million websites, it claims the number one spot in WordPress’s web hosts’ recommendations. However, whether you are on WordPress or not, this hosting with free SSL stands out with excellent customer support and uptime of 99.98%.
Pros: The best part about this host is it is beginner-friendly – as it accommodates comprehensive self-help documents and video tutorials on top of a simple and easy-to-use dashboard. And Bluehost comes packed with an SSL certificate across all of its hosting plans.
Cons: But if you are looking for decent storage space with basic plans, Bluehost can let you down. It offers smaller storage on its basic plan.
Pricing: Its pricing plan starts at $2.95 per month (renewable at $7.99 per month) and can go up to $79.99 per month (renewable at 119.99 per month) for Dedicated Hosting. And if you are not satisfied with its service, you also get a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Rating: 4.8 / 5
Next on the list of Best Free SSL Hosting is A2 Hosting. Known best for its Security features and strong customer support, this hosting provider will fit your budget if that is what you prioritize. A2 hosting provides six different hosting plans as well but is best known for its Cloud Hosting plans.
Pros: A2 Hosting not only bundles an SSL certificate and a cPanel control panel across all its plans but also incorporates its signature Perpetual Security Initiative, which extends security via KernelCare and Hackscan features that go beyond SSL to keep your website safe. Also, it has proved to be very reliable with its excellent customer support.
Cons: However, its 99.95% uptime is not the best in the market.
Pricing: As far as pricing goes, A2 Hosting’s plans start at $2.99 per month (renews $8.99 per month) and go up to $248.99 per month for its dedicated hosting plans. A2 hosting guarantees to pay you back if you’re dissatisfied with the service.
Another choice for the best free SSL hosting is SiteGround. Recommended by WordPress, it provides free automatic WordPress updates to its users and offers plans best suited for WordPress site builders/owners.
Pros: But whether or not you are on WordPress, SiteGround provides daily automated backups for free. Moreover, its extensive knowledge base articles make it one of the best options for beginners.
Cons: The one reservation you might have when choosing this free SSL hosting is that it’s not the most affordable option around. And on top of that, its basic hosting plan only supports up to 10000 visitors per month.
Pricing: Its pricing plan starts at $6.99 per month. A basic SiteGround cloud hosting plan costs $80 per month. These rates, however, only apply if you commit a year to SiteGround.
If you love green and are carbon-conscious, GreenGeeks will be, without a doubt, the best free SSL hosting for you. With over 300,000 hosted websites, GreenGeeks is the leader in carbon-free web hosting. This hosting company claims “300% Green Energy matching,” which means they buy three times more renewable energy than they consume. So, in a sense, they’re the best free SSL hosting that protects your website and the environment.
Pros: Other salient features include a free website transfer service for anyone who wants to switch to GreenGeeks, a good 99.98% uptime, automatic updates to software like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. It also offers free SSL certificates with all of its hosting plans.
Cons: However, if your visitors are not from the North American or European regions, speeds may slightly be affected as it concentrates its data centers around these regions. Its plans are not the cheapest either.
Pricing: In terms of pricing, GreenGeeks’ cheapest shared hosting plan starts at $2.95 per month if you choose a tri-annual contract. Otherwise, it’ll cost you $4.95 per month for the annual plan and its most expensive VPS plan will set you back $39.95 per month.
Ranking: 4.6 / 5
With 8 million domains hosted so far, Hostgator is one of the most popular web hosting providers around, and rightfully so. In addition to providing a free SSL certificate in all its hosting plans, it guarantees 99.99% uptime and assists with email marketing, even with its shared plans.
Pros: Hostgator can provide 99.99% uptime and unlimited bandwidth to your websites, which is the best in the market. Therefore, if you want to have a reliable host that can ensure your site is running all the time, Hostgator is the one you should choose.
Cons: But of course, its services are not the cheapest around. And they charge you more for renewing the plans. If you want a slightly better plan, you will have to stick to them for at least three years.
Pricing: Its plan pricing starts at $2.75 per month and moves up to $89.98 per month. Renewal price ranges between $5.95 and $139.99 per month.
Rating: 4.6 / 5
Free SSL Hosting to Ensure Your Website Safety
It may not be apparent when looking for free SSL hosts and choosing one, but if you understand your needs and spend enough time to ensure that the web host of your choice provides free SSL, the web host you choose will positively affect your credibility.
However, do note that every web host comes with a unique set of values, and what a web host offers might not necessarily be what you require. It is you who should define your needs to find the right fit. And, if you have identified your most valued factor, you won’t go wrong with any of these choices for the best free SSL hosts.