Top 5 Free SSL Hosting Providers: Starting at just $1.39/month.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificates are a type of digital file that ensures a secure Internet connection and protects your visitors’ sensitive data, such as payment details or personal information. They vary in validation level and can be expensive, which is why it’s worth looking into free SSL hosting providers.
Publishing a website without an existing SSL certificate can negatively impact your online authority. As soon as users enter your website, their browsers warn them that their connection to your website is not secure, which could cause them to leave. This in turn can ruin your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts due to the high bounce rate and low trustworthiness of your website.
In this article, we will discuss five of the most popular free SSL hosting providers. They all offer a wide range of services and very affordable prices. Let’s go!
An Introduction to SSL Certificates
An SSL certificate initiates a secure session in web browsers, changing the protocol from HTTP to HTTPS. It is also cryptographically signed by a Certificate Authority (CA). This allows browsers to verify your website because they can see that a trusted certificate authority is vouching for it.
If you’re running a simple blog, this process may not be necessary (although it’s still recommended for SEO). However, as soon as your website asks users to log in or enter personal information, an SSL certificate becomes a must-have.
Most hosting providers now offer the standard Let’s encrypt SSL free with their plans. This certificate uses the ACME (Automatic Certificate Management Environment) protocol, which encrypts communications between your website visitors and your web server.
However, you may want to use a premium SSL certificate with Extended Validation (EV) instead. For starters, with a paid solution, you shouldn’t have to worry about the hassle of monthly renewals. Many providers offer one to two years of protection before you need to install a new certificate. Many hosts automatically renew SSL certificates for you, but you can still run into problems at times.
Additionally, although the level of security for standard and premium SSL certificates is virtually the same, the premium options require more thorough validation. For example, you may need to verify your business location, phone number, and more. This can minimize the chances of your domain being caught in phishing scams.
Additionally, premium certificate authorities offer customer support to help you troubleshoot any errors you may encounter. Also, unlike donation-based free SSL providers, you don’t have to worry as much about your premium CA going broke and your website being exposed to attacks.
Premium SSL Certificates can get expensive, but are worth the investment for most enterprise-level websites. Some examples of premium SSL certificate providers that you might want to try are Komodo and GeoTrust.
When you buy your hosting plan, your provider usually automatically installs a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate on your domain. However, some providers may require you to activate it manually, or you may need to renew your SSL certificate yourself. So check with your web host if you’re not sure.
TL;DR: Free SSL certificates are perfectly fine for security reasons, but you might want to consider upgrading to a premium certificate for even more trust. However, most websites use free Let’s Encrypt certificates, including ecommerce stores like all Shopify stores, so you’re in good company with just a free SSL certificate.
The Best Free SSL Hosting Providers
Now that we’ve explained what SSL certificates are and the difference between standard and premium solutions, let’s look at five providers that offer Let’s Encrypt SSL for free.
Bluehost is a well-known provider in the web hosting industry that is on the official list of WordPress.org recommended hosts. However, the company offers a wide range of services not limited to this platform, from shared to virtual private server (VPS) to dedicated hosting.
Bluehost’s shared hosting plans come with unlimited bandwidth (except for the Basic plan) and a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt. You can also claim a free domain and email address, making it easy and inexpensive to set up a professional email address.
Apart from that, Bluehost is among the most beginner-friendly web hosting companies with an award-winning, intuitive dashboard, one-click WordPress installation, and various themes. You also get access to knowledgeable customer support who can help you 24/7.
Automatic Backups // Scalable solutions // Unlimited SSD storage (except Basic plan) // Free Content Delivery Network (CDN) // Google Ads credit
💵 Pricing: Bluehost’s plans start at just $2.75 per month for the basic package, which comes with 50GB of SSD storage. All Bluehost plans include a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate. Alternatively, you can purchase a Comodo Private SSL Certificate.
👉 Want to know more? Read our full Bluehost review
Next, we have SiteGround, another company on the WordPress.org recommended hosting list that offers free SSL certificates on all plans. It’s an excellent option for beginners because of the managed WordPress hosting and top-notch, expert customer support.
If the environment is your top priority, you’ll be pleased to know that SiteGround operates on Google Cloud, a platform dedicated to renewable energy compliance. You also benefit from an ultra-fast network and durable SSD storage.
While SiteGround’s pricing isn’t as affordable as Bluehost’s, you get plenty of premium features suitable for small businesses and agencies. Higher plans include a handy website staging tool, for example, and allow you to invite collaborators and fully white-label websites for your clients.
Daily Backups // Free CDN // Unlimited Databases // Email Hosting // Unlimited Traffic // Speed-boosting caching on higher plans
💵 Pricing: SiteGround’s pricing starts at $2.99 + free domain per month for the StartUp plan, which includes 10 GB of storage and supports approximately 10,000 monthly visits to a single website. All plans come with a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt preinstalled. Alternatively, you can opt for a Let’s Encrypt Wildcard or Premium Wildcard SSL certificate, which you can order from your dashboard.
👉 Our full SiteGround review
3. A2 Hosting
Our next recommendation is A2 Hosting, one of the fastest web hosting companies out there. It offers services optimized for WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla, with “Turbo” servers powered by LiteSpeed Web Server that promise up to 20x faster page load speeds.
A2 Hosting offers tons of features suitable for both beginners and advanced users. For example, less experienced customers can benefit from free migration and access to 24/7 expert support. On the other hand, website developers will enjoy useful tools like Apache, Git, and Python.
Data centers around the world // Unlimited SSD storage on higher plans // Unlimited Bandwidth // 99.9% Uptime Guarantee // Automatic backups on higher plans // website builder
All plans come with the free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate preinstalled. A2 Hosting also offers a range of affordable Rapid and GeoTrust SSL Certificates that anyone can purchase, such as:
- Single Site RapidSSL: starting at $19.99 per year
- RapidSSL wildcard: starting at $89.99 per year
- Premium GeoTrust True BusinessID: starting at $77.95 per year
- Advanced GeoTrust True BusinessID with EV: starting at $121.95 per year
💵 Pricing: A2’s shared hosting services start at just $2.99 per month, which is good for a single site with up to 100GB of SSD storage. To get unlimited features and the turbo speed boost (LiteSpeed), you can upgrade from $5.99.
👉 Our full A2 hosting review
Our next free SSL hosting option is DreamHost. This WordPress.org recommended provider offers a range of shared, VPS, dedicated, and cloud hosting plans. There is also a managed WordPress service called DreamPress.
DreamHost only offers two shared hosting plans, making it less overwhelming for first-time website owners. Both are extremely affordable and come with a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt. These plans also give you unlimited bandwidth and a free domain, which is great value for money.
The company also delivers great performance thanks to its fast SSD storage and servers optimized to run your WordPress site at full capacity. DreamHost also promises a 100% uptime guarantee.
WordPress installation in one click // Automatic updates // website builder // Daily backups // Free migration plugin // 24/7 support // A generous 97-day money-back guarantee
💵 Pricing: You can opt for the Shared Starter plan for just $2.59 per month for a single site. The Shared Unlimited plan gives you unlimited email hosting for just $3.95 per month. All DreamHost plans come with a free Let’s Encrypt SSL pre-installed. There is also an option to add a premium Sectigo SSL certificate, which costs $15 per year.
👉 Our full DreamPress review
Finally, we have Hostinger, a budget-friendly provider that offers a wide variety of hosting plans. Besides the usual shared, VPS, and cloud hosting plans, it also offers specialized services including Minecraft and Windows hosting.
Even if you don’t get a free domain with the cheapest plan, Hostinger still offers you many useful features. For example, the LiteSpeed Cache plugin to speed up your WordPress site, weekly backups and automatic WordPress updates are planned. You also get a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate included with every plan.
If you don’t want to build your website with WordPress, Hostinger also offers their own website builder called Zyro. It gives you access to modern, responsive templates and innovative artificial intelligence (AI) tools. For example, you can generate instant content and slogans, monitor your visitors’ activity with a page heatmap, and more.
Free Email // Unlimited bandwidth on higher plans // Git access // One-click WordPress installation // Site creation wizard // Weekly backups // Free domain on higher plans // 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
💵 Pricing: The cheapest single shared hosting is just $1.99 per month and gives you 10GB of SSD storage, 100GB of bandwidth, and up to 10,000 monthly visits. To get a free domain and more storage, you can also opt for premium shared hosting for $1.99 per month. All plans come with a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt preinstalled. Alternatively, you can purchase a Comodo Positive SSL Certificate for $7.49 per year.
👉 Our full Hostinger review
Get started with free SSL hosting today
An SSL certificate is a must for every website owner. Beyond securing your website, it instantly boosts your SEO efforts and makes your website look more trustworthy.
Luckily, many web hosting providers include them in their plans for free, saving you a lot of money.
In this article, we’ve discussed our top five free SSL hosting providers that offer Let’s Encrypt with every plan. To recap, if you want super-fast hosting and a wide range of premium SSL solutions, A2 Hosting comes highly recommended. On the other hand, beginners might prefer Bluehost, DreamHost, or Hostinger for their ease of use. If you’re looking for a top-notch managed hosting experience, SiteGround is worth trying out.
Check out our post on how to get cheap or free SSL certificates for more ideas. And once you have your SSL certificate, you can follow our guide on how to switch WordPress to HTTPS to use your new certificate.
* This post contains affiliate links, which means that we earn a commission if you click on any of the product links and then purchase the product. Don’t worry, you’ll still pay the standard amount, so you won’t incur any costs.