For the longest time I assumed that with GoDaddy you had to pay for a SSL certificate. It may have been like this for a while, but that is not true anymore.

There is a WordPress plugin that will allow you to generate and install a SSL certificate. Here is how it is done.

How to Create a Free SSL Certificate with GoDaddy

Made with DesignCap

Today I decided to take another crack at trying to create a free SSL certificate for a website hosted on GoDaddy, and I am happy I did.

Godaddy wants you to believe that you have to buy a SSL certificate and I am not sure why they would do that, you would think they would lose current or potential customers. However, if you find this post before you paid for one, you will save yourself anywhere from $66 to $369 or more per year.

All you will need to be able to do is:

  • Install/activate the plugin
  • Have access your GoDaddy CPanel
  • Add a couple text records to your DNS, verify your domain.
  • Copy and Paste some code.

Here are the steps to create a free SSL Certificate with GoDaddy

Step 1: From your WordPress admin, go to Plugin -> Add New and search for the SSL Zen WordPress plugin.

Step 2: Install the Plugin

free ssl certificate

Step 3: Activate the Plugin

Step 4: After activation, you may get a one time ad, choose your option and move on.

Step 5: From here you can choose the free or the paid version. The paid option is way less than what GoDaddy will charge and automates everything. The free version will require about 10 minutes to set up, and you will have to auto-renew your certificate every 90 days. (I am not sure if they will send out a reminder to your email, so set a reminder for a few days before, and you can do it quickly).

Select Free SSL Certificate

Step 6: Your domain will already be entered, you only have to enter your email and agree to Terms and Conditions.

enter email for free SSL certificate

Step 7: Choose you domain verification method. I have always used the DNS method, but either methods are pretty simple and well explained.

Domain Verification

Step 8: This is where you will add txt records to your DNS. The instructions are well explain on the right of the image below.

Add txt record to your DNS

Step 9: After you have added your txt records, you will be instructed to login to your cpanel and locate your SSL/TLS to copy and paste the Certificate (CRT), Private Key (KEY) and the Authority Bundle (CABUNDLE).

install ssl

Step 10: You will get a confirmation that you installation is complete and to start serving over SSL.

start serving

And that is all there is to create a free SSL certificate and installing it.

Bug Fixes

I installed this on a couple of sites and noticed a few easy to fix issues.

If you have any challenges, check plugins. I noticed the wps-hide-login plugin broke the login. You can login to your CPanel file manager and rename or delete that plugin to log back in.

Another bug fix is to re-name the .htaccess file from your CPanel  file manager and create a new one by going to Settings -> Permalinks -> Save Changes from your WordPress admin, then delete the old one you re-named after you know it is fixed.


About the Author:

The SEO-Alien is a project started in 2009 regarding all things online marketing. The site started out more of a diary of predictions, suggestions and references to things I frequently used for online marketing... before social media marketing was even an option.

I hope you find the information and tools presented here useful and something worth sharing with others.

If there is anything else about online marketing or any online advertising strategy you think would be helpful, please let me know.

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