WooCommerce, the most popular ecommerce solution on the market, allows you to sell online through your WordPress website.
Part of that process involves transactions being carried out through your website, which is where WooCommerce SSL certificates comes into play.
An SSL certificate encrypts communications between your website, and your website visitors, resulting in a ‘secure purchasing environment’ for your customers. Read on to find out a bit more about SSL and how you can setup a WooCommerce SSL certificate.
If you have an SSL certificate installed, your store will also display a green padlock in the browser bar, adding an extra layer of trust to your site.
What is an SSL Certificate?
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer.
So an SSL certificate is a secure socket layer for your website. In laymens terms, this means it makes any communications between your website, and website vistors, secure and ecrypted.
HTTP vs HTTPS
Great! So where does HTTPS and the green padlock come into it?
Well, WooCommerce SSL certificates secure your website but require that your website use HTTPS not HTTP.
HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure and is the protocol used on the internet for accessing and interacting with websites.
When you install an SSL certificate on your website, providing it with a secure socket layer, you will be able to activate HTTPS on your WooCommerce store and the green padlock will display.
Where to get WooCommerce SSL certificates?
WooCommerce stores require a secure socket layer (SSL) to process payments online.
There are a number of options for purchasing and installing a WooCommerce SSL certificate, some paid and some free. Below we have covered the most common.
Siteground with Let’s Encrypt – Winner
If you host your website with Siteground, you are entitled to free SSL certificates on all of your websites using Let’s Encrypt, which is integrated in to Siteground CPanel.
This is by far the easiest method of setting up a WooCommerce SSL certificate, and you have Siteground support on hand to assist.
Setting up Siteground Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificates
To setup a WooCommerce SSL certificate using Let’s Encrypt follow these steps:
- Access the CPanel of your Siteground account
- Click on the ‘Let’s Encrypt Module’
- Install SSL against your desired domain by selecting it from the dropdown
After completing the process click on the HTPPS settings and force HTTPS on your website to activate your SSL certificate and ensure the green padlock displays in your browser.
I also have a video tutorial on this process which I have embedded below for a more detailed overview of the process.
*Please note that to install a WooCommerce SSL certificate on your domain in this method, your domain must first be pointed to Siteground, or you will be unable to issue a certificate.*
Cloudflare is a web security and performance company renowned for their CDN (content delivery network). If you run your nameservers through Cloudflare, you will be able to issue a free SSL certificate to your domain.
You will be able to take advantage of this free SSL certificate for your WooCommerce store if you sign up for the free plan and configure your nameservers using the Cloudflare configuration tool.
*Before pointing your nameservers, please take a screenshot of your existing DNS settings in case you are unable to restore them in the event of an error*
Paid WooCommerce SSL certificate options
If you don’t have access to free WooCommerce SSL certificates through Let’s Encrypt, there are a number of paid options you can explore.
WooCommerce SSL Certificates provided by web host
SSL certificates usually cost around $50-100 depending on the hosting provider, per annum. They can usually be purchased via your customer portal, or the customer facing portion of the website.
Below are the prices for purchasing an SSL certificate from GoDaddy, for example.
To setup a WooCommerce SSL certificate purchased from your host, follow these steps:
- Purchase an SSL certificate
- Install the SSL certificate onto your domain using the CPanel SSL module
- Force HTTPS on your WordPress website using the Simple SSL Plugin
This process can be difficult for a non technical user, so I would advise consulting your hosting provider or developer while you do this.