10 Best Hosting Providers that Offers Free SSL Certificate
Once you finished creating a website, the next step is to choose a hosting company where you can publish it online. In this article we will present you the best hosting providers where you can host your website and which offer free SSL.
Security is very important, especially in this digitized world. The most popular and easy to use a feature that allows for a safe website browsing is an SSL certificate.
In this article we will review the top hosts that offer free SSL and will help you understand why you actually need and SSL certificate. But first, here is the list of our top rated hosting providers:
Top 10 Hosting Services that Offer Free SSL
The hosting companies we will review in this article are the following ones:
- HostGator – from $2.75 / month
- BlueHost – from $3.95 / month
- InMotion – from $3.99 / month
- iPage.com – from $1.99 / month
- A2Hosting – from $3.92 / month
- SiteGround – from $3.95 / month
- GreenGeeks – from $2.95 / month
- Hostinger – from $0.80 / month
- DreamHost – from $2.59 / month
- Cloudways – from $10 / month
But you might ask yourself what is an SSL certificate, and why do you need one to secure your website?
Along hosting reviews, in this article we’ll cover the following topics as well:
- What is an SSL Certificate?
- How does it work?
- How much it costs?
- Top 10 hosting services who offer free SSL.
When we reach the end of this article, you’ll have a good understanding of what an SSL is, how it’s used and where can you get one for less money or for free. But now, let’s start with the first part:
What is an SSL Certificate and Why You Need One?
Basically, an SSL certificate is a tool that makes every website that uses it, more secure and ready if someone might try hijacking it. But let’s elaborate here a little.
These days, Google will display any website that does NOT use an SSL certificate as NOT being SECURE. You don’t want to be one of those people who own such a website. There’s a chance that nothing will go wrong while your site is online. But your reputation will have to suffer.
All or most of your visitors will feel uncomfortable when using your website. And that can lead to other problems, like losing potential traffic. This is not something any website owner would want to happen.
And do you really want to take your chance that nothing bad might happen? That’s a bold statement. So, it’s best if you have an SSL installed on your website.
But how can someone tell if you have an SSL installed or not? This is pretty simple. Any website that does NOT have an SSL installed, appears with the HTTP protocol in the URL bar.
If your site uses an SSL certificate, then the HTTPS protocol will be used in the address bar. So, anybody can easily tell the difference, just by looking up for the URL of the specific website.
There’s one more reason though, why an SSL can be important. This isn’t related to security, but it could still be important if you want your website to thrive. Google and other search engines too, will rank higher those websites that use SSL. If you miss using it, your online ranking and traffic will have to suffer.
Now that you know what an SSL is and why it’s important for any website, let’s see how does it work:
How Does an SSL Work?
The focus of every SSL is on encrypting data. The basic idea is to encrypt every data/information exchange that a visitor makes with a specific website. This is very important especially if you own a website that works by logging in with sensitive data. Another type if websites that heavily rely on SSL are e-commerce websites (online stores/markets).
To help you understand how this process works, let’s imagine a made-up scenario: let’s say you are the owner of an online shop that sells computer parts.
You know how the process of buying something online works, so in this example, we’ll focus on the payment handling. This is where the SSL really steps in.
So, one of your clients decides to buy a mouse. But before he will receive the item, he needs to pay for it. This is the standard process for most web stores. There could be many methods for him to make the payment, but for now, we’ll stick with the well-known credit/debit card payment method.
To be able to pay the price of the mouse, the client first has to enter his credit card information in a request form that pops up on the checkout page. When he enters it and hits the pay button, the client is finished with the purchase.
But how can you make sure, that nobody in between your website and the destination server (that handles the payment) will access this sensitive credit card data? This is where the SSL certificate steps in. All the data that was entered, will be encrypted by the SSL at hand. This way, nobody besides you (the store) and the payment processor will be able to access or hijack this important information.
This process is the same for any other type of data exchange, for login details as well. But you might ask yourself if you don’t own a website that needs login details or you don’t sell anything, do you still need an SSL certificate?
The answer is: Yes, you do! Why? Some of the reasons behind this were listed above in the previous heading, but besides those, any website must have an SSL because every website will at some point make some kind of data transfer. This is simply how the web works. So, having an SSL won’t hurt your website. It will help it grow even further.
How much does an SSL cost?
In most cases, to get an SSL certificate you have to pay a monthly subscription. This could cost from anywhere between $50 to $200 every year. There are versions that cost even more that.
Since in this article we’re talking about free SSL certificates that come with a hosting service, we’ll list the top 10 best hosting companies that offer free SSL certificates.
Not every hosting plan grants you access to a free SSL certificate, but every company in this article has some type of hosting that does. So, we’ll talk about the hosting plans that offer free SSL.
Review of Best Hosts with Free SSL
Below you will find the detailed review of each hosting company that offers free SSL certificate with some of their hosting plans.
HostGator is a company from the USA that is mostly marketing itself as a low-priced hosting service. And that is exactly true. The services they offer come for very low prices, some of the lowest in this article among the other companies. But the question is: is it worth it if it’s cheap? To answer this right away: YES, it is worth it. Why? We’ll see right below:
To start off, HostGator, like the other companies on this list, also makes available shared hosting in 3 separate packages. The good news is, that all 3 of them include an SSL certificate for free.
The first plan called Hatchling Plan costs $2.75/month. It lets you host 1 website for this price. As I mentioned, an SSL is included for free in this plan, as is for the other 2 plans. The bandwidth is unmetered to allow many visitors at the same time.
Baby Plan is the second package. This one comes for a monthly $3.95. You get an unlimited domain for hosting along with unmetered bandwidth and storage.
The most expensive plan, Business Plan, costs a monthly $5.95. If you choose this one, you will receive a dedicated IP address and free SEO tools to help in ranking your website higher in the search results.
The best thing about this plan is the ability to upgrade to a Positive SSL. What does this mean? If you use this option, a site seal logo will be displayed on your website’s layout, letting your visitors know, they are in a safe environment. This feature is also backed by a $10K warranty. Since you need a host who comes with free SSL, HostGator is a good candidate considering this great feature that comes for free.
BlueHost is one of the most notable hosting companies ever founded. There is a big chance you have already seen an ad or some kind of marketing material that was related to BlueHost. A lot of people and organizations recommend them as a hosting provider for small and big websites alike. Let’s see what do they offer:
If we talk about hosting, they got you covered in many ways. For example, they offer shared hosting (most popular), VPS, hosting, Dedicated server hosting, WordPress hosting etc. For now, we’ll talk about the shared hosting plans that work for most users. These come in 3 separate plans. You’ll notice in the article that this is quite common.
Basic: This is the first shared hosting plan, and it comes for $3.95 each month. It supports hosting for 1 single website. The following features are all added to this package: 50 Gb of SSD storage space, unmetered bandwidth, standard performance, 1 free domain name, 25 sub-domains, and 5 parked domains. And yes, a free SSL certificate is added here as well. As a matter of fact, an SSL is present in all 3 shared hosting plans.
Plus: This is the second plan that costs $5.95/month and the features are upgraded from the first plan. You get access to host an unlimited number of websites with unlimited SSD storage space. Parked and sub-domains are also unlimited to add to your account.
This plan gives you something else as well. You receive $200 for ad credits for marketing purposes. If you want to market your website in a more efficient and fast way, these $200 of credits will be of great help.
Choice Plus: The third and final shared hosting plan from BlueHost comes for a monthly $5.95. Yes, that’s the price, there’s no error. You might think that the 3rd plan should cost more than the 2 nd one, right? Well, in the case of BlueHost, that’s not true. This plan comes for the same price as the previous one, but with some new additions.
If you check the official page, you’ll see that this is the recommended plan that is used by most people. And that is for a good reason. Besides all the features from the previous plans, you also get 1 SpamExperts, 1 Domain Privacy feature, and 1 CodeGuard Basic. What are these new additions?
Of course, SpamExperts is an anti-spam tool for emailing. The Domain Privacy will make sure your personal info linked to your website is hidden from the web. You really don’t want personal info out there. CodeGuard is a tool that takes care of automatic daily backups and saves them as different versions. This will let you restore a website to an older version in no-time.
The best and most reasonable plan from BlueHost is the third plan called Choice Plus. For the same price as the second package, you get some additional options and efficient hosting.
3. InMotion Hosting
InMotion Hosting is a US based company that was first founded in 2001 by 2 professionals. It quickly became a popular choice for those in need of simple but efficient web hosting services.
InMotion offers great shared hosting services that are split up into 3 separate plans. They come for the following prices:
- Launch: $3.99/month. This is the first basic plan, but it offers great features for new websites: free domain name, support for 2 websites, unlimited disk space, bandwidth and email accounts and other features too.
- Power: $5.99/month. This plan supports 6 websites in 1 single account and gives you 2x the performance compared to the first plan. The rest is the same.
- Pro: $13.99/month. The highest tier plan lets you host an unlimited number of websites in 1 single account and also comes with pro-level support and 4x the performance of the first plan.
But maybe you’re thinking, where is the SSL certificate? This is the best part about InMotion Hosting: every shared hosting plan, even the basic one, grants you access to an SSL certificate for free. You don’t have to pay anything in addition to the price of the hosting package.
The idea is, that for a monthly $3.99, you get a great web hosting service, along with free SSL certificates for 2 websites. That is a good deal, that most people take into consideration when choosing InMotion over other hosting companies.
iPage is a little bit different from the other companies on this list. Instead of splitting up the hosting in 3 separate plans, iPage is offering 1 plan that will fit every need. This is a different approach, but it still works well. The plan costs only $1.99 / month if you pay for at least 1 year ahead.
What will you get for this price? Pretty much everything that could ever be needed to host a website. For specifics, check out this list below:
- Unlimited disk space using SSD
- Scalable bandwidth, according to your needs.
- Unlimited domain names, which means unlimited websites for hosting.
- Free domain name, if you pay for 1 year upfront.
- Free SSL certificate – exactly what you need.
- Free website builder: a drag-and-drop tool that lets you create websites in a matter of minutes. It comes with templates optimized for mobile use.
- 1-click WordPress installation.
- E-commerce features included (PayPal integration, shopping cart etc.)
- Custom-made control panel.
- Tutorials to help you get started.
- Top-notch customer support system via phone and chat.
- Other options too, the list goes on.
These are the most important features that iPage will offer you for the above-mentioned price.
It’s worth mentioning, that iPage is also selling Comodo SSL certificates for $35.99 / year. The usual price ranges from $50 to $200 for a year.
IPage’s shared hosting plan is best for those who need service for small to medium sized websites. The features they offer are great for such sites. But if you have an already big and popular website with hundreds of thousands of visitors (or even more), it would be best to look for a more complex hosting plan.
They also offer dedicated and VPS hosting services with a lot more resources for reasonable prices. The security is assured here as well, SSL certificates being available for free with these plans.
A2Hosting is a popular choice among website owners. It’s not the most notable player in the business, but it’s worth mentioning because it comes with great hosting plans for pretty cheap prices. The main goal with A2Hosting is to offer a fast hosting service for anyone.
This company offers the following types of hosting services:
- Shared hosting – the most popular version here as well.
- Managed WordPress hosting – great addition. Popular for WP based websites.
- Reseller hosting – similar to shared hosting, but with the possibility to have your own clients.
- Dedicated hosting
- VPS hosting
The shared hosting plans are the most widely used services, so we’ll talk about this type of hosting.
Every plan comes with a free SSL certificate included in the package. So, no matter which plans you would choose, the security of your website will be assured.
I’ll talk about the second plan that A2Hosting is offering. This is their most popular plan and for a good reason. It’s called Swift, and it costs $4.90/month. Yes, it’s quite cheap. But what will you receive for this price?
For instance, they give you access to unlimited websites for hosting in one account with unlimited storage and data transfer. This is all backed by modern SSD drives for a faster site loading speed.
The control panel they offer is the traditional cPanel. This is a good aspect because if you’ve used it in the past (which is possible), you don’t have to learn a new control panel from scratch. Though this is a pro, only considering what you need. With other companies, a custom-made control panel could be better. So, it really depends on someone’s taste.
Compared to other companies, A2Hosting has another great option included in any plan, not just this one: Anytime money back guarantee. That’s right, you can opt for a refund anytime, not just in the first 30 days like with most services.
SiteGround is a hosting company that grew big in recent years. Just like many other options on this list, SiteGround also lets you choose between many types of hosting services: shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, reseller hosting, enterprise hosting and even WooCommerce hosting for online shops.
SiteGround’s shared hosting plans are best suited for small to medium sized websites. That is because the storage space is limited and suitable for a certain number of monthly visitors. But even like this, shared hosting has everything a smaller or medium sized website could need. Let’s see why.
For start, all the plans they offer come with some essential features. These consist of the following items:
- 24×7 customer support
- Unmetered traffic and unlimited MySQL databases
- cPanel and SSH access for being able to work on your site remotely
- Free daily backups
- Free Cloudflare CDN for more security
- Free professional email accounts
- And last but not least: free SSL certificate for all the websites hosted with SiteGround
The 3 shared hosting plans are split up in this manner:
- StartUp: $3.95/month – suitable for about 10,000 monthly visitors
- GrowBig: $5.95/month – made to work with 25,000 monthly visitors
- GoGeek: $11.95/month – supports 100,000 monthly visitors
Every plan, no matter if shared hosting or not, comes with a free site builder for those who need a fast and easy way to create websites. A2Hosting is promising a 99,99% uptime for all the sites hosted on any of their plans. This is a must for all modern web hosting services.
This is the 7th option on our list of the top 10 hosting services that offer free SSL. And just like our previous options, this company also lives up to the need for free SSL. Every hosting plan that GreenGeeks is offering comes with a free SSL certificate in the box. Higher tier plans, also let you use a Let’s Encrypt wildcard SSL.
This version of SSL certificate is provided by Let’s Encrypt, a free and open-source certificate authority. It works best with smaller personal websites that have fewer visitors. But for such websites, it is very efficient.
GreenGeeks is also offering traditional SSL certificates, with trust seals and warranties as well. The choice is yours on which one is best for you. For bigger websites, the premium SSL is better, because it’s backed up by a $10K value warranty. This value can go up depending on your specific case.
The best-shared hosting plan that GreenGeeks offers is called Ecosite Starter. This plan costs a monthly $2.95. It’s the first shared hosting plan, but the best value for your money. It includes all these features:
- Unlimited SSD storage space.
- Unlimited bandwidth.
- Unlimited email accounts.
- Unlimited domains for hosting (yes, in the starter package)
- Free SSL certificate and CDN.
- Free site builder tool.
- Free website transfer and backups.
- Unlimited MySQL databases for more efficient data handling.
- cPanel and Softaculous (software that lets you install easily all kinds of web apps into your websites)
- PCI compliance. This is very helpful if you plan to launch an online store.
This is a European based company that comes with low prices for high-end features. Something that really stands out with Hostinger is the customer support. They make available standard email support through tickets, as well as live chat and phone support.
The team who takes care of this is the best. They answer you in minutes (worst case scenario) and know all there is about web hosting and Hostinger’s services. In most cases, they can come up with a solution to a certain problem within minutes. Every customer is very satisfied with this matter.
But what about the security of the platform? Hostinger offers shared hosting just like most companies out there. The only plan (shared hosting plan) that offers free SSL certificates is the third one called Business. You might think that this Isn’t the best deal then. But let me tell you what the price is for this plan: $3.95/month. Yes, that’s the 3rd, highest shared hosting plan, and it’s this cheap.
Along with a free SSL certificate, you also get the following features:
- Unlimited disk space with SSD drives
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited MySQL databases
- Free domain name as an addition
- Free daily automatic backups + weekly backups as well
- Unlimited email accounts
- Modern user-friendly website builder
- Top-notch support 24×7
- Custom-made easy to use control panel
- DNS management
- Unlimited parked domains and 100 sub-domains per account
- FTP over SSL – more secure file transfer method
- 1-click installer for more than 100 applications
- Managed WordPress hosting
- And other pros… (I won’t list them all)
Something that Hostinger does very well, is to help its new users understand how website management works. They have a specific site, where you can find all kinds of blog posts and tutorials (even videos) about how you can manage your site more efficiently. For example, the videos on how to use WordPress (or other CMS) to grow your website and create a sustainable online business.
This company is well-known for its WordPress hosting capabilities. Yes, the main focus for this service is to offer the best WordPress hosting you can find online. Just look at all the hosting services they have:
- Shared hosting for WordPress
- Managed WordPress hosting
- WooCommerce hosting (still based on WP)
- Simple shared hosting
- VPS hosting
- Dedicated hosting
- Cloud hosting
For now, we’ll look at the traditional shared hosting capabilities it offers. You’ll be glad to find out, that both shared hosting plans that DreamHost makes available, offer a free SSL certificate. The best plan is the second one called Shared Unlimited.
This costs $7.95/month. It is a bit more expensive than other companies offer, but it’s worth the price. For instance, you get unlimited websites in the account for hosting. This plan also gives you one free domain name included in the price.
Storage is handled with SSD drives, which is unlimited along with the supported traffic. WordPress is pre-installed if you need it. This plan is payable on a yearly and monthly basis as well. This way, if you want, you can pay for a month to try out the service, and if you don’t like it, they give you a 97-day money back guarantee.
All in all, everything you could need, is included in this shared hosting plan.
Cloudways is a hosting company that works well for small and big websites as well. They have a huge variety of hosting packages, but we’ll focus on the most popular ones in this overview.
Since we’re talking about hosting for individual persons, I’ll cover the first 2 plans from Cloudways: DO1GB and DO2GB.
The first plan costs a monthly $10 and you get all the following features: 25 GB of SSD storage, 1 TB of bandwidth, account management dashboard, CDN, 24×7 support and 1 GB of RAM. For a starter website, this is more than enough.
The second plan comes for $22/month. The resources are upgraded compared to the first plan. You get 2 GB of RAM, 2 TB of bandwidth, 50 GB of storage, and the other features from the first package.
The most important question is though: does Cloudways offer free SSL certificates? The short answer is Yes, it does. It uses Let’s Encrypt free SSL for every hosting plan, which means that any certificate is entirely free to use.
We’ve got through all the hosting companies on our list. As you can see, all of them will give you a free SSL certificate.
Let’s recap quickly what we talked about:
- You know what an SSL certificate is and why it’s important to have one installed on your website, no matter the type of site you have.
- After that, you could learn how an SSL works on any website. To understand it easier, I gave you a small example in which an online store takes advantage of the SSL certificate.
- The next part was to talk about all the 10 best hosting services that grant you access to a free SSL certificate.
The next step is yours. To decide which hosting company is best for you, you must think of the certain needs your website has. For instance, a smaller site can use a simpler hosting plan with fewer features. But a more complex website that has many monthly visitors, needs a higher tier plan with more resources.
Something else that needs to be thought about is the goal of your website. If you know this, you’ll be in a better situation to find the best hosting service that comes with a free SSL certificate.