Chris is a certified oracle cloud infrastructure (OCI) associate and co-founder of Thriving Smart LLC.
A Quick Cloudflare Setup Guide
This guide is aimed at being the easiest way for you to get SSL Certificate (for personal or organizational use). It is laid down with reduced or no technical rigorous processes.
Cloudflare is awesome and doesn't require monthly or yearly maintenance charges.
This is ideal if you are using a shared webhosting solution.
- Create a free account on cloudflare.
- Add your domain name
- Select a domain plan
- Update your nameservers to point to the 2 nameservers cloudflare will show
- Set SSL/TLS to "FULL".
Elaborate Guide For Setting Up Domain On Cloudflare With Images
In as much as this sounds easy to implement, I still want an "Average Joe" to be able to setup free SSL certificates for their website.
Let's get going.
Step 1 - Create Account And Login
Visit https://www.cloudflare.com/ and create a free account and login to your account. If you have an account already, then log in to your existing account.
Cloudflare Signup Page
Step 2 - Start The Process
On the user account dashboard, click the button "Add a Site"
Step 3 - Add Domain
On the opened page, add your website address.
For instance: If your website is "www.hubpages.com", you will enter only "hubpages.com".
Then, click the button "Add Site"
Step 4 - Select Plan
On this page, scroll all way down to select the FREE plan
Step 5 - Fetching DNS Settings
At this stage, the cloudflare system will populate your current server DNS records.
This can take a few seconds, so be patient if you see white/blank page.
Once that is done, click the button to continue.
Step 6 - Setting Nameservers
Now, you will be provided with 2 nameservers.
An example of the nameservers:
You have to login to the place you registered domain name and update the DNS with new record.
Step 7 - Clouflare SSL Options
Once you have set the nameservers provided by cloudflare on your domain, it could take up to 60minutes for cloudflare to confirm the record.
- Now, from your cloudflare dashboard, click on the domain to load the domain details.
- On the left menu, click "SSL/TLS".
- On the page that loads, select "FULL"
Are there other ways to get free SSL Certificate?
Yes, absolutely. There are many ways to get free certificate for your website.
- Comodo Free Trial: You can get 90-days free offer from Comodo.com, but after the 90-days, you will need to purchase for a minimum period of 1year.
- LetsEncrypt: The organization behind this project provides free certificate for all users. You can get from LetsEncrypt.org (but this requires technical expertise and it is only recommended if you run a VPS or Dedicated Server).
- ZeroSSL: Zerossl is a wrapper of Letsencrypt that takes out most of the technical works required with LetsEncrypt. They offer a free tier that allows you to get free SSL Certificate, but it does not include free renewal after 90days. This means you have to come back every 90days to manually renew your certificate.
To conclude, here is an important notice
The free SSL certificates are best for basic websites where users are not required to enter their credit card details.
Free SSL is for you - If you are a fitness trainer that take payment with clickbank, then you serve the training through a pre-recorded video on your website.
Free SSL Certificate is NOT for you - if you own an e-commerce website and clients pay on the website.
Let me know with the comment box if you have any questions.