Recent trends show having a domain with HTTPS can help your SEO rankings. As ever with Google, exactly how much impact having an SSL benefits your rankings is unknown. However if both Gary Illyes and John Mueller are recommending a HTTPS first approach you know it’s probably going to be somewhat significant. Google are even pushing this change through with it’s own browser chrome, so if you’re still using a HTTP only domain, it’s 2018, get updated already.
An important SSL installation lesson
Lately I have been playing around with a few different domain hostings, one of which includes mynordicbox, but more on that another time. Most recently I switched this domain, techfuse.co.uk, to a new provider (GoDaddy renewal fees are not recommended). All going well it seems now would be the time to jump on the HTTPS bandwagon. This time, rather than request help from the host provider I figured I would complete the setup myself. How hard could it be?
As it turns out, it’s not that hard. If using cPanel you create a certificate signing request or CSR, then send this across to the certificate provider through your host. It’s a fairly basic form and takes less than 5 minutes to finish. WARNING, what I do next is what you shouldn’t do.
Let’s Encrypt, the obvious HTTPS solution
Let’s Encrypt is an open certificate authority created by the non-profit Internet Security Research Group. If you have a host who supports Let’s Encrypt with cPanel then you can save time and money (it’s free!) by setting up an SSL certificate in minutes. If activated then you simply install a certificate through the security tab in cPanel. If it’s not available or you can’t find the option then you can still request support for it from your host provider who should be able to install it for you.