11 Best Free SSL Hosting Providers: Protection Without the Price Tag

best free ssl hosting providers featured imageThis article has the power to keep your site safe from hackers. Below, we’ll introduce you to the very best hosting providers that include free SSL security with their hosting plans.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encrypts information being passed through your website. It keeps your visitor’s private information, like their payment details, safe and secure. SSL certificates vary in security level and price, ranging anywhere from $19.99 to $269.99 per year.

But you don’t always have to pay for your SSL certificate. Because they’re so important, most hosting providers throw them into their plans free of charge! But with so many offering the bonus of free SSL security, how are you meant to choose?

Not all hosting providers were made equal, which is why we pulled our socks up, put our gloves on, and got our magnifying glasses out to find the best providers. After hours of research, we created this list of the ultimate free SSL hosting providers.

11 Best Free SSL Hosting Providers

Best overall hosting provider

4.6 out of 5

Top Choice
Uptime

4.5 out of 5 stars

Types of Hosting

5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

4.5 out of 5 stars

Best for shared and VPS hosting

4.5 out of 5

Uptime

3.5 out of 5 stars

Types of Hosting

5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

5 out of 5 stars

Best for WordPress specific hosting

4.4 out of 5

Uptime

4 out of 5 stars

Types of Hosting

4.5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4.5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

3.5 out of 5 stars

This article will shine a light on each of these providers, give you details on their plans and prices, and of course, dish out some juicy tips on the SSL security they’ve got on offer. By the end of this article, you won’t have a shadow of doubt about which one is best for your hosting and security needs.

It’s a big wide world, and there’s danger at every turn. There’s no time to waste – let’s find the perfect free SSL hosting provider to keep your site secure!

Best Free SSL Hosting Providers

SSL certificates are absolutely essential for running a successful website. You know that already – but what exactly do they do that makes them so important?

SSL security sets up a secure link between your website’s server and its browsers, encrypting any data being passed between the two. That’s how logins, transactions, and data transfers are kept safe from hackers or breaches.

Visitors and search engines will stay away from your site if they don’t see “HTTPS”, or the little padlock that appear in the corner of the search bar when a site is secured with SSL security.

website address ssl
Visitors can clearly see when a site is encrypted with SSL security by the padlock symbol and “HTTPS” part of the url address.

You’ll have trouble ranking or gaining trust without it – which is why hosting providers are stepping up and including SSL certificates for free in their hosting plans.

Best Free SSL Hosting Providers: Head-to-Head Comparison

Provider Support Disk Space Uptime Money-back Guarantee* Cheapest Price
HostGator 24/7 Unlimited 99.99% 45 days $2.75
InMotion 24/7

Unlimited

99.97%

90 days $6.39
Bluehost 24/7 50GB – Unlimited 99.98% 30 days $2.75
A2 Hosting 24/7 Unlimited 99.95% Anytime $3.92
1&1 IONOS 24/7 100GB – 1TB 99.98% 30 days $1
SiteGround 24/7 10GB – 960GB 99.98% 30 days $3.95
GoDaddy 24/7 100GB – Unlimited 99.97% No $4.99
iPage 24/7 Unlimited 99.94% 30 days $1.99
WPEngine 24/7 10GB – 1TB 99.95% 60 days $35
DreamHost Help Center and tickets 50GB – Unlimited 99.95% 97 days $2.59
HostPapa Live chat and phone 100GB – Unlimited 99.97% 30 days $3.95

*This shows the standard time period – it can vary depending on which hosting type you choose.

#1. HostGator

Best overall hosting provider

Best overall hosting provider

4.6 out of 5

Top Choice
Uptime

4.5 out of 5 stars

Types of Hosting

5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

4.5 out of 5 stars

HostGator is a popular and powerful hosting provider which scored top marks in our research for dedicated hosting, as well as ticking all the boxes to be crowned the best overall hosting provider!

It offers free SSL certificates on all its hosting plans, so no matter which type of hosting you choose, you’ll still benefit. The SSL certificate automatically renews, so your site should never be without security.

Whether you choose the cheapest shared hosting or the most advanced dedicated hosting, you’ll get the same level of SSL security included in your plan. This offers unlimited protection for domains and subdomains, and is recognized by all major browsers.

If you want extra features, or more powerful security, then you do have the option of purchasing a more advanced SSL certificate. You can upgrade to any of these:

  • Positive SSL for $19.99 per year
  • Multi-Domain SSL for $79.99 per year
  • Extended Validation (EV) SSL for $269.99 per year

While these have more advanced features – such as the TrustLogo Site Seal or green address bar – for most sites, the free SSL certificate should be more than fine.

HostGator is the best hosting provider for dedicated hosting – as well as the free SSL certificate, you get 8GB RAM, unmetered bandwidth, 1TB HDD storage, full root access, and more. What’s more, that’s just on the cheapest $119 per month Value Server plan. So while it might not be the cheapest plan around, you really do get what you pay for!

HostGator Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
  • Best dedicated hosting provider
  • Highest uptime on the market at 99.99%
  • Not the cheapest provider on the market
hostgator ssl security
HostGator provides all its users with a free SSL certificate, no matter which plan you choose.

Further Information

#2. InMotion

Best for shared and VPS hosting

Best for shared and VPS hosting

4.5 out of 5

Uptime

3.5 out of 5 stars

Types of Hosting

5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

5 out of 5 stars

InMotion outshone its competitors in our research when it came to shared hosting and VPS hostingthere isn’t a better provider on the market for these types of hosting!

What really put the icing on InMotion’s cake was the fact it offers free SSL certificates on almost all of its hosting plans. The odd one out is unmanaged cloud VPS hosting, which is really aimed at IT teams and coders.

For all other plans, you simply have to go to your settings and turn on your SSL certificate. Hey presto – your site is encrypted!

There are slightly different rules for SSL security depending which plan you’re on – on the shared plan, for example, you simply get a private SSL included for free. On the managed VPS plan, you get something a bit fancier – you can install AutoSSL for free in your control panel.

AutoSSL makes it easy to manage your site’s security, by automatically renewing your free SSL certificate. It also scans all the websites on your server, and installs SSL certificates for any unprotected active domains.

That’s pretty handy!

Along with this free SSL, InMotion’s VPS plans also include up to 260GB storage, free backups, and up to 6TB bandwidth. Prices range from $27.99 to $64.99 per month across its three VPS plans.

InMotion Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
  • Best provider for shared and VPS hosting
  • 90 day money back guarantee
  • Pricier hosting plans than some competitors
inmotion shared plans free ssl
InMotion is the best shared hosting provider on the market, and includes free SSL certificates even on its cheapest hosting plans.

Further Information

#3. Bluehost

Best for WordPress specific hosting

Best for WordPress specific hosting

4.4 out of 5

Uptime

4 out of 5 stars

Types of Hosting

4.5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4.5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

3.5 out of 5 stars

Bluehost powers over 2 million websites worldwide, and provides a great all-around service. But where it really wows is its WordPress hosting. In fact, it’s the number one recommended hosting provider by WordPress itself!

One of the most important aspects of WordPress hosting is security, so it’s no surprise Bluehost steps up big time in this area. One of the ways it does this is to provide a free SSL certificate across all its hosting plans.

Your free SSL certificate is powered by Let’s Encrypt, an automated certificate authority. Let’s Encrypt should install and activate your certificate on your behalf, so you don’t need to sweat over any techy stuff. More on this later!

For WordPress sites, you simply log into your control panel and click “get started” under WordPress Free SSL, then click install to get going. You can find detailed instructions in Bluehost’s Help Center.

The cheapest hosting for WordPress users starts with Bluehost’s $2.95 per month Basic plan. This includes 50GB web space, a free domain, and automatic WordPress updates alongside your free SSL security.

Bluehost Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
  • Free domain included in annual plans
  • Number one recommended provider by WordPress
  • Add-ons at checkout can increase price if you don’t deselect them
bluehost ssl web hosting
Bluehost provides SSL security for all of its hosting plans, and is a top WordPress provider.

Further Information

#4. A2 Hosting

Best for customer service

Best for customer service

4.1 out of 5

Uptime

2.5 out of 5 stars

Types of Hosting

5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

4.5 out of 5 stars

A2 Hosting has also partnered with Let’s Encrypt to bring its users free, automated SSL certificates. This makes your life easier, as it means you don’t have to do the work of installing or configuring your certificate yourself.

And if you do get a bit stuck managing your SSL security, you’ll be in good hands – A2 Hosting scored impressively in our research for its customer service. So if you ever run into problems, you can count on a speedy and helpful response.

If you want to add extra features, you can buy one of the four solutions A2 Hosting offers in addition to its free Let’s Encrypt certificate. You can choose from:

  • Single Site SSL from $49.95 per year – basic protection
  • Premium SSL from $99.95 per year – features for business sites
  • Wildcard SSL from $149.95 per year – single certificate protects unlimited subdomains
  • Advanced SSL from $199 per year – features for ecommerce sites

You buy these through A2 Hosting to keep things simple and secure, but this is totally optional. You can stick with the free certificate included in your plan – your choice will depend on your specific needs.

A2 Hosting promises speed and reliability, even on its most basic shared hosting plan. From $3.92 per month, you get unlimited storage, free site transfer, an anytime money back guarantee, and more!

A2 Hosting Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
  • Anytime money back guarantee
  • Great customer service
  • No free domain
  • Average uptime at 99.95%
a2 hosting free and premium ssl
A2 Hosting provides you with multiple options for SSL security, from free certificates to premium options.

Further Information

#5. 1&1 IONOS

Best for cloud hosting

Best for cloud hosting

4.1 out of 5

Uptime

4 out of 5 stars

Types of Hosting

5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

3 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

4 out of 5 stars

1&1 IONOS mixes things up, offering Wildcard SSL certificates on its hosting plans. This type of SSL certificate protects one domain and an unlimited number of subdomains. This saves you the headache of managing multiple certificates for different subdomains.

1&1 IONOS includes one certificate with all hosting products, and automates the installation and renewal of your certificate to save you time and stress!

For an extra cost, you can also purchase and set up an additional SSL certificate through the 1&1 IONOS store.

If you need cloud hosting, your search ends with 1&1 IONOS – it had all the other providers beat when we tested their cloud hosting plans. Ranging from $10 to $355 per month, its eight managed cloud hosting plans include a free domain for one year, free backups, up to 500GB storage, and by-the-minute billing for flexible and powerful plans.

1&1 IONOS Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
  • Best cloud hosting provider
  • Free domain name included
  • No live chat support
1&1 ionos shared hosting ssl
This is 1&1 IONOS’ shared hosting package. It comes with a Wildcard SSL certificate to protect your site.

Further Information

#6. SiteGround

Best for reliability

Best for reliability

4 out of 5

Uptime

4 out of 5 stars

Types of Hosting

4.5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

3 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

4.5 out of 5 stars

You can count on SiteGround – it came out as the most reliable hosting provider in our research.

SiteGround provides Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates for free with all its plans, and also offers Premium Wildcard and Premium SSL certificates as optional paid extras. Your free certificate will be automatically applied to your domains and automatically renewed, saving you time.

The Premium Wildcard certificate is designed for medium sized websites, comes with free installation, and costs $90 per year through SiteGround. If you’re a large business site, you might want the Premium SSL, which comes with extended validation and costs $499 per year.

siteground ssl certificates features
SiteGround automatically includes a free SSL certificate, but you can choose to add a paid SSL if you need extra features.

You can issue as many free Let’s Encrypt certificates as you need, no matter which plan you’re on – as long as you have a SiteGround account, you’re all set!

In our research, SiteGround scored most highly for its dedicated hosting. It has three dedicated hosting plans, ranging in price from $269 to $729 per month. These are fully managed and come with an array of features, including 10TB bandwidth.

SiteGround is also officially recommended by WordPress due to its one-click installation and managed updates available for WordPress users.

SiteGround Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
  • Recommended by WordPress
  • Not the cheapest hosting on the market
siteground shared hosting features
SiteGround’s shared hosting plans come with free SSL as part of their essential features.

Further Information

#7. GoDaddy Hosting

Best for extra features

Best for extra features

3.8 out of 5

Uptime

3.5 out of 5 stars

Types of Hosting

4.5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

3.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

1.5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

5 out of 5 stars

GoDaddy isn’t the most advanced hosting provider out there, but it does have the benefit of offering tons of extra services alongside its hosting. You can manage your domains, marketing, security, email, and more, all from the convenience of one place!

GoDaddy does offer SSL certificates, but it’s not quite as generous as its competitors.

On its shared hosting plans, the two cheapest plans do not provide free SSL security. The Ultimate plan does provide you with a free SSL certificate for your first year, after which it will renew at $79.99 per year.

Only the most expensive Maximum plan includes a free SSL certificate for the full term of your plan.

The WordPress hosting plans work the same way: the two cheapest plans offer no SSL security, the Ultimate plan provides one for your first year, and the most expensive Pro 5+ plan gives you one for as long as you stay on that plan.

On all of GoDaddy’s dedicated and VPS hosting plans, you get a free SSL certificate for the first year. After that, you’ll be paying the full price of the certificate on top of your hosting plan.

GoDaddy Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
  • Easy to buy SSL as an extra feature
  • Free backups on most plans
  • SSL certificates not provided for free on all plans
  • No money back guarantee on most plans
godaddy ssl purchase
GoDaddy doesn’t provide SSL security for free on all its hosting plans, but it does make it easy to buy as an extra feature.

Further Information

#8. iPage

Best for cheap prices, but at the expense of speed

Best for cheap plans, but at the expense of speed

3.6 out of 5

Uptime

2 out of 5 stars

Types of Hosting

4.5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

2 out of 5 stars

iPage can boast some of the cheapest prices on the market. With its “all-in-one” shared hosting plan costing just $1.99 per month, it’s a very pocket-friendly hosting provider!

This shared hosting plan includes a free SSL certificate. This is fairly basic, and won’t protect multiple subdomains like other providers, but it will still do the job. You also have three premium SSL certificates to choose from if you want a higher level of security.

ipage ssl plans
iPage provides a free SSL certificate on all its plans, but also offers three premium certificates with extra features.

All iPage hosting plans include this basic free SSL certificate, so it’s up to you if you want to pay extra for those more advanced features – either way, you can sleep soundly knowing your site is secure.

iPage Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
  • Cheap prices
  • Great value for money
  • Low uptime of 99.94%
  • Slow server speeds
ipage shared hosting ssl
iPage’s all-in-one shared hosting plan combines cheap prices with tons of features, including a free SSL certificate.

Further Information

#9. WPEngine

Best for help and support

Best for help and support

3.5 out of 5

Uptime

2.5 out of 5 stars

Types of Hosting

4 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

2 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

4.5 out of 5 stars

WPEngine provides free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates on all its plans!

It really is as simple as that – each of its four price plans include automated SSL certificates, and you can easily add more if you need to cover multiple domains.

WPEngine’s hosting plans are designed for WordPress users, and start with the $35 per month Startup plan. The $115 per month Growth plan is the next level up, and the $290 per month Scale plan is the highest price plan.

These three plans give you between 10GB and 30GB storage, and 50GB to 400GB bandwidth per month

There is also a Custom price plan designed for supersized websites.

WPEngine gives you a great range of help and support options, so if you do ever get stuck with your SSL, you’re in good hands.

WPEngine Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
  • Great help and support
  • Lots of features alongside free SSL
  • No promotions means pricey upfront cost
wpengine ssl help
WPEngine has in-depth help guides to make your SSL life as easy as possible

Further Information

#10. DreamHost

Best for storage space

Best for storage space

3.1 out of 5

Uptime

2.5 out of 5 stars

Types of Hosting

5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

1 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

2.5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

5 out of 5 stars

DreamHost is a feature packed provider that includes free SSL certificates in its hefty toolbox. It’s also officially recommended by WordPress, so has that extra interest for any WordPress users out there.

All of DreamHost’s hosting plans come with a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate, and there are two types of SSL you can add to your domain – the free Let’s Encrypt SSL, or the $15 per year Sectigo verified SSL.

The main difference between them is that the paid option displays a certificate seal of trust, making it as obvious as possible to visitors that your website is safe. Because of this, the paid SSL is mostly recommended for online stores.

DreamHost doesn’t support WildCard SSL like some other providers do, so you need to install separate SSL certificates for each of your domains and subdomains for them to be protected.

So what else does DreamHost offer? For starters, it provides all the main hosting types:

  • Shared hosting
  • VPS
  • Dedicated
  • Cloud
  • Shared WordPress
  • Managed WordPress

For anyone just starting out, its shared hosting plans are the cheapest, starting at $2.95 per month. This plan gives you a free SSL certificate, as well as unlimited traffic, a free domain, and WordPress pre-installed.

If you use WordPress, it’s worth looking at the $16.95 per month DreamPress plan – this not only gives you daily backups and 24/7 WordPress support, but also pre-installs your free SSL certificate for you!

DreamHost Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
  • Officially recommended by WordPress
  • Great range of features
  • Pricey hosting plans
  • Smaller range of help and support than competitors
dreamhost plans free ssl
Whether you choose shared, WordPress, or VPS hosting, you get a free SSL certificate included in your plan.

#11. HostPapa

Best for keeping things basic

Best for keeping things basic

3 out of 5

Uptime

3.5 out of 5 stars

Types of Hosting

4 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

1 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

3 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

3.5 out of 5 stars

HostPapa provides free Let’s Encrypt certificates for all your domains and subdomains. Any SSL provider can be used for your certificate, but HostPapa itself provides Let’s Encrypt and GlobalSign.

All HostPapa plans come pre-installed with a free Let’s Encrypt SSL, and the Business Pro plan actually enables a GlobalSign SSL for you, adding extra security. If you want a GlobalSign SSL but aren’t on the Business Pro plan, you can simply buy one and enable it yourself!

You can either buy a single GlobalSign SSL for $19.99 per year, or a Wildcard one for $69.99 if you need protection for unlimited subdomains.

This means you’re pretty well covered when it comes to your security – but how good is HostPapa’s hosting?

In all honesty, it’s not the best provider on the market, but it’s still one of the best. The main thing to be aware of with HostPapa is that while it joins its competitors in offering great deals for new customers, its renewal prices can come with a sting in their tail.

As long as you sign up to HostPapa fully aware of its long-term costs, then you should find it a decent and satisfactory service. Its shared hosting plans start at $3.95 per month, and include free website transfer and free one-on-one training alongside its free SSL certificate.

HostPapa Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
  • Unlimited bandwidth on cheapest plans
  • Free domain registration available
  • Expensive renewal costs
  • No free backups
hostpapa ssl certificates
HostPapa provides two types of SSL security, which either come included in your plan, or are available to purchase.

Further Information

What About Let’s Encrypt?

We’ve mentioned Let’s Encrypt a number of times throughout this review, so let’s take a quick dive into what makes this initiative tick.

What is Let’s Encrypt?

Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated certificate authority with the aim of making the web a more secure place. That’s why it gives people free SSL certificates to encrypt their sites with, in a user-friendly way.

You can get your SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt yourself, so you don’t have to rely on your hosting provider.

There are several types of SSL, but the three main ones are:

  • Domain Validation (DV) – standard level of security
  • Organization Validation (OV)  – intermediate level of security
  • Extended Validation (EV) – advanced level of security

Let’s Encrypt only provides you with DV certificates. These are solid, secure, and basic – but not in a bad way! They will protect your site, and encrypt any data being processed.

However, if you need more advanced security, then Let’s Encrypt is not the best option for you.

Is Let’s Encrypt Right For Me?

If you’re running an online store or are processing very sensitive information, then you will need a private SSL, which Let’s Encrypt cannot provide you with.

As you’ve seen, you can usually buy these advanced SSL certificates straight from your hosting provider, making life much simpler!

Let’s Encrypt gives you the standard level of security your site needs. Many hosting providers provide a free Let’s Encrypt SSL as part of their hosting plans, so you don’t need to worry about sourcing it yourself.

Further Information

Best Free SSL Hosting Providers: Summary

This article has taken you through the very best providers offering free SSL certificates, and shone a light into the dark corners of web security.

SSL certificates are essential for all websites – without them, your visitors’ information won’t be encrypted, your site will not be secure, and any data processed through your site will be vulnerable to hackers. Not to mention you will struggle to rank in Google.

11 Best Free SSL Hosting Providers: Recap

The best way to choose a provider is to look at your budget, decide which features are most important to you, and look at which providers are best for which type of hosting. If you’re after VPS hosting, for example, start with InMotion.

Our top tip would be not to forget about renewal prices, as they will increase once your promotional period is over!

Also, check what type of SSL is being offered – many providers include Let’s Encrypt SSL, which is a good standard level of security. But if you need even better security, you’ll either need a more advanced hosting plan, or have to choose a different provider if you don’t want to pay out yourself.

Don’t leave your website out in the cold, unprotected and alone – choose one of these hosting providers, and give your site the warm glow of a fresh SSL certificate today!

Best Free SSL Hosting Providers: FAQs

Are free SSL certificates actually secure enough?

There are unreliable and unofficial SSL certificate providers out there, which you shouldn’t trust to give you a secure SSL. However, as long as you choose an established and reliable provider – like Let’s Encrypt, Cloudflare, or any of the hosting providers from our list – then a free SSL can be trusted to keep your site safe.

What type of SSL is best for my website?

There are three main types of SSL, which provide different levels of security. Domain Validation (DV) certificates are the most basic type, and this is what you get for free. This is fine for most websites, but it’s not recommended for business or ecommerce sites. For that you’ll need an Organization Validation (OV), or for even more advanced security, an Extended Validation (EV) certificate.

How long do SSL certificates last for?

This will depend on the provider you choose. Most SSL certificates are charged yearly, but others like SiteGround renew every three months. Automatic renewal is a great option to make sure your site always stays protected, so you don’t have to worry about doing it manually.

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About Lucy Carney

Lucy Carney

You’re not alone! Building a website can be scary, especially if you’re like me with no previous coding experience. With the help of our experts I’m here as a friendly voice to help guide you into the exciting world of website building. If I can do it, so can you!

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