Hostinger is one of my favorite affordable web hosts. The only thing that bugs me slighlty is that Hostinger does not offer an SSL certificate for free.
Here’s how to get a free SSL certificate on a website hosted with Hostinger.
Most web hosts offer a free SSL certificate through Let’s Encrypt, which needs to be renewed every now and then. At the time of my writing this, Hostinger has it as an upsell for $12 lifetime fee.
That’s not bad at all if you’re going to be running your website for a while. In my case, I often create new websites and delete them for development and testing purposes. I cannot be bothered to take out my credit card every time I deploy a new website!
There are two workarounds for getting a free SSL certificate on a website hosted on Hostinger (and other web hosts, too).
You can issue a third-party SSL certificate, or use CloudFlare.
Workaround: Copy and paste the third-party SSL certificate
Issue a third-party SSL certificate, and copy and paste the private key into Hostinger to make it work.
Create an account with sslforfree.com. You can issue a 90-day SSL certificate for up to 3 websites for free.
Step 1 Verify the ownership of your website through email verification.
Step 2 Confirm your ownership and download the certificate in zip.
Step 3 After you unzip the files, do not just open them. You need to open each of those as a text.
Then copy and paste the text content to Hostinger.
Step 4 After you copy-and-paste the text, make sure that you have installed the certificate correctly.
Workaround: Reroute through CloudFlare
Point your DNS from your domain registrar (like Namecheap or GoDaddy) to your web host (Hostinger) through CloudFlare — CloudFlare issues an SSL certificate for free.
If you already are a CloudFlare user or considering using a CDN (Content Delivery Network), this might be an option for you.
Step 1 Create a CloudFlare account and register your website. CloudFlare will then provide you with their nameservers you’ll need to use.
Step 2 Go to your domain registrar (I use Namecheap) and change the nameservers to the ones provided by CloudFlare.
You might need to wait some time to see the changes propagated. You can use dnschecker.org to check if your nameservers have been pointed to CloudFlare.
Step 3 Go to the CloudFlare setting to check that your SSL is turned on. Make sure to set it to “Flexible.”
Step 4 Go to the DNS tab and make sure your “A record” is pointed to the IP address of your web host (Hostinger).
There you have it!
One appeal of using Hostinger is that it utilizes Litespeed technology, which makes the page load speed blazingly fast. If used in conjunction with CloudFlare’s CDN, your website will benefit from it especially if your website gets high traffic volume or if it is already resource-heavy.
Which workaround will you use? Leave in the comment section below.